Parking Fines: Appeals Process

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Health Assured team

18 April 2024

The appeals process for a parking fine will depend on the type of fine you receive. It is wise to understand the different types of fines in order to follow the correct process.

Parking tickets can come from private organisations or official bodies like the council and police. It is useful to read the letter to understand the appeals process and begin to collect evidence to prepare a defence.

You may receive:

  • Penalty Charge Notice
  • Parking Charge Notice
  • Fixed Charge Notice

Penalty Charge Notices

A PCN is typically issued by a council where individuals have parked on council owned land like a car park or town centre.

The initial informal step requires written correspondence to the council explaining why you feel you are not liable. This should be done within 14 days of being given a notice, or 21 days if received in the post. You should include any evidence you feel is relevant to your case and if successful you will not be liable for the notice.

If your informal appeal is rejected, you may get a discount if you pay quickly. However, if you still want to register a formal appeal you should, within 28 days, respond to the ‘notice to owner’ letter you receive. Instructions on how to register this formal appeal will be detailed on the notice. However, if you do not appeal within 28 days and do not intend to appeal, your penalty will increase.

The final route if your formal appeal is rejected will be applying to a tribunal for free of charge once you have received the ‘notice of rejection’. Guidance on how to do this can be accessed via the below link.

How to appeal against a penalty charge notice

It is advisable to pay the fine if your tribunal appeal is rejected otherwise the council may consider pursuing matters in a court. This means the council will add an additional 50% onto the amount due and this could reflect negatively on your credit score.  

Parking Charge Notices

A parking charge is typically issued by private landowners. It can be useful to check whether the parking company is a part of an accredited trade association. Only ATA members can find your details and address from the DVLA, so let them contact you first.

You can use the below link to determine whether the company is an ATA member:

British Parking Website

Like with a penalty charge, it is useful to write back to the company initially appeal your parking charge notice. Details of the format used for your appeal will be on the notice and it is useful to attach any evidence you feel is useful. You can use the below link to access a template for your appeal.

Citizens Advice Website

If the company is an ATA member, you can also use the free independent appeals service. The appeals service will depend on whether the company is a member of BPA or IPC approved schemes.

BPA members - Popla Websitye

IPC members - See Appeal Website

However, if your formal appeal is rejected or the company is not an ATA member you could either pay in protest, then pursue the company in a small claims court. Or you could choose not to pay and allow the company to take you to court. It is worth noting that if you make an application for a small claims, you will bear the burden of court fees.

Fixed Charge Notices

Fixed charges are usually issued by the police on red routes, white zig zags or police managed parking. It is wise to check who has issued this and write informally to the official body explaining why you object to the charge, including any relevant evidence. If this appeal is rejected, you will receive correspondence confirming this.

The final option will be to ask for a hearing in a magistrate’s court. However, this will have cost implications as the fine will increase by 50% if you are not successful. But if successful you will receive a refund.

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