How to challenge a parking fine in UK?

Are you a driver in UK and been given a parking ticket which you feel unfair? This article should help you with the necessary guide on how to appeal against unfair parking fines.

How to challenge or appeal a parking fine in UK depends on various factors like the type of parking fine notice that you have been issued and who had issued that.

Identify who has issued the Parking ticket.

Generally, most of the parking tickets would fall into one of the below categories

  • Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) – This is usually issued by the council when you park on the no-parking/restricted zone at high street or council car park.
  • Parking Charge Notice – This is usually issued by the parking company on a private land. Example of these could be a supermarket car parking.
  • Fixed Penalty Notice – This is usually issued by the police.

When you should appeal or challenge a parking ticket?

Before you appeal or challenge the parking ticket, ensure that you haven’t violated the rules. Also you should never pay for a parking ticket which you intend to appeal for. You won’t be able to appeal for the ticket once it is paid as it is already seen as admitting that the ticket that was issued was right.

You should call the person who issued the ticket and confirm from them if you should or shouldn’t be paying if you are appealing.

You should appeal

  • If the specified violation or contravention did not happen.
  • If you feel that the penalty exceeded the relevant fine amount.
  • You are not the owner vehicle at the time the ticket was issued.
  • The vehicle was taken without your consent
  • And if you have any other valid reasons…

Appealing a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) issued by the council

If the ticket was issued by the council, you will generally have 28 days to challenge a PCN. If you do it within 14 days and your challenge is rejected, you may only have to pay 50% of the fine.

There are different rules that are applicable for various types of PCN.

  • If the Local council PCN is received on the spot (if the ticket was on the windscreen), you can make an informal challenge with the council.
  • If the Local council PCN is received in the post. Eg: you were sent a ‘notice to owner’, you can make a formal challenge, usually called as “representation” with the council.
  • If you have been issued a Dart Charge PCN, you should make a formal challenge (representation) Dart Charge.
  • If you are issued a Red route PCN, you should make a formal challenge (representation) with Transport for London (TfL).
  • If you have been issued an Congestion charge PCN, you should make an representation with Transport for London (TfL) .
  • If you have been issued an Low emission zone PCN , you should make an representation with Transport for London (TfL)

When you make an informal challenge and it is rejected, you’ll get a ‘notice to owner’ which would explain how to make a formal challenge. Formal challenge is also called as representation and you will have 28 days to make a formal challenge after you get a notice to owner.

Usually when your representation is accepted, you will not have to pay the fine.

If your representation is rejected, you would get a “notice of rejection” and then you will have 28 days to pay or else appeal to the independent tribunal. You will be charged with the late penalty usually called as “Charge Certificate” if you donot pay or appeal at this stage.

Challenging a Fixed penalty notice (FPN)

If you are issued an FPN, you will have to pay it with-in 28 days. If you want to challenge the FPN, you will have to go to the magistrates’ court and then you will be sent summons with the date to attend the court hearing.

More information about this can be found on the back of the ticket.

Challenging a ticket issued by a private

Usually you can contact the private company to get more information on how to challenge the private parking ticket.

If the ticket was issued by a private company, check if the company that issued the fine is a member of one of the following

If the company is part of one of the associations listed above, you can challenge the company directly by providing the reasons why you think the parking ticket was unfair. The tickets that was issued would usually have the details on how to challenge.

If the above did not succeed, you can go through one of their trade bodies listed below to appeal.

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