/ Motoring

Parking fines: your questions answered

Have you ever had a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) that you felt was unfair? Do you know how to challenge or appeal it? We’ve rounded up and answered your questions.

Every month, thousands turn to Google to find answers on how to challenge or appeal a Parking Charge Notice (issued by a private company) or a Penalty Charge Notice (issued by a local authority).

But regardless of which type of fine they get, many come to Which? Conversation to air their frustrations or to seek advice.

And what’s more, we know the majority of council-issued PCN appeals are actually successful.

Which? Consumer Rights: Parking tickets

More than 8.6 million PCNs were issued in England (excluding London) and Wales for parking, bus lane contraventions and the Dartford Crossing charge in 2016/2017, according to the most recent stats from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

And while a miniscule 0.43% were appealed, 57% of those were successful.

That means you may want to challenge any PCN you get which you think was wrongly issued or is unfair.

Your PCN queries answered

More than three years ago we published Barry Beavis’s account of why he decided to fight a £85 PCN in court.

Mr Beavis’s gripe was with a charge issued for parking on private land at a retail park. He argued the £85 fine was not a genuine reflection on the company’s loss by his overstaying.

He may have lost in the County Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, but the post attracted more than 1100 comments from people applauding Mr Beavis’s efforts and seeking advice for their own PCN woes.

Here are some of the common complaints and reasons why you might appeal.

If you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland, the rules are a little different so you’ll need to look up your local rules for appealing.

‘I paid for parking but accidentally put in the wrong registration number’

This is unfortunate and a very frustrating situation, but could have good grounds for an appeal if you can prove you paid (with your bank card statement) and a picture of your car’s actual registration.

When you pay for parking on private land, the contract is with you and the private parking company or landowner. So if you can prove you have not breached the contract on your end, your appeal may well be successful.

You can use our parking appeals tool to write a bespoke letter for free to help get you started.

But remember, challenging the ticket doesn’t extend the 14 day limit for paying a reduced charge – unless the operator agrees to extend the period, which they’re not required to do.

‘The car is mine, but I wasn’t driving it’

In cases where you receive a Parking Charge Notice from a landowner or private parking company, you can appeal the notice on the grounds that you weren’t responsible for the car when it was parked.

You can contact the company which has issued the fine and give them the full name and address of the person who was responsible for the car at the time.

Be sure to keep any emails, letters or make notes of the conversation if you opt to call. The company must cancel the parking ticket against you and send it to the other person. This is known as ‘transfer of liability’.

But if the person was a friend, family member or loved one you can opt to pay the fine instead of appealing and follow it up with them yourself.

You can also appeal a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice if the car was stolen at the time the PCN was issued.

‘I bought a car and got sent a PCN for the previous owner’

In this scenario, you’re not responsible for the parking ticket and can appeal on the basis that at the time the PCN was issued, you were not the owner of the car.

Make sure you include any details you have about the previous owner, a copy of the registration certificate and evidence of when you bought the car.

‘I got a Parking Eye fine – can I challenge it?’

As with any parking ticket, you can challenge it – but whether you’re successful will depend on whether it was justified and fair (ie you actually broke the terms and conditions of the carpark).

We understand most of the successful appeals against Parking Eye are because you were a legitimate user of the land.

Before appealing, contact the business you were using and show them evidence you were a customer.

Often they will then write to Parking Eye themselves or give you a letter you can use to appeal your ticket.

For example, if you were a genuine shopper and only overstayed a short time, you may want to provide evidence of purchases (such as receipts and bank statements) and the letter from the business you were using.

Or if you were at a hotel for a conference which over-ran, you could provide evidence of your invitation and confirmation from the host that the event ran on longer than expected.

Another avenue is inadequate signage – go back to the carpark and look for signs about time limits. Are they clear? Are they visible?

Make sure you always follow the appeals procedure set out by the private company or the council. You can find this on their website or in the correspondence they’ve sent you.

Have you had any successful PCN appeals you can share? How did you do it? Or what about any unsuccessful ones? Why did you lose? Tell us below.


I am at a loss. We received a letter straight from a debt recovery company as ParkingEye letters were never received. We confirmed to them that the keeper was not driving and as the driver lived at a different address, the case would be passed back to ParkingEye as the process would need to start again. They did this on 03/10, but again, as of today (22/10 – Confirmed by phone, they wont send me an email to confirm they passed it back), no letter from ParkingEye has been received and the online PCN is saying we owe £170. We overstayed 25 minutes as it was a Cinema stay and we went for a coffee afterwards on the same retail park, which parking is free for 3 hours (although not well signposted!). On the basis that ParkingEye have no contact details by phone and we haven’t actually received a letter, as I believed they have 15 days from when it was referred back to them, especially as the original occurrence was 02/08, to issue a notice, any advice would be welcome.

