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Getting parking tickets is annoying and expensive. Parking tickets (otherwise known as Penalty Charge Notices) are a great source of income for local councils and private parking companies, but many parking fines are charged unfairly. If you think you shouldn’t have had a PCN, you can appeal and get it quashed. Read 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 statistics show that currently over 60% of appeals result in a PCN being overturned, so it can definitely be worth appealing.
Councils now have the power to issue tickets by post within 28 days, so there’s a good chance you won’t receive the ticket for several weeks after the alleged offence. Try not to be too disheartened: the Traffic Penalty Tribunal says that the burden of proof is on the council.
There have been lots of changes recently, including traffic wardens swapping their title to ‘civil enforcement officers’.
However, according to 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 actually on a yellow line, or you were loading)
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.
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.
As part of your challenge, you can also submit a Freedom of Information Request if it’s pertinent to your case. For example, you can request to find out if parking officers are under any incentive scheme to issue a number of tickets, or whether parking enforcement cameras are clearly signposted on entering the area in which your ticket was issued.
A Freedom of Information Request can take a while, so it may delay your appeal – but the provided information can be valuable if you think your ticket was wrongly issued. Visit the Gov.uk website to find out how to make an FOI request.
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, and you’ll usually hear the 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.
ParkLet have spaces available to rent on a monthly contract, and they guarantee parking space for 24 hours a day. You pay by direct debit, so it’s convenient too. With JustPark, you can contact the owners of the driveway/garage directly and figure out costs.
The idea is that other people rent out their garage or driveway, and you can use these websites to find a space somewhere suitable. Best of all, you’ll be parking on private property – so you won’t find that a parking ticket plonked on your windscreen!
If you have experience of overturning parking tickets, comment below or tell us all on Facebook!