Appeal PCN – What You Need To Know 2022

HomeCouncil FinesAppeal PCN – What You Need To Know 2022
Appeal PCN

Can you appeal a PCN, and if so, how do you appeal a PCN? We answer all your common questions about challenging a PCN across the UK. If you were angry to receive a PCN you don’t think is fair, this is the guide for you. Read on and potentially save yourself having to pay a fine now. 

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 with 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.

Where can you legally park in the UK?

The RAC has published a comprehensive guide discussing where you can and can’t legally park in the UK. If you have a question about parking laws in the UK, it has probably been answered in their long post. Everything is covered from parking on private land, yellow lines, white zig zags and more. 

What is a parking charge notice?

A parking charge notice is a fine received when you are caught parking illegally in the UK. The parking charge notice may be placed on your vehicle windshield by a council parking warden, or it could be posted to your address. 

What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is a fine that could be issued for parking illegally, breaking some traffic laws or for not paying some road bills on time, such as a fee for entering the London Congestion or Emission Zones or for using the Dartford Crossing. A PCN is issued by a local council or transport authority.

The type of driving offences that may result in a PCN are driving in a bus lane or ignoring signs that prevent you from turning right or left on certain roads. 

Once the PCN has been received, you have 28 days to pay the fine. You can pay a reduced rate if you make the payment within 14 days. 

Penalty Charge Notice Vs Fixed Penalty Notice 

It’s important to know the difference between a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). The former are issued by councils and transport authorities as explained above, while the latter is issued by the police or the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). 

A Fixed Penalty Notice is issued for more serious traffic offences, such as speeding. When you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice, it’s likely you will also receive points on your license. Paying a Fixed Penalty Notice will prevent the matter from escalating to the magistrate’s court. But you’ll need to go to court to appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice, and you may have to pay court costs. 

How do you pay a PCN?

Most PCNs can be paid online. You’ll need to visit the website of your PCN issuer and enter some details to view the PCN and make a payment. To pay the PCN, you’ll need to enter your PCN number, which should be visible at the top of your notice, and your car registration number. 

Appeal PCN

What happens if you don’t pay a PCN?

Ignoring a PCN can make the fine grow bigger and could even lead to court action and a visit from an enforcement officer (bailiff).

We cover the three steps that may take place if you choose to not pay the PCN in your name. 

#1: Charge Certificate

A charge certificate will be issued to you if you do not pay the PCN in the 28 days given. This charge certificate extends the time you have to repay by 14 more days. However, this is not just a final reminder. Once a charge certificate has been sent, the original fine is increased by 50%. For example, if you received an £80 fine for illegal parking and then received a charge certificate due to non-payment, you will now owe £120. 

#2: Court Order

If you do not pay the increased fine after 14 days have passed, the PCN issuer could begin legal action. They could ask for a court order to be issued against you, which will force you to pay the fine. This court order is otherwise known as an order of recovery. After receiving a court order to pay, you’ll be given an additional 21 days to pay the fine. 

Learn how to appeal against a PCN court order towards the end of this guide!

#3: Enforcement Action

If you do not clear the full PCN debt after 21 days, the issuer can then use enforcement officers to recover the money owed. They will send these officers, also known as bailiffs, to your home. They will request you make a full payment or could repossess valuables to clear the debt. 

Can you appeal a PCN?

You’re allowed to appeal against your PCN as long as you lodge your appeal within 28 days of being issued with the notice. How you received your PCN will determine if you first have to make an informal appeal or not. 

Informal appeals Vs formal appeals

You should make an informal appeal to a local council when the PCN was issued by it being left on your vehicle or handed to you in the street. You should contact your council to clarify how to make an informal appeal.

In any other situation, including PCNs from other groups or issued through the post (including parking tickets from local councils), you will need to make a formal appeal. You can also make a formal appeal if an informal appeal was rejected. A formal challenge is also known as a representation. 

Your representation should clearly outline the reason or reasons why you believe the PCN should be cancelled and you should not have to pay a fine. This needs to be done in writing. To back up your claims, you should provide as much evidence as possible. Your supporting evidence can be anything that strengthens your application, such as photographic evidence of your vehicle parked or an out of order sign on a ticket machine. 

How do you write a letter of appeal for PCN?

Your letter of PCN appeal needs to include your name, address, penalty or parking charge notice reference number, your vehicle registration number and the date your PCN was issued. It should then go on to state a valid reason or reasons why you believe the PCN should be cancelled and no fine should be owed. 