I am in exactly the same situation. Their app put the reg in and then closed the transaction without input from me. Did you follow your appeal to AS parking appeals?

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There has been a lot of controversy and press coverage in Norwich lately over the enforcement of parking contraventions in the car parks of buildings that have been converted from offices to flats. People have complained [and had appeals rejected] when they drove in, noticed the new restrictions, and drove straight out again but still got a parking ticket in the post with a demand for £100.

A local solicitor has produced guidance for drivers and dealt with a number cases and her advice is never to ignore the letters received from the enforcing companies, check the signs and notices, and take photos if you want to appeal on a technical point. She has explained the difference between the private and public parking regimes whereby a parking charge notice is in effect an invoice for payment that can only be enforced as a debt and that the company must explain the justification for charges of more than £100 [which is still grossly excessive in my opinion]. She suggested that, after a reasonable appeal or explanation has been lodged, persistent further demands for payment, and intimidating debt collection letters, could be ignored because it indicated that the company was reluctant to incur the expense and trouble of mounting a county court action for which they have to pay court fees and instruct lawyers to attend.

There was a two-page spread on this in today’s Eastern Daily Press.

I have received a penalty notice in the post stating my car was observed between 9:32 and 9:33 parked in a loading bay, the ticket enforcer was preparing a ticket but by that time I had driven off. I did not see an enforcer and was only parked for a couple of minutes. There appears to be no witness to this and no photographic evidence. Is this enforable?do i have good grounds to appeal?

I suggest you appeal as soon as possible, using the parking appeals tool mentioned in the introduction to this Conversation. If there is no photographic evidence I expect that you will win your appeal.

liverpoolsusie says:
29 October 2019

I received a pcn where the VRM (reg no) should be it says GRANDSCENICDYNAMIQUETT with no reg number there is a photo of my car further down the form however the invoice is filled in wrong do I have to pay it?

No – you can send it back and ask for a new one, or just write in saying the Notice is defective and enclose a photocopy of it.

There is a Which? poll:

“Are the costs of parking fines out of control?

Yes, they’re disproportionately high (53%, 341 Votes)

Yes, they should depend on the offence (37%, 238 Votes)

No, they’re an effective deterrent (10%, 64 Votes)

Total Voters: 643

So a substantial number have voted, and overwhelmingly (9 to 1) against the current cost of parking penalties. Given the many comments in Convos, it is surely time Which? started some action to reduce these excessive, indeed extortionate, charges. What is stopping them?

@awade, Amelia, are Which? going to take any notice of the poll they have instigated and act oin behalf of consumers? 🙂 Please 😀

Morning Malcolm. Unfortunately Amelia left Which? a few months back. A shame, because we were good friends.

You’ll remember back in April I mentioned that Which? isn’t currently able to take an official position on parking fines, and that the questions answered here, as well as the free guides available on the Consumer Rights site (https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=parking) do represent the extent of the work we’re able to do at this time.

Since then, things did go further with a full three-page feature in the July edition of Which? Magazine by @sarah-ingrams – this Convo helped inform that investigation. The feature included advice, appeals processes and case studies. Interestingly, it also mentioned the newly passed Parking Code of Practice, which the Government has implemented in order to try to raise standards among firms.

Unfortunately we’re not in a position to be able to campaign on this right now, but a lot of work has gone into the topic by various people here. We’ll continue to provide advuce where we can.

@gmartin, Morning (again) George. The sun is out once more; it seems to coincide with our contact. Keep it up.

I do well remember being told Which? were not going to tackle parking penalties. However, if I recall correctly, no reason was given.

Why create Convos and articles about parking and penalties, why poll readers about their unjust levels, if you have no intention of tackling such unfairness? Local authorities alone make a surplus of nearly £1 billion from motorists penalties.

Perhaps you would tell us exactly why Which? are not prepared to tackle such a huge penalty on motorists, many of whom will struggle to find the money. It is an extortion racket that should be curtailed – it costs twice as much as is lost in on-line banking fraud, something you are prepared to campaign against.

Just curious, George, (and feel free not to answer) but Sarah Ingrams isn’t by any chance related to Richard Ingrams, is she?

