Getting parking tickets is annoying and expensive. Parking tickets (otherwise known as Penalty Charge Notices) are on the up across the country. They’re a great source of income for local councils but many parking fines are charged unfairly. If you think you shouldn’t have had a PCN, you can appeal and get it quashed in our guide on how to challenge a parking ticket.
Lots of drivers don’t realise that they have the right to challenge an unfair penalty and have it seen by an independent adjudicator. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal‘s latest statistics show that currently over 60% of appeals result in the motorist not having to pay the penalty, so if you know you’re in the right it’s worth appealing.
Councils now have the power to issue tickets by post within 28 days, so there’s a good chance you won’t get the ticket for several weeks after the alleged offence (and therefore possibly lose the chance to get evidence together to defend yourself). But try not to be too disheartened; the Traffic Penalty Tribunal says that the burden of proof is on the council who must show on balance of probabilities that a parking offence occurred.
Lots of changes have come in recently (including a name change for traffic wardens to the very official sounding title of civil enforcement officers).
According to new website PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London) there are several grounds for appealing against a PCN:
1. The information on the PCN is wrong or incomplete. If the PCN doesn’t contain ALL of the following, it’s invalid:
2. The parking offence didn’t occur (for example you weren’t on a yellow line, you were loading, you had a pay-and-display ticket but it wasn’t seen or signs were misleading or not visible)
3. There were exceptional circumstances
4. There are compelling reasons
For a complete explanation of the parking enforcement process (and for an exhaustive list of different points you can appeal against a ticket) go to the PATROL website.
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If you need help, or you’re willing to pay someone else to do it for you, try AppealNow who specialise in aiding motorists with parking fines. You can register with them and lodge an appeal within five minutes. They have an online service costing from £9.99-25.99 depending on the service which can help you challenge your parking ticket quickly and easily.
Personal hearing: This is usually held in a community building like a library and lasts about 20 minutes. It’s not a courtroom and things are pretty informal so you won’t need a lawyer. An independent adjudicator will listen to the evidence of both you and the council representative and you’ll usually hear the adjudicator’s decision at the end of the hearing. You’ll also be sent written reasons for the outcome within 10 working days.
Telephone hearing: You may be offered a hearing via conference call which should also last about 20 minutes.
Postal hearing: If both you and the council agree, the adjudication can take place by post and a decision will be made by an adjudicator from written submissions and documents.
Check out websites like ParkLet and Parkatmyhouse.com where you can find someone’s driveway or garage to park in, or even rent out your own driveway/garage for some extra cash.
ParkLet have spaces available to rent on a monthly contract at competitive prices, they guarantee you a parking space 24 hours a day and you pay by direct debit so it’s convenient too. With Parkatmyhouse.com you can contact the owners of the driveway/garage directly yourself and see when the space is available to rent and how much it’ll cost.
The idea is that other people rent out their garage or driveway and you can use these websites to find a space somewhere suitable and best of all you’ll be parking on private property so you won’t find that a civil enforcement officer has ruined your day by plonking a ticket on your windscreen!
If you have experience of winning against parking tickets, comment below or tell us on Facebook!