How to Appeal a Penalty Charge Notice (Parking Fine)

There is nothing more annoying than returning to your car and discovering a parking ticket has been placed under your windscreen wiper.  If you believe your parking ticket was issued unfairly this guide will take you through how to appeal the fine. (Before you appeal remember that in most cases, if you pay the fine within 14 days it is half the price).

What are the legal reasons for appealing a parking ticket?

You can appeal a parking ticket on legal grounds if:

  • you are not the legal owner of the vehicle which was ticketed
  • your vehicle was stolen
  • you abided by the parking rules; ie you paid the meter, etc
  • the lines indicating that the area you parked in was restricted were not clearly marked
  • you have been fined too much
  • the procedure for issuing a ticket was not carried out correctly

Are there any other reasons the council could choose to cancel a parking ticket?

The local authority who issued the ticket has the discretion to cancel it if you can prove:

  • the ticket issuing machine was faulty
  • the information on the ticket is incorrect
  • your vehicle had broken down and you were taking steps to have it removed
  • compassionate reasons such as a bereavement should be taken into account

How do I appeal a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?

The first thing you must do is contact the local authority who issued the parking fine and inform them that you plan to appeal.  This step is known as informal representation.  If you do this within 14 days of receiving the notice you may only have to pay 50 percent of the fine, even if your appeal fails.  This is extended to 21 days if you received the parking fine by post.

You will need to write to the council, setting out your reasons for appealing the PCN and send in any documentary evidence such as witness statements and/or photographs.

The council will either accept your appeal and your ticket will be cancelled, or reject it.

What do I do if my informal representation is rejected?

If the council decides to reject your appeal they will send you a Notice to Owner.  On receipt of this you have 28 days to lodge a formal appeal, (or formal representation).

Your next steps are to make an appeal to the:

  • Traffic Penalty Tribunal outside London
  • The London Tribunals (formally Parking and Traffic Appeals Service)

You will need to complete a form and once this is received an independent parking adjudicator will make a decision on whether the fine should be upheld.

A parking adjudicator can only make a decision regarding a legal reason for appealing a parking ticket. If the council rejected your appeal on discretionary grounds, you cannot make a further appeal to the Tribunal.

The adjudicator can award costs to either you or the local authority if they believe the appeal was made ‘frivolously or vexatiously’.

If you wish to make a formal appeal to the Tribunal a solicitor will be able to assist you in collating evidence and putting together a strong case.

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