I can answer the questions on Convo content and our polls, but for a full explanation of how we choose what we can and can’t campaign on I’ve asked for comment from Campaigns team itself, so please bear with me on that. I am told that it is very much on their radar, and the insights raised in this topic are being looked into by the Consumer Rights team, which Amelia was a part of.

With regards to what you’ve asked:

– If I remember correctly, this topic was commissioned by myself and compiled by Amelia because of the interest in the topic raised here in another Convo. It was requested that we round-up and answer all the frequent questions we were receiving, so we acted on that request and this was the result.

– Amelia’s answers given to the questions answered in this Convo also involved heavy input and advice from our in-house legal team – a lot of work was done here in order to direct people to the correct advice and help get those questions answered.

– While this isn’t a campaign, helping people with their questions and pointing them to the relevant advice is helping to tackle the unfairness that’s been raised, as do the guides that are available to anyone who needs them for free on the Consumer Rights site. This convo, and similar ones on other topics help people get the advice they need, which is a big part of the work Which? does. Of course we would all like to address the root cause and prevent these issues from being problems at all, but until we’re in a position to do that we will continue to offer the best advice possible to those who come looking for it.

– On the polls found on this site, they do help inform our research and help gauge opinion on a wide range of different topics. We can’t immediately launch campaigns off the back of these polls as they will need to feed in to a larger body of work and other research, but they are a valuable tool.

– It’s not that we have no intention of acting on these issues – as I mentioned, we have already seen action in the form of a magazine feature, and I know there will be more work and research featured in the mag soon on hospital parking charges/fines.

– I cannot promise a campaign, but action based on what we’ve seen in this topic has taken place and is being noticed by those who make those decisions. I’ll return with an update once I have had a full response from the Campaigns team.

@gmartin, thanks George. As you, I and others appreciate this is not a new topic so I hope Which? will act at some point.

The Q&A advice guides and Convos are very valuable for people unfortunate enough to be faced with a penalty, whether through carelessness, forgetfulness or mishap.

You’re welcome. I’ll be back (hopefully) soon with more.

Perhaps we should ask the candidates in the forthcoming general election whether they would support a change in the law to reduce the fines on private land, to allow a grace period, and for minor infractions.

As I have suggested before, penalties for minor infringements should be waived, for example entering one character of a registration incorrectly or overstaying for a short period, providing this in not repeated – say within in the next six months or year in a car park. With infringements recorded on computer, it’s easy to identify persistent offenders who are the ones deserving of penalties.

Too many people take the risk that they will not receive a penalty. In the context of scams it is often pointed out that we must take responsibility for our own actions, and that should apply to parking too.

From some of the comments posted here and elsewhere, some of the companies need to take more care to avoid sending out inappropriate PCNs, for example ones that lack adequate photographic evidence of the offence. The success rate of appeals provides some evidence that the companies need to pull their socks up.

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As there are many “authorities” issuing parking penalties it would not seem practical to maintain such an all-encompassing data base, let alone spend the time and effort examining every infraction to decide whether it was minor or not. And, of course, it would simply lead to more people chancing their arm, knowing that they’d probably get away with what they see as minor infringements until they have received a couple of warnings.

There is purpose in parking charges – apart from revenue they help control and limit parking times and make the facilities available to as many as possible. What is wrong is the degree of the penalty.

I don’t think you are right, Malcolm, but maybe you have evidence that people more people would chance their arm? You have proposed a charge of £20, but is that deserved because someone has miskeyed their registration. Where I worked, I think we were allowed two mistakes a year. I don’t know anyone who made more than one. Since computers are used to handle data, it is very easy to check for infringements, both in a particular car park and in others managed by the same organisation.

I’m supportive of parking control and recently reported that introducing enforcement at a town car park administered by Tesco has greatly improved the availability of parking, thanks to stopping people staying there during their working day.

How many times have you had to pay a parking charge?

I think £20 is a fair charge in most circumstances, yes. I think it is human nature to take a chance and letting people off a couple of times if they are caught – but how many times would they do so before they are caught – is, I speculate, going to increase parking beyond the terms and conditions.

We all have to take responsibility for our actions, including typing in an incorrect registration. On the machines I use there are several opportunities to correct a mis-type before you confirm.

An organisation does not just have to check for someone’s infringements, but also decide which were so minor they could be overlooked (initially). However in my area there are several separate organisations running car parks, as well as the councils; a serial offender could chance their arm in each of these presumably, until they were warned off.

