• Top 11 Parking Fine Loopholes Avoid Paying Your Parking Ticket!

    Top 11 Parking Fine Loopholes: Avoid Paying Your Parking Ticket!

    Getting a parking ticket is never on anyone’s to-do list, but a whopping 23,000 private parking tickets and nearly 20,000 council parking tickets are issued every day in the UK! And sometimes, you might be completely oblivious that you did anything wrong! What’s more, you might not have actually done anything wrong!

    While getting a parking ticket can be distressing, it’s important to know that you have every right to appeal it, especially if you don’t think you were in the wrong to begin with. There are lots of parking ticket loopholes that you can use to help you appeal your parking ticket and avoid having to pay it. That’s why we created this guide to help you successfully use those loopholes to avoid paying your parking ticket.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    Are there any valid loopholes for parking tickets?


    There are lots of valid loopholes you can use to successfully appeal your parking ticket and avoid having to pay a penny! This goes for both council parking tickets (penalty charge notices or PCN) and private parking tickets (parking charge notices or PCN).

    What are the best loopholes to use?

    There are 11 great loopholes you can use to avoid paying your parking ticket. Check them out below to see if any of these applies to you!

    1. Blue badge holder

    This is generally an unknown rule, and the parking attendant that issued your parking ticket may not have been aware of it either! Essentially, some of the parking rules change if you have a blue badge and display it correctly when you park.

    So, if you displayed your badge correctly, you could look into whether you actually broke any rules. For example, blue badge holders can park on double yellow lines for as long as three hours! This might not always be the case, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

    1. Grace period

    It doesn’t matter whether you’ve used a council owned car park or a privately owned one, another loophole you can use is the grace period loophole. This essentially means that you get 10 minutes of “overstay” to get into your vehicle and leave the car park without being fined.

    You will need to make sure you have evidence of this, such as a photo on your smartphone with the exact time stamped in comparison to your ticket, but it’s a loophole that will work if you use it.

    1. When the ticket was issued

    One of the best loopholes is arguably when your parking ticket was issued. Councils and private parking management companies have to issue you the parking ticket within 28 days of the contravention itself. They must do this by either handing you the parking ticket, leaving it on your vehicle, or sending it through the post.

    However, if they don’t issue the parking ticket within 28 days, you might not be liable to pay. But, it’s important to remember that there may be other factors that could give them more time, but again, it is a loophole you could consider using to appeal your parking ticket.

    1. No keeper liability

    If you’ve received a parking charge notice (essentially a private parking fine) and the PCN doesn’t state that the operator is using POFA 2012 to transfer liability to the driver, it means that the owner of the vehicle or the “keeper” can’t be held liable for the parking ticket.

    The private car parking management company won’t know who was driving if you don’t reveal who the driver was at the time, which means they can’t issue you with a ticket. They also cannot use CCTV to prove this, as it’s only intended for monitoring vehicles entering and leaving the car park.

    1. You parked correctly

    Another loophole you could use when appealing a parking ticket is perhaps the most simple of all; you were parked correctly! It’s important to remember that human error can happen!

    For example, if you paid for three hours of parking (180 minutes) and the parking attendant noticed you hadn’t yet returned, they may have forgotten to factor in your grace period time. Alternatively, they may have made other small mistakes that led them to think you had committed a parking contravention.

    As long as you can prove you didn’t, you won’t be liable to pay the parking fine.

    1. You paid for your parking

    Human error works both ways; you might have made a small error in judgement when it comes to your parking ticket. For example, you may have paid for your parking but left your permit slightly out of sight or completely forgot to display it altogether. If you can provide them with a copy of the parking permit as evidence, they may review it and cancel the parking fine. 

    1. Unclear signage

    An often overlooked loophole is whether or not the signage was clear to the motorist. Signs must be visible at all times, including at night. And, if the signs are unclear or misleading, you have a solid reason for appealing your parking ticket.

    A sign must include:

    • Large and easy to read lettering
    • Terms and conditions of using the parking space

    The British Parking Association rules state that “Signs showing your detailed terms and conditions must be at least 450mmx450mm”. This means that if they are smaller, you have solid grounds for appeal.

    1. You’re a loyal customer

    Another loophole you could use to appeal your parking ticket could simply be that you’re a loyal customer. There’s a good chance that the supermarket you do your grocery shopping at has a car park that’s privately managed, which means you could end up with a parking ticket.

    However, if you’re a loyal customer to said supermarket, and regularly spend money in store that way exceeds the parking ticket, you might be able to appeal to their human side and have the ticket cancelled.

    It’s important to remember that all landowners have the ability to cancel the ticket. So, if you appeal to them directly, with proof of parking and receipts from in-store, they may cancel the ticket for you.

    1. Non visible road markings

    Road markings play a huge role in being able to park correctly, especially if there are terms and conditions that mention road markings. That means that if you’ve parked somewhere with non-visible road markings, it could be solid grounds for appeal.

    You will need to take photographic evidence of this to prove your point, but it’s a fantastic loophole that will help you avoid having to pay for your parking ticket!

    1. Parking machine out of order

    Machines stop working or malfunction from time to time, and if you come across a pay and display machine that isn’t working, you’ve got yourself another loophole.