You can save time and worry by downloading the free appeal PCN letter template from MoneyNerd. It makes appealing your PCN easier and quicker. The letter should be accompanied by supporting evidence, which may include a witness statement or photographic evidence.  

What is the best excuse to appeal a parking ticket?

The best excuse to use when appealing a parking ticket is that you were not parked illegally. Naturally, you’ll only be able to use this excuse if you were in fact parked legally. Some of the other good excuses to get out of a parking fine include inadequate road signs, breaking down or the method to pay for parking was out of order. 

You can read some other ways to get out of a parking ticket on this page of the Citizens Advice website.  


What happens if your Penalty Charge Notice appeal is rejected?

If your formal representation against a PCN is rejected, you will be sent a ‘notice of rejection’ and be given a further 28 days to make a full payment. Alternatively, you can escalate the formal appeal to an independent tribunal. 

If you don’t pay and don’t escalate the formal appeal within the 28 days given, you will be issued with a charge certificate that gives you a further 14 days to pay and increased the fine by 50%. If it continues to go unpaid it will lead to a court order and potentially the use of bailiffs. 

Appeal PCN to the Independent Tribunal

You have 28 days to escalate your PCN appeal to an independent tribunal if you believe the outcome of your formal appeal was wrong. This appeal process is different depending on where you live in the UK. 

If you escalate your formal appeal to an independent tribunal in England or Wales, you’ll either use the London Tribunal or the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. 

London Tribunal Vs Traffic Penalty Tribunal

If your PCN was issued in London, you must use the London Tribunal. For PCNs issued anywhere else in England or Wales, you must use the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. 

The London Tribunal adjudicates on all appeals against local London councils, as well as appeals against PCNs issued by Transport for London. You can even lodge your new formal appeal online using their website. You’ll need to re-state your case to the tribunal. 

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal accepts all PCN appeals against local authorities outside of London, including those in Wales. Independent lawyers will judge your case, which can also be submitted online via the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s website. 

Appeal PCN in Scotland

You must escalate your appeal in Scotland with the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal for Scotland (PBLTS) after receiving a rejection from the Scottish local authority. You must do this within 28 days. There are eight reasons why the tribunal will overturn the decision in your favour. These are written in law and available to read here

Appeal PCN in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland also has a dedicated department and independent tribunal for dealing with PCN appeals after first being rejected by the issuer. You can find more information using the Department of Justice website

Can you challenge a PCN court order?

You can challenge a court order requesting that you pay a PCN as long as you make your appeal within 21 days of the court order being issued. You can only successfully appeal against the court order if either:

  1. You already paid the PCN in full
  2. You were not given information on how to appeal the original PCN
  3. Your PCN appeal is still in progress and has not been rejected
  4. Your PCN was rejected but is now in progress with the independent tribunal 

How do you challenge a PCN court order?

There are different forms to challenge a PCN court order. The right form to use depends on the reason for your PCN. A full list of the forms can be found here

Once completed, you need to send the form to the Traffic Enforcement Centre. You can send a digital version of the form to or send a hard copy by post to:

Traffic Enforcement Centre

County Court Business Centre

St Katherine’s House

21-27 St Katherine’s Street



If your appeal against a court order is successful, the order of recovery will be erased. Your PCN may then be cancelled, or the PCN issuer might restart the process using the correct procedures that were not used the first time around. 

Appeal against a parking ticket from a private company

It’s also possible that you received a parking ticket that was not from a local council. Some private landowners will give you a parking ticket if you exceed your allotted time or did not buy a ticket to park at all. One example of this could be supermarkets. 

If you have received a parking ticket from a private company, you can still appeal against the parking ticket if you believe it is wrong. You should speak to them directly to find out where to send your appeal. If they reject the appeal, you can also escalate the appeal to an independent tribunal. 

The independent service you should use will be determined by what accredited trade association the company has memberships with. If they are members of the British Parking Association (BPA), escalate the matter to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA). And if they are a member of the International Parking Committee (IPC), use the Independent Appeals Service (IAS). 

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.


Read more about dealing with PCNs for FREE!

Thanks for taking the time to read this detailed guide on appealing against your PCNs. We hope you have found the information above helpful and we really hope you can get your parking ticket cancelled. 

If you have other questions about a PCN or parking ticket you have received, including old tickets causing debts, check out the other guides on MoneyNerd. We’ve answered lots more PCN questions already!