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Apcoa Parking Fine – Pay or Appeal? 2022 Laws

apcoa parking fine

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

Should you pay an Apcoa parking fine? You may have received an Apcoa Parking Charge Notice in the post or left on your vehicle, leaving you confused about what to do next. We ask whether you need to pay these “fines” and look at some other options. 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

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

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

What is Apcoa?

Apcoa is a private car park operator in the UK with over 400 car parks in operation. They manage and operate everything to do with these car parks, which may be found in urbanised areas or attached to airports and train stations. 

Is Apcoa parking private?

Apcoa is a private car park operator, meaning their car parks are not managed by the local authority. You can book and purchase a private car park spot with Apcoa online, but you can often just pay for your parking when you arrive. 

Who owns Apcoa parking?

The APCOA Group is owned by Eurazeo, which is a French company. It acquired The APCOA Group in 2007 for almost 900 million euros. They purchased the group with plans to expand across Europe and eventually become the largest private car park operator on the continent. 

Apcoa parking fine

As part of operating their car parks, Apcoa has to issue parking fines to motorists who don’t pay for parking when they’re supposed to, or when they overstay the amount of time they 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 fine, 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 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. 

How much is an Apcoa parking fine?

Under new rules, private parking companies like Apcoa can only issue parking tickets for a maximum of £50 outside of London and £80 inside the capital. Moreover, Apcoa must offer at least a 40% discount to the motorist if they pay within the first 14 days of being issued the ticket. 

This means Apcoa private parking tickets could equate to £30 outside of London and £48 inside of London. They might even offer a larger discount for paying early. 

Do I 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. This means some people won’t have to pay their Apcoa parking fine. 

You might read online that you can ignore private parking tickets and not have to pay, often because these aren’t real fines. Although some people may get away with it, this could be a costly mistake. 

Does Apcoa take you to court?

If you don’t pay or appeal the Apcoa parking ticket by the deadline, you might be taken to court. But it’s more likely that Apcoa will first pass the “debt” 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.

However, it’s impossible to know whether the debt collection agency is bluffing so you get worried and pay. Or whether they really have been instructed by Apcoa that they will take legal action. Just because these fines are a smaller amount doesn’t mean they won’t take legal action.

How do I appeal for Apcoa parking?

You must first make your Apcoa parking ticket appeal directly to Apcoa. 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. 

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. 

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

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. 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. 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

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

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

Should you pay an Apcoa PCN – quick recap

The decision to appeal can be tough even if you have a good excuse and sound evidence. The opportunity to pay a reduced fare and avoid the appeal process can be attractive. The decision to pay and get the discount or appeal is a personal one. 


But don’t ignore these private parking fines or there’s a chance you could be taken to court.

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