    You will need to check that there aren’t alternative ways of paying, such as through an online portal or over the phone, but an out of order parking ticket machine is a solid ground for appeal, and could just be the loophole you need to get out of paying for your parking ticket.

    1. Other extreme circumstances

    Sometimes things happen that you simply can’t predict and in those moments, your parking ticket validity is the last thing on your mind. Let’s give you a couple of examples:

    • You may have parked somewhere and unexpectedly fallen ill, resulting in a hospital visit. If you can prove that you were in hospital, it’s a solid reason to appeal your parking ticket.
    • If your vehicle had broken down and you were unable to move it before your allotted time was up, that also may be grounds for appeal. You’ll need to provide evidence from your mechanic that align with the dates and times of your parking contravention, but it’s still a solid reason to appeal.

    There may be other extreme circumstances that will be taken into consideration when appealing a parking ticket. Just remember that you’ll need proof of why you overstayed or committed a parking contravention.

    How can I get out of a parking ticket?

    There are lots of ways to get out of a parking ticket, but they all start by making an appeal that includes a good excuse and evidence to support your appeal. All of these loopholes mentioned above are reasonable excuses when they are paired with solid evidence.

    It’s also important to remember that your appeal must be made within 28 days of the parking fine being issued. The exact date will be on the parking fine itself. However, there are different processes for council issued parking fines and private parking fines.

    How to appeal a Council Parking Fine (Penalty Charge Notice)

    We have a full guide on how to appeal a penalty charge notice, but essentially there are a few steps you can take to successfully appeal a pcn.

    1. Make an informal appeal to the council that issued the PCN. This needs to be submitted within 14 days of the penalty charge notice being issued. You’ll need a valid reason and evidence, and you can do this in writing to the local council. Their information will be on their website or on the PCN itself.
    2. Make a formal appeal to the council that issued the PCN. Your formal appeal will need to be submitted within 28 days of the penalty charge notice being issued. Again, you’ll need a valid reason and evidence to back you up. Information on how to make a formal appeal will be on the PCN that was issued to you.
    3. Take your appeal to a tribunal. If the council still doesn’t agree with your appeal, you can submit your reasons for appeal and the evidence to a tribunal to take another look. It’s free and you don’t have to attend, but it could help you win your case.

    The council has 56 days to make a decision. If they do not respond after that time frame, you automatically win your appeal! However, if you’ve followed all three steps above and your appeal is still rejected, you’ll then get a further 28 days to pay the fine.

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

    How to appeal a Private Parking Fine (Parking Charge Notice)

    We also have a full guide on how to appeal a parking charge notice, and it’s important to remember that the appeals process is different to a penalty charge notice:

    1. Make an informal appeal to the landowner or private car parking management company that issued you with the PCN. You’ll need a good reason for appealing as well as evidence to back up your claim. They then have 56 days to consider your appeal and make a decision. If they do not respond in that time, you automatically win your case.
    2. If your informal appeal is rejected, you can make a formal appeal to an independent tribunal. There are two independent groups you can use:

    The independent group you end up using will depend which ATA the private parking company is a member of:

    • You’ll use the Independent Appeals Service (IAS) if the company is a member of the International Parking Community.
    • You’ll use Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) if the company is a member of the British Parking Association.

    What happens if I don’t pay my parking ticket?

    Much like the appeals process, there are different things that could happen if you decide not to pay for your penalty charge notice or your parking charge notice. Let’s go through both of those now.

    Not paying a Penalty Charge Notice

    If you choose not to pay your penalty charge notice, the problem won’t simply go away. The council could take you to court, which will turn the fine into a debt in the eyes of the county court. You could then be given a court order forcing you to pay the fine. If you fail to pay the court order within 28 days, you’ll be given what’s known as a charge certificate.

    This essentially extends the payment deadline by 14 days, but you’ll also receive a 50% fine on top of the full price of the ticket.

    If you still fail to pay, you’ll receive what’s known as an order of recovery. This gives you a further 21 days to pay or challenge the court order. However, if you choose to do nothing, you could end up with bailiffs at your door to recover possessions to pay off the debt you owe.

    Basically, it’s best not to ignore a penalty charge notice. Either appeal or pay the fine to save yourself some time and money!

    Not paying a Parking Charge Notice

    Much like a penalty charge notice, not paying a parking charge notice won’t make the problem go away. The landowner or parking management company could choose to take you to court! If they win, you’ll then have a court order that forces you to pay the fine.

    If you don’t pay that fine within one month, it could permanently affect your credit score for six years! So if you do get a court order, do your best to pay off the fine as soon as possible.

    This is particularly true if you want to avoid bailiffs turning up at your door to recover belongings to pay the debt you now legally owe.

    NOTE: in some cases, the parking management company or landowner won’t take legal action due to it being a small amount of money. However, it’s not unheard of, so you’re better off either paying or appealing your parking fine.

    Are parking tickets enforceable?

    Penalty charge notices are enforceable. Parking charge notices are not enforceable unless the landowner or private parking management company choose to take you to court and win their case.

    Either way, it’s better not to ignore a parking ticket, regardless of where it came from. Not only could you end up being legally forced to pay the fine, but it could be a stressful experience that you could have very easily avoided.

    Don’t forget that we have a free parking ticket appeal letter template that you can use to help make sure you’ve got a solid case when it comes to appealing your parking ticket!

    Free Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Download

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