The core problem, in my personal estimation, is the excessive penalty charge and the follow on surcharge. It is simply out of proportion to the offence committed. I’d like to see it reduced to a fair penalty.

Have I had to pay a parking charge? Once, in a council car park when ANPR was allowed. I had registered our blue badge with the council for our main car; this allowed parking free of charge without the need to display the badge. On one occasion we took my older (unregistered) car and forgot to display the badge. Returned to find a penalty notice. I was annoyed with myself for the omission but it was my mistake. I did not appeal. Paid up.

Wendy Morgan says:
2 November 2019

You pay to park by phone, get a fine notice two weeks later but see that the fee has been debited from your account. You have no way of being sure that you entered the correct registration. Is it worth appealing? The fine rises from £60 to £100 for the privilege, and some parking companies clearly insist that the contract has been broken by the entering of an incorrect registration.

Has the evidence of incorrect numbers ever been tested? Or, do we simply have to trust the parking companies?

You also seldom mention the actual villains, the companies and land owners who have leased the control of parking. Complaining about parking as part of feedback on attractions ought to be a first response.

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Wendy did not mention hospitals, Duncan.

I think some parking enforcement companies are “villains”. They take over the running of parking space on behalf of the landowner in return for a share of the proceeds but do not exercise the degree of discretion or sensitivity that the landowner might be expected to exercise themselves. Of course, the landowners should be careful who they let the management of their parking spaces to and many places like hospitals have made mistakes and replaced enforcement companies that have led to too many complaints. But the commercial nature of parking enforcement on private land means that it is nothing more than a money-making operation in many cases.

The major hospital in Norfolk was located well outside Norwich on a greenfield site and requires an enormous amount of parking provision which it manages reasonably well but still attracts complaints. It also has a large bus station adjacent to the main entrances, but in rural areas the bus is not always a convenient option for getting to the hospital. Hospitals and other facilities that offer public services often outsource what they regard as their subsidiary or non-core activities to firms that promise more money than is realistically appropriate so they enforce aggressively. If it can’t be free of charge, I think parking at hospitals should be cost-neutral and not used as a revenue generator.

I received a parking fine which I had paid 2 pounds luckily I still have the ticket I had inadvertently entered cc as my car number instead cx15osk.i informed smart parking of this but they insisted that I pay the fine .should I pay the fine and be done with it or fight it

I would pay up, Allan. I doubt the company would let you off – this is a common problem and they just point to their rules and give no discretion for a trivial violation. One digit wrong in a seven digit code should not incur a ludicrous penalty especially when there is proof of payment. It is just mercenary conduct. I sometimes think the payment systems and machines are designed to make it easy for people to make mistakes which can then be grossly penalised.

Caroline says:
3 November 2019

My daughter was issued a PCN notice for parking in the car park of a closed down store. The first she heard about it was a letter in mid September from G24 saying they sent a PCN dated 15 August, but as she had not paid within 14 days she now owes £100. The first notice was not delivered, even though G24 say they sent it. She realised she had overstayed and sent £60 fee, with an explanation that she had not received the original PCN dated 15 August. They sent the cheque back with a note saying ‘insufficient funds – amount owed £100’. She then sent a full letter saying that this was unreasonable as she accepted the fine but had not been given an opportunity to pay the discounted fee. They are still refusing to accept this and do not acknowledge that the first PCN did not arrive. We feel they are being ridiculously mean over this – she cannot really afford the £60, let alone a £100 charge because they are being bullies. I spoke to someone at G24 ‘Customer Service’ and they suggested she writes to the Complaints Department. She did this, but they just replied saying all the platitudes of ‘we consider every case on it’s merits’ and ‘we sent a Parking Charge Notice on 15 August, the fee of £100 is still outstanding’. No mention of the fact that the PCN did nor arrive. They clearly DO NOT take each case on it’s merits, they just blast out a standard letter demanding the higher fee. I am so annoyed at their arrogant, bullying methods, threatening a court hearing etc, when she has offered to pay the £60 as soon as she knew about the charge. The situation seems ridiculously out of proportion.
G24 are members of the IPC, which apparently overturns only 20% of charges. Is it worth complaining to them? This all seems so unfair, it seems that she is being penalised because the Post Office did not deliver the letter G24 do not send their letters out by tracked or signed for delivery, so they cannot prove it has been delivered.
Any thoughts of what her next step should be?

