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Apcoa Parking Fine – Pay or Appeal? 

Scott Nelson MoneyNerd Janine Marsh MoneyNerd
Scott Nelson MoneyNerd

Scott Nelson

Debt Expert

Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.

Learn more about Scott
Janine Marsh MoneyNerd

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.

Learn more about Janine
· May 23rd, 2024
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Have you received an Apcoa parking fine and are wondering if you should pay it or challenge it?

This is the perfect place for you. Each month, more than 130,000 people visit our website to get help with fines and parking tickets.

This article will explain:

  •  What Apcoa parking is.
  •  If you must pay Apcoa parking fines.
  •  How to challenge an Apcoa parking fine.
  •  Tips to avoid an Apcoa parking fine.

Research from Which? revealed that although 78% of members consider private parking fines unfair, many refrain from challenging them due to doubts about the success of their appeal.1

Don’t worry; we’re here to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to challenge your Apcoa parking fine effectively. 

Most Ticket Appeals Succeed

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your parking fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor feeds, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

Chat below to get started with JustAnswer

*According to Martin Lewis, 56% of people who try to appeal their ticket are successful and get the charge overturned, so it’s well worth a try.

Apcoa parking fine

As part of operating their car parks, Apcoa can issue parking fines to motorists who don’t pay for parking when they’re supposed to.

Other reasons include:

  • Parking badly/improper parking
  • Overstaying the amount of time paid to park

Here is a real-life example:

“I parked my car in a train station car park but the machine wasn’t working. With no time to spare as I needed to catch my train, I wrote a note with my number and said that the machine was out of order when I arrived and to call me to be able to pay over the phone. I have come back today to find a parking fine from APCOA saying it’s £80 or £40 if I pay within 14 days.”

  • DW91 (Money Saving Expert Forum)

An Apcoa parking fine is a private parking ticket, which is also known as a Parking Charge Notice.

Don’t confuse these parking tickets with Penalty Charge Notices, which are handed out by local councils and other authorities for parking and traffic contraventions.

A Parking Charge Notice isn’t actually a real fine.

These parking tickets are more like invoices and only become real fines if a judge orders a motorist to pay. 

Do you have to pay a parking fine to Apcoa?

You can challenge an Apcoa Parking Charge Notice, and if you win your appeal you won’t have to pay.

You might read online that you can ignore private parking tickets and not have to pay because these aren’t real fines.

This could be a costly mistake.

Janine Marsh, our financial expert, says not to ignore private parking tickets as it leads to escalating issues like constant letters and debt collectors’ visits.

If you dispute the ticket, appeal directly to the parking company.

Successful Appeal Case Study


Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

Reasons you could challenge a parking ticket

You could have grounds to challenge an Apcoa parking fine if:

  • The rules to park weren’t obvious
  • You didn’t break any rules when you parked
  • Someone else was driving and parked the vehicle
  • You had a good reason for breaking the T&Cs for using the car park
  • You believe the charge is more than it should be

How do you appeal for Apcoa parking?

You must first make your Apcoa parking ticket appeal directly to operator and follow the Apcoa ticket appeal process.

The appeal must be lodged within 28 days of the parking ticket being served or by another deadline if stated on the ticket. 

Be aware that this means you’ll miss out on any discounted rate to pay early. So if you lose your appeal you’ll have to pay the full price of the Apcoa parking fine. 

Appeal Process Steps

We’ve put together this table to help you better understand the appeal process. If you want to learn more about the steps you should take, please read our detailed guide.

