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Had a parking fine? Here's what you can and can't do

By Tom Gibson | November 23, 2021


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Here's what you can and can't do if you have had a parking fine

Had a parking fine? Here's what you can and can't do

Car parking notice charges are on the rise and the routes of appeal are different depending on whether it was your local council or a private company who issued the penalty.

There are also some key differentiators in what the ‘penalty’ is.

A private firm cannot legally fine you, whereas a council can.

When a private firm issues a ‘ticket’, by law, they cannot call this a Fixed Penalty Notice or Penalty Charge Notice that would be issued by a public body. Instead, they will opt to use terms like Parking Charge Notice.

In terms of the ‘fine’ itself, when a private company puts a yellow note on your windscreen it is essentially an invoice for what they deem to be a breach of contract.

So, if you’ve had a parking charge recently or want to brush up on your knowledge, here’s some tops tips from us;

You can contest parking charges from private companies if you deem the charge to be unfair

But what is unfair?

Well, if signs were poorly displayed or not visible, for example, or if an event or incident prevented you from retrieving your car.

Do not pay a private firm for a parking charge before disputing it

If you believe the Notice has been issued fairly, you should pay it as soon as possible as the amount will be at its lowest point in the first 14 days.

Alternatively, if you believe that the notice has been unfairly issued, you should appeal as soon as possible while the details are fresh in your mind and certainly within the 28 days specified. Parking operators are not permitted to require payment of the charge with an appeal.’

How to contest a Parking Charge Notice?

Don’t ignore it. Respond in writing your reasons for appeal with as much evidence to support your case as possible, as quickly as possible. 

What if it’s rejected?

If the initial appeal to the operator is rejected, the letter that confirms this will contain guidance on the next steps - either to pay or to have the appeal independently assessed. It will outline the process for independent appeal. The firm’s trade member association do not deal with individual disputes.

But it’s here where the prep work counts. If you have had a ticket, make sure you collect as many photos or witness statements as possible to support your case.

If you’re complaining that signs were not visible, take as many photos as possible from where you’re parked and the entrance to the car park to add weight. If you can get statements from other motorists so back up your point then that will be beneficial too.

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