The next step for G24 is to take legal action to try to enforce their PCN through the courts. Many companies give up at that point because they would incur significant costs. Your daughter could just ignore any further correspondence from the company, or from agents acting on their behalf, and hope for the best. I think a court would give credit for your daughter’s action in admitting the contravention and sending a payment of £60. It might also expect the company to prove it issued a PCN to the correct address by post. These factors would inhibit any reasonable company from pursuing the case; by rejecting the £60 tendered by your daughter it has made a commercial mistake in my view.

To charge £60 for parking on the forecourt of a closed store is disgraceful enough in itself as it inconveniences nobody, but to compound it with a £40 additional charge for ‘late payment’ shows what a racket parking on private land has become.

Maybe we should require parking penalty demands that are sent by post to be “signed for” – not an expensive option – then there should be no dispute about whether they have been received. Currently, from the issuers perspective, anyone could deny receipt.

The issue I keep returning to is a campaign to abolish the excessive and extortionate charges and set a much lower legal limit. (some may have noticed 🙂 )

Caroline says:
3 November 2019

Thank you for your helpful comments. She has now raised a complaint with the IPC in the hope they see reason, but not holding out too much hope judging by the online comments about them. She is going to write to G24 once again asking for an explanation as to why they will not accept that she didn’t get the letter – something they have not referred to at all so far, We appreciate that anyone can say that, but their ‘proof of posting’ is not a proof of delivery. They can only prove it if they sent it ‘signed for’, as mentioned by malcolm r below. She is also going to let them know about the complaint she has filed at the IPC, but they well know about it by tomorrow morning anyway.
As you say, our view is that if any lawyer or judge can see that she has reasonably offered to pay, they will tell G24 they are wasting their time.
Incidentally, their paperwork is a mess too – they send mis-spelt letters which are unsigned, say items are attached but they are not, letters arrive 10 days after the date on them, and they send the returned cheque separated with a handwritten scribbled rejection note on a ‘compliments slip’, which arrives out of sync with the full letter, causing complete confusion. Not impressive, that’s for sure.
I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Caroline says:
3 November 2019

I agree entirely that any PCN should be sent ‘signed for’ if these companies want to prove a letter was delivered. (see more info in reply to John Ward, above). I also feel it will be a hard slog getting the extortionate charges reduced – it may be better to have a better code of practice for these companies, enforceable by law.

Caroline says:
14 November 2019

An update on the issue above! My daughter complained to the IPC but they have rejected her complaint, saying that G24 have records of posting the PCN to her so have not breached the Code of Conduct. They, just like G24, have not responded to the point that the letter/PCN was never delivered! As I said before, it seems that the Post Office are not accountable to anyone and my daughter is being harassed in to paying another £40 because the PO did not deliver the letter. It is incredibly frustrating. At the moment she is so cross she said she is just going to ignore it now as they are both clearly in it together, completely biased and dumb! I have suggested she sends one last letter to G24 saying that this is their final chance to take a commercially sensible view and accept her offer of £60, but she doesn’t see the point. I would love to take it up with someone like Watchdog, Rogue Traders or our local MP (after the General Election!) – this company is hiding behind it’s standard letters and platitudes of ‘we consider every case on it’s merits’ which is total b******t.
So what do you guys think- should she just ignore this now, or send a last letter to show willing? Who could we contact to further expose these awful, inhuman companies.

I don’t think your daughter should ignore this as I think it will only get worse. IPC is the final arbiter and will not entertain any challenge to their ruling. It is hard and unfair but I fear there is no way around it under the present laws.

The postal delivery of parking tickets has increased exponentially since camera enforcement became possible. Local authorities and private parking enforcement companies all do it, but councils can be more accommodating to a challenge and operate the system more justly in my opinion.

I agree that signed-for delivery should be the requirement for the service of a statutory penalty notice – the distinction is that for parking on private land it is not a Penalty Charge Notice [the local authority process] but a Parking Charge Notice which is effectively an invoice for the occupation of space. Although many private-land Parking Charge Notices do not get pursued all the way through the courts, it is unwise to take a gamble on whether or not the enforcement company will do so in your daughter’s case. Even if they ultimately did not take your daughter to court they could make life very unpleasant while they escalate their action through solicitors and debt collectors.