Process: Steps you should take:
When you receive the ticket… You should gather as much evidence as you can to support your appeal claim and prove that the ticket was unfairly issued.
If you were given the ticket in person/attached to your car… You must make an informal appeal (sent to the local authority/council that issued the PCN) within 14 days. This should be a letter with the evidence proving why the ticket was incorrectly given.
If it was posted to you… You will be given 21 days to submit an informal appeal (from the day you received the letter). Your informal appeal should be a letter with the evidence proving why the ticket was incorrectly given.
If the informal appeal is rejected… You will receive a Notice to Owner and will have 28 days to respond to this with a formal appeal. You can conduct the formal appeal online or via paper form. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal can send you one of these forms.
If the formal appeal is rejected… You will receive a Notice of Rejection. From here, you are free to challenge the council’s verdict at an independent tribunal.
If the independent tribunal disagrees with your appeal… You should pay the ticket within 28 days of the tribunal rejecting your appeal. If you don’t, the fine will be increased by 50%.
If you don’t have the money to pay the fine, you should contact Citizens Advice or another debt charity.

Don’t forget that your appeal should include a good reason why you didn’t pay or overstayed.

For example, you might have been involved in a medical emergency. You should support any claims with evidence when possible. 

We’ve included a case study of a motorist who wants to know whether he can appeal an Apcoa fine or not.

Source: Moneysavingexpert

You may want to use our appeal template which sets out how to challenge a parking ticket on private land.

Will Apcoa take you to court?

If you don’t pay or appeal the Apcoa parking ticket by the deadline, you might face legal action for unpaid parking fines.

But it’s more likely that Apcoa will first pass the case onto a debt collection agency.

Debt collection agencies don’t have any additional powers to make you pay, but the debt collection agency is likely to threaten court action if you don’t.

Plus, they are persistent and rarely give up.

However, it’s impossible to know whether the debt collection agency is bluffing or whether they really have been instructed by Apcoa to take legal action.

Just because these fines are a smaller amount doesn’t mean they won’t take legal action.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can take a huge weight off your mind.

Get started

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How to Appeal a parking Charge Notice at Luton Airport

Apcoa operates in a number of airports across the UK. If you believe that you have been wrongly issued an Apcoa parking ticket at Luton Airport, you can appeal by talking directly to Apcoa.

You don’t have to send a letter to appeal the Apcoa PCN. You can do everything online using their official website.

If possible, you should provide any evidence you have.

If your appeal to Apcoa is rejected, you can make an appeal with POPLA, which is an independent appeals service for private parking fines in the UK.

In your appeal, it is important to include a detailed description of why you believe the Apcoa parking charge has been wrongfully issued.

Also, you must wait to get the notice of rejection from the operator before you contact POPLA.

How to Appeal your Parking Fine at Birmingham Airport

Several people have claimed to have been wrongly issued with an Apcoa parking fine at Birmingham Airport as a result of using the drop-off zone.

Specifically, motorists claim that, despite using the appropriate area to quickly drop off passengers, they have been given a Parking Charge Notice.

If you have experienced this, or you believe that you have been wrongly issued an Apcoa parking fine at Birmingham Airport for another reason, you can appeal directly to Apcoa.

If the appeal is rejected, you should make a second appeal to POPLA, including a detailed description of what happened, and any evidence you have.

Apcoa PCN appeal rejected – next step

Apcoa will write or email you to let you know the outcome of the appeal.

If they reject the PCN challenge they will provide details of how to escalate the matter.

Escalating parking fine disputes are your right.

You’re permitted to take the appeal to an independent body and get a final decision from an unbiased panel. 

The panel could inform Apcoa that they should cancel the parking ticket, or they may agree with Apcoa based on your arguments and evidence. This will usually be the end of the matter.

Although you could start legal proceedings yourself albeit an expense option.

Apcoa Parking Fine Contact Details

Apcoa customer service: 0345 301 1151
Wellington House, 4-10 Cowley Road, Uxbridge UB8 2XW
Website: https://www.apcoa.co.uk/

Hire a Parking Solicitor for less than a coffee.

If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket then getting some professional advice is a good idea.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.

For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.

Try it below

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.


  1. Which? – The rise of private parking fines
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The authors
Scott Nelson MoneyNerd
Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.
Janine Marsh MoneyNerd
Appeals Expert
Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.