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Council and Police Fines
Council Parking Fines

Birmingham PCN – 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 27th, 2024
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Birmingham City PCN

If you’ve just received a Birmingham Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and you’re not sure whether to pay it or challenge it, this article is here to help. Every month, more than 130,000 people visit our site for guidance on fines and parking tickets. Believe it or not, Churchill Motor Insurance reports that in 2022, UK councils issued an average of 19,631 daily parking fines, a 12% increase from the previous year.1

In this guide, we will provide clear information on:

  • What a Birmingham PCN is.
  • If you need to pay Birmingham parking fines.
  • How to appeal a Birmingham PCN.
  • How to avoid a PCN in Birmingham in the future.
  • What can happen if you don’t pay the fine.

We know that getting a PCN can be a bit upsetting. But don’t worry; we’re here to help with lots of useful advice and examples. We understand your situation and want to help you make the best decision.

Let’s get started.

Most Appeals Succeed

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

*Around 35,000 people dispute their tickets each year with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, and a striking 64% of those appeals are successful, so it’s well worth a try. 

What is a PCN?

A Penalty Charge Notice – shortened to PCN – is a fine issued by local authorities in the UK. They are predominantly issued for parking violations but can also be issued for some driving offences and not paying road tolls. Therefore a Birmingham PCN is one of these fines issued by Birmingham City Council.

The type of driving offence that could get you a PCN from Birmingham City Council is:

  • Driving in bus lanes
  • Stopping on a red route
  • Turning right or left when not allowed. 

Some of the reasons for receiving a PCN for parking offences include:

  • Parking in a parking space without the required permit or payment
  • Parking on a double yellow line.

A Penalty Charge Notice is not the same as private parking fines, called Parking Charge Notices. The latter is not legally enforceable at first. 

What is the Clean Air Zone?

The Government and local authorities are working to tackle air pollution in Birmingham by encouraging owners of the most polluting vehicles to avoid the zone or upgrade to replace these vehicles to improve air quality.

You can check if you have to pay to enter a Clean Air Zone by entering your vehicle registration number. 

If you still enter one of these zones and own a vehicle that does not meet the required vehicle emission standards, then you will have to make a payment.

The Clean Air Zone covers an area of the city centre inside the A4540 Middleway (but not the Middleway itself). Road signs mark these zones as you approach the zone. 

Birmingham pcn

Here you can see that this forum member on MoneySavingExpert has received two PCNs whilst in Birmingham and wants to know whether it is worth challenging them.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

How much is a fine?

Penalty Charge Notices for parking offences start at £50 for overstaying in some council car parks, but most other parking offence fines start at £70 and increase depending on the severity of the parking offence.

The Penalty Charge Notice fine for not paying the Birmingham Clean Air Zone charge is £120

All Penalty Charge Notice fines can be halved if you make a payment in 14 days. For example, if you receive a PCN for £70, you’ll only have to pay £35 if you pay within 14 days. 

Do you have to pay?

You must pay a PCN from Birmingham Council within 28 days, or 14 days to receive a 50% discount on the fine.

The only time you do not have to meet the payment deadlines for a Birmingham PCN is if you are appealing the fine. You need to make a PCN Birmingham appeal within 28 days of receiving the ticket.

If the PCN is withdrawn after a successful appeal, you never have to pay this parking fine. To better understand how an appeal process works, please review the following table.

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.

If you receive a PCN and choose to ignore it, you risk the penalty charge going up and being registered as a debt, subject to enforcement by bailiffs. From my experience, it is never worth ignoring a PCN and hoping it will go away!

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.

What happens if you don’t pay?

You will be issued a £120 Penalty Charge Notice from Birmingham City Council if you don’t pay the Birmingham Clean Air Zone charge by the deadline. The Clean Air Zone regulations state that you have until the end of the sixth day after you drove within the Birmingham Clean Air Zone to make a payment, currently £8 per vehicle. 

Can you appeal?

According to Birmingham Council rules, all appeals against a Birmingham City Council Penalty Charge Notice must be lodged within 28 days. After 28 days, you cannot challenge your council parking ticket. 

How do I challenge it?

You can make a PCN Birmingham appeal with your arguments against the parking fine, which may be something like:

  1. Your car broke down
  2. The ticket machine wasn’t working
  3. You were involved in an emergency and couldn’t get to your vehicle in time.

The appeals process includes submitting your appeal online and attaching any evidence, including any photographic proof, to support your case. You can view the photographic evidence for your case online. At the time of writing, the response time for appeals is at least 4 weeks.

When a formal appeal is denied, you might still get your Birmingham PCN erased. After the council rejects your appeal you can escalate the matter to an independent tribunal. This tribunal will judge whether the parking ticket should be enforced or cancelled and has the final judgement. 

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

Get started

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How do you pay?

You can pay a Birmingham City Council parking ticket over the phone, by cheque, at a PayPoint location with cash, or the council’s website accepts online payments. You’ll need your parking ticket number to make a payment, which is a 10-digit number found on the PCN

Birmingham PCN Contact Details

Pay by phone: 0121 667 4964
Post: Birmingham City Council (Highways), PO Box 77, Birmingham B4 7WA
Website: https://www.birmingham.gov.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

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In partnership with Just Answer.


  1. SkyNews – Parking Tickets Statistics
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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.