Caroline says:
15 November 2019

Thank you John, Is it worth now going through POPLA? Are they any different to IPC? I feel she should write to G24 to ask for a verification number which is needed for POPLA and at the same time send the £60 cheque as a ‘realistic, sensible conclusion’ to the matter. It’s just bonkers – why do they want to pursue this? We know they cannot send in Bailiffs etc. It is just wrong that they can be so obnoxious and intimidating to individuals, particularly when they are willing to compromise. All these faceless, unaccountable bods in an office somewhere, with no proper address, that you cannot actually speak to. It’s all a life lesson I guess!

Perhaps I have misunderstood the situation, Caroline. I assumed that in your daughter’s case the enforcement company was G24 and that they used IPC as their appeal body. I don’t think there would be a second and separate route to appeal to POPLA if not satisfied with the IPC decision. However, it would be worth your daughter checking because if it is possible to appeal to POPLA then there would be nothing to lose by doing so. Failing that, I think sending a £60 cheque for payment ‘under duress’ might be a good idea; it would be a poor commercial decision to reject it and continue incurring costs . . . and are they really going to hold out for a further £40 for which they would need to raise a case in the County Court with court costs of over £30 plus legal fees and an unpredictable outcome? The problem is that every turn of the wheel in parking enforcement seems to generate an increase in the penalty and firms use this to intimidate people.

Caroline, you can continue to appeal this but I suggest you will be relying on goodwill. In general, anyone can say they have not received a parking charge ( I am not disputing your daughter’s integrity) but, as John says, continuing to not pay can have consequences, including her credit rating. Is it worth it?

Personally, as the initial charge was legitimate, I’d pay the full amount but continue to pursue your case in the hope some sense will prevail.

Why not support a campaign to reduce such extortionate charges? And why don’t we campaign to have all financial demands sent through the post to require a signature to show that they have been received?

Caroline says:
15 November 2019

Thanks John, I believe she can appeal through IPA and POPLA. What is frustrating is that neither IPC or G24 have acknowledged that there are times the post just doesn’t arrive! They both say the PCN was posted and that is enough, so it’s not their problem if it didn’t arrive. We want to go back to IPC and ask why they have not acknowledged the issue of non-delivery, but we cannot see how to. They just did not respond to all the points in the complaint. How can that be acceptable? I spoke to our postman today to ask how Royal Mail handle things if there are questioned over post not being delivered. He said, ‘well, it just happens sometimes, things do get lost’. It seems so unjust that she is being bullied and threatened in to paying another £40 that is not her fault (or G24’s really). I cannot see why they are being so pig-headed about it! They seem incapable of making a measured, balanced decision. Thanks for all the advice anyway.

Caroline says:
15 November 2019

Thanks Malcolm, I am hoping they will see sense in the end. Everything I’ve read says that you shouldn’t pay up then appeal as you are unlikely to ever get a refund. Although it is legitimate, the initial PCN with the offer of a lower rate of £60 never arrived at our address. So that is the crux of the argument. As you say, anyone could say that, but it is absolutely true! So at the moment it’s a case of I will try to persuade her to continue the discussion with them, calmly and rationally, without getting too angry with them!

If your daughter does have a second line of appeal [to POPLA] then I think she should go for it. I wish her the best of luck and hope you will keep us informed of the outcome.

Post does go astray as I received the poll card for someone living many streets away and I shall forward it, but not all would do that [or know how to]. People are also known to sign for things that are not addressed to them.

My daughter was issued PCN fot parking outside our door in our estate where there are restrictions signs on walls or pols you can not park anywhere restricted areas 24 hours but where you are allowed to park is not cleared as most of the restricted areas are marked with double yellow lines but where my daughter parked there is no yellow line we saw parking attendant on the day from our window and asked him we are coming down and when asked he replied he has not done or issued any ticket but couple of days later we received PCN by post challenged this with the company but refused appealed to adjudicator but refused now i don’t know what to do if someone can help me on this i will really appreciate as we feel these people are just a ruthless scrooge after peoples hard earn money

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Zaheer – It is possible that your estate is within a controlled parking zone where parking without a permit is banned except where it is specifically allowed. If that is so there will be notices at the entry points to the zone saying what the generally restricted hours are.

Where we live, parking without a permit is not allowed between 08:30 am and 6:30 pm on Mondays to Saturdays, but there are bays where free parking is allowed [without a permit] for up to two hours at a time and also places [marked with double yellow lines] where waiting is not allowed at any time. Residents who need to park on the road must get a permit for the zone, and they can also buy permits for use by visitors. This is all explained on the local council website and I would expect the same to be the case in your area.

