Appealing A Parking Ticket
There are few things more annoying in life than returning to your car to find you have been issued with a parking ticket. However, by checking a few details and assessing the circumstances around the ticket, you may find you have grounds to appeal. Read about appealing a parking ticket here.
It’s free to make an informal appeal by contacting whoever gave you the parking ticket, so it’s at least worth a try. Read on…
Note: You can’t be taken to court whilst informally appealing a parking ticket. This means your credit rating won’t be affected. You’ll only be taken to court if your appeal is unsuccessful, and you still don’t pay the ticket or appeal to a tribunal.
If none of these reasons apply to you, it’s a good idea to pay your ticket ASAP. You often get a discount of:
- 50% if you pay a Penalty Charge Notice or Excess Charge Notice within 14 days
- 40-60% if you pay a Parking Charge Notice within 14 days
Accredited Trade Association (ATA)
If a parking company puts a ticket on your car and the company isn’t a member of an accredited trade association (ATA). Don’t contact them unless they write to you first. Only ATA members can get your name and address from the DVLA.
Check the British Parking Association (BPA) or International Parking Community (IPC) websites to see if a parking company is a member of an ATA.
You can also call the BPA on 01444 447 300 to check if a company is a member.
Calls usually cost up to 55p a minute from mobiles and up to 13p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines – check with your supplier if you’re not sure.
See the GOV advice for appealing a parking ticket / council fine.
You may have a case if:
- You got a PCN more than 14 days after parking
If you didn’t get a notice at the time you parked, you must receive a notice within 14 days of when you parked.
Check if the notice says ‘Protection of Freedoms Act’. The parking company must usually post a notice to you within a certain time if it does – or to the car’s registered owner if that’s not you. Should you get a notice at the time you parked and you replied to it, the parking company doesn’t have to send another notice. without replying to it, you must receive another notice within 56 days of when you parked.
If you didn’t receive the notice in time, tell the parking company you don’t have to pay the charge.
Should the notice doesn’t say ‘Protection of Freedoms Act’, there’s no time limit to send it. If it’s delivered more than 7 months after you parked, you can argue it’s unfair to make you pay.
- You were parked correctly
You can appeal a ticket if you believe you were parked correctly. By law, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or Excess Charge Notice (ECN) from the council – issued on public landmust be cancelled if you didn’t break the parking rules.
When you park on private land, i.e. a supermarket car park, the parking rules (the terms and conditions of using the car park) should be made clear on nearby signs. If you’re given a Parking Charge Notice and can prove you stuck to these rules, your ticket should be cancelled.
When you appeal, you should explain that you didn’t break any parking rules and provide evidence.
- The parking signs or road markings were unclear
All car parks and roads with parking restrictions must have CLEAR signs or road markings that make this clear.
Your ticket should be cancelled if you can prove:
- you couldn’t see any road markings or signs
- the signs or markings were hard to read – for example they’d faded or were hidden by trees
- the signs were misleading or confusing
- there weren’t any signs saying parking was suspended
You should also have a case if you were sent a ticket in the post and there weren’t signs saying CCTV – or an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system – was in use where you parked.
- There was no way to pay
Your ticket should be cancelled if a parking metre or the machines were broken and there was no other way to pay. It won’t be cancelled if there was another machine you could have used.
You’ll must send evidence that the machine or metre was broken to whoever issued the ticket.
Some car parks and bays have a sign saying not to park there if there’s no way to pay. If where you parked had this sign, your appeal may be rejected.
- You were charged too much
If you get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), the fine will fall into a higher or lower band. The higher band is for a more serious offence, like parking on a double yellow line. The lower band is for something less serious, like overstaying.
You should appeal if you’ve been charged too much.
If you’ve been given a Parking Charge Notice, the BPA and IPC rules state you shouldn’t be charged more than £100 – unless the parking company can prove your parking offence made them lose this much money. You should appeal if you’ve been charged more than £100 and think this extra cost is unjustified.
- You weren’t in control of the vehicle when the ticket was issued
If you didn’t commit the parking error, the ticket should be cancelled.
- You were unable to get back to your car
You should appeal your ticket if you couldn’t get back to your car because:
- it’s difficult for you to walk because you’re disabled
- you’re pregnant
- you have a very young baby
The Equality Act 2010 means you must be treated with understanding and can’t be discriminated against, so the ticket should be cancelled.
- Your car broke down
You’ve a good casel if you were given a ticket while waiting for your car to be fixed or towed. The ticket issuer should understand that you couldn’t move it.
- You were only just out of time
It’s worth appealing a parking ticket if you were only 5 or 10 minutes late.
You should be given a few minutes grace after your parking runs out. ATA members must give you an extra 10 minutes before giving you a Parking Charge Notice. So should the council before giving you a Penalty Charge Notice. You should also be given a reasonable amount of time to leave a car park if you decide not to park.
A parking company might disagree with your appeal if they time your stay from the moment you entered the car park, rather than from when you parked. It’s still worth appealing a parking ticket because it’s free to informally appeal – and you have to do this before you can appeal to an independent tribunal or trade association.