I feel it would be worth speaking to someone at your local council’s parking office in view of the conflicting information from the parking enforcement officer. If you explain that the situation was extremely confusing and there was no intention to commit a parking contravention they might cancel the ticket on this occasion – but don’t count on it: it’s in their discretion but they might have a policy of absolute compliance.

I have suggested that tolerance could be allowed when dealing with parking. I suggest waiving the charge on the first occasion. Rules for parking vary and can be confusing.

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I must admit I have never heard of parking sensors for on-street [public highway] parking controls, but each local highway authority has its own rules to suit local circumstances. Some have parking restrictions for just two hours in the middle of the day in order to prevent all-day parking by commuters, for example. Sometimes there are no restrictions on Saturdays, but some places have restrictions on Sundays, or only on match days for streets near football stadia. It is therefore essential to check the signs although I have found the entry signs to CPZ’s difficult to assimilate on the move since they tend to be right on the junction of a side road and the main road where drivers have to be on the lookout for other traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, etc.

Anon says:
4 November 2019

I by a weekly ticket at a station carpark. I do this on the train but one week it didn’t go through. I can show am a regular customer and this is a genuine error. I was hit with £600 of fines for the 6 days I used the carpark that week. I am appealing because £600 is excessive and unfair for a £24 weekly ticket, I can prove that I am a regular paying customer and not a fare dodger and that at no time did they put a ticket on my windscreen or let me know via the app of the missed ticket, instead they let the fines accumulate then mailed me the fines 3 weeks later. They have now upped the fines to £1040. Do I have a case or shall I let them pursue me to small claims court?

Do you know why it did not go through? If it was their error than you can, I suggest, point that out and that the penalty is unenforceable. If it was your error then they will take the view that you have evaded parking payment for 6 days. I’d suggest you approach them to deal with it on a goodwill basis, with proof that your payment was attempted but failed.

This highlights the iniquity of such penalties, which amount to legalised extortion. It is time something was done about this racket.

I suppose the signal of your mobile failed as you were making the transaction. This can happen on the railway. Is there no payment acceptance notification or confirmation e-mail provided by the parking company? As you probably now realise, it is worth checking that the payment has been made.

It is unfortunate that you had no idea of the failed payment and so carried on parking every day for a week. I think if you explained all this and offered to pay an administrative charge the company should be prepared to negotiate a lower payment but some companies never concede and pursue a debt all the way.

What you should do next might depend on whether the car park is covered by the parking on private land regime or by Railway Byelaws. If the former, the company will have to take you to court and you would have an opportunity to explain the situation to a judge who would have the power to order a reduction in the charge and give time to pay.. If it is a Byelaw offence proceedings would take place in the Magistrate’s Court, which has criminal jurisdiction, so you might need to take legal advice.

Anon says:
5 November 2019

I think I lost the signal, I also bought my wife a ticket on the same day so saw the email confirmation but didn’t realise this was hers and not mine. After years of doing this I didn’t check the email every week. I have no evidence of the fact that I tried to purchase the ticket.

Anon says:
5 November 2019

I don’t know what the parking is covered by, the parking company is Saba

They have sent me more letters adding a £70 admin charge to each of the £100 fines, I cant argue that it wasn’t me parking there as it was but I am arguing that they could have notified me of the error after the first day (ticket or via the app) and that the £600 (now over £1000) is excessive for a £24 ticket. The cost of an annual season ticket is less than £900. My question is, do I have a valid case or am I going to end up paying 000’s of £??

As far as I know if no ticket is applied to the car the parking company has 14 days in which to send you notice of the “offence”. You would, thus, not be notified in time to correct the problem.

You say you did not get the (first) notification until 3 weeks after the event. This time could prove crucial as the parking company must send notification in accordance with the Protection of Freedom Act ( http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/9/schedule/4/enacted ).
Worth checking, and even involving a solicitor in view of the amount. Try Which? Legal.

“(4)The notice must be given by—
(a)handing it to the keeper, or leaving it at a current address for service for the keeper, within the relevant period; or
(b)sending it by post to a current address for service for the keeper so that it is delivered to that address within the relevant period.
(5)The relevant period for the purposes of sub-paragraph (4) is the period of 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended.
(6)A notice sent by post is to be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to have been delivered (and so “given” for the purposes of sub-paragraph (4)) on the second working day after the day on which it is posted; and for this purpose “working day” means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday in England and Wales.

Good luck.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Anon says:
5 November 2019

I did offer to pay them £100 for the first fine as I felt that was appropriate given the circumstances but they never responded.


I appealed a parking ticket almost a month ago on the basis that the infringement described was incorrect. It said I was parked in a time restricted area when I was on a part of the road that is unrestricted all day. I have not heard back from them as yet although I had confirmation that my appeal had been logged. Is there a time limit for the council to consider appeals?


I have been given a parking ticket that does not have a Parking Charge Number on it, therefore I could not pay or appeal it on the company’s website. I have emailed them and they have asked for my reg plate. Do I have to pay it without a pcn?

I received an NTK notice from 4 months ago. Is this legal and is there a time limit for the issue of these notices ?

Paula says:
8 November 2019

I’ve received a PCN from Horizon Parking but I believe they have put the wrong date and time on it. Do they have to provide photo evidence? I did park in a Sainsburys car park that they manage but not when they are claiming. I parked there on a Sunday – I checked to see if there were any signs about parking but didn’t see any – they are claiming that I parked there on a Thursday and the time of issue was 23.31. This is a school night and I have a young daughter who goes to bed at 8.30pm and I’m a single mum and no one else babysits for me on week nights so I know definitely wasn’t there then and I wouldn’t have had her out at that time of night. I think that the Sunday that I parked there was the first day that they had taken over managing this car park. To make matters worse I’ve only received the second letter sent to me which has escalated the charge from £42 to £70 and this was dated 9th August – I rented my house out to someone and they held on to this letter until now and I’d forgotten to change where my vehicle was register to my new address. I’d be grateful for any advice.

Hi Paula, if you have not already contacted Horizon to challenge your ticket, I think you should so so as soon as possible.

Which? has some guidance here:-https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-appeal-a-parking-ticket-on-private-land

That doesn’t specifically include the case of “the alleged date and time on the ticket falsely accuses me parking there when I did not” but I think similar principles would apply.

Although your case is complicated by a change of address, I don’t think that negates your right to challenge a false accusation.

I got a Parking Charge Notice and going through the notice, they have failed to state that you can not pay and then appeal anywhere on the letter, where as the BPA guidelines in section 22.9a state it must be made clear that you can not do both. Would this be grounds for an appeal ?

Hi Bldz, are those are only BPA _guidelines_ my guess is that breaking them does not in itself provide grounds for an appeal.

This question was also discussed here:-https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=6068365 where someone eventually also posted the same view as me.

I also found a further thread where it looked like legal challenges based on unclear or breached parking contract T&C’s might be viable but not for the fain hearted, see:-http://forums.pepipoo.com/lofiversion/index.php/t127487.html

Hi. I received a PCN from NSGL parking. The firm was a 2nd notice with a charge for the £100, I didn’t receive the original notice. I was parked at the local leisure centre, which I was using however the system would not let me log my reg details and I passed them to the receptionist to enter. I replied to them using the online system stating this and had an email from them today rejectung my appeal, stating that the system accepted hundreds of details that day and they automatically issued the letter 2 days after the ‘offence’
What should I do now? Is it worth appealing to the independent body or should I just ignore?

Kelly, this sounds like a tricky case, but it may be worth appealing from the basis that you took all reasonable steps to pay, in spite of the difficulty of being unable to enter your reg into the system.

Do you know whether or not the receptionist was able to enter the details on your behalf?

Hi Derek.
You do not pay for parking at the leisure centre, just have to enter your reg number into the system once inside. The receptionist did say she would enter it in.
They just re-sent the pictures of me entering and exiting the car park, and said that the letter was automatically sent, no proof of postage provided.
I will appeal to the trade body and see what happens.

Kelly, thanks for the clarification. That makes it quite ridiculous that you can be “fined” for an administrative failure like the one you’ve described.

Friend received a parking ticket from a private parking firm , he has ignored their demands for payments , and know they are demanding £800

Mark, do you know whether or not your friend has legitimate reasons for refusing to pay?

steve says:
12 November 2019

Had a parking ticket for parking in a loading bay area on September 26 , I appealed but lost . They have only just got back to me today to say I have to pay the fine. Is there a time limit as to when they have to reply back to you?

James says:
12 November 2019

private owned car park , unknowingly because of no stand signs and heavy leaf fall i parked in a disabled bay, and received a £60 fine . since become aware of the disabled marking on the tarmac under the leafs but do they have a duty to keep the car park clean and signs visible ?

I suggest you make an appeal, James. Many appeals are successful.

Disabled bays are usually wider and near the entrance to shops.

Car park markings are unenforceable if they are obscured by leaves or dirt. I agree that you should appeal.