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City of London PCN – Should you Pay or Appeal? 2022 Laws

City of London PCN

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

The City of London is a non-stop buzzing area of London that many people visit. If you were recently here in your vehicle and got stung by a City of London PCN, you probably want to know if you have to pay. We discuss your options in detail after receiving a London PCN.

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 the City of London?

The City of London refers to an area in the centre of London which is home to big banks and financial institutions. It’s sometimes referred to as the financial centre of London or the UK. 

The municipal governing body of this region of London is the City of London Corporation, which is like a local council of the area. 

What is a City of London PCN?

The City of London Corporation can issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to motorists who are deemed guilty of contraventions within its jurisdiction. 

For the most part, these Penalty Charge Notices are parking fines for not paying the correct parking ticket to stay in the area, or not paying at all. But they can be issued for traffic offences as well, such as using a bus lane. 

A worker for the City of London Corporation can leave a Penalty Charge Notice on your car. This will be a small yellow packet stuck to your windscreen. But if you get caught on camera, the City of London Corporation will ask for your address from the DVLA and send the PCN in the post. 

A Penalty Charge Notice is not the same as a private parking ticket!

How much is a PCN in London?

A Penalty Charge Notice costs either £80 or £130 in London, which can be much more than in other parts of the UK. You’ll be fined £80 for less serious parking contravention and £130 for more serious parking offences. 

However, you can get 50% off your parking fine from the City of London Corporation. If you pay your Penalty Charge Notice within 14 days of being served the fine, the City of London will allow you to pay a 50% reduced fine. This means your City of London PCN could cost either £40 or £65. 

How do I pay a PCN London?

You can usually pay your Penalty Charge Notice in a variety of ways, including over the phone or by cheque. But the easiest way to pay a London council parking fine is on the council’s website. You can pay your City of London PCN online here

Whenever you want to make a payment, you’ll need to have a couple of details to hand. You will need your vehicle registration number and your PCN reference number. These help identify your fine and ensure that the payment goes towards clearing the fine in your name rather than somebody else’s. 

Your PCN reference number is found at the top of your parking ticket document. 

What happens if I don’t pay a City of London PCN?

You have 28 days to pay or appeal against your PCN, and if you don’t, your fine is increased by 50% to either £120 or £195. The council will send you a charge certificate to notify you of the fine increase. The deadline to pay the increased fine is 14 days after being served with the charge certificate. 

How do I challenge a charge certificate?

You cannot challenge a charge certificate. The opportunity to appeal against your Penalty Charge Notice is within the 28 days before the charge certificate gets issued. 

However, if you already paid the parking fine and were subsequently issued a charge certificate, you should contact the council to see what’s going on. There could be a delay in automated admin processes which caused the charge certificate to be sent out. 

What happens if I ignore a charge certificate?

If you don’t pay the increased fine from the charge certificate within 14 days, the local authority will ask for a court order to be issued against you. A judge will issue an order that makes it your responsibility to pay the fine, which is now considered a debt to the local authority. 

The amount owed can increase again at this stage. If you ignore the court order and don’t clear the fine or make arrangements to pay over time, the authority can enforce the debt with the help of bailiffs. A bailiff will attempt to recover payment or seize your goods to an equal value of the debt.

Your debt will have increased further if bailiffs are involved. Their charges are not paid by the local authority but instead added to the total debt owed, starting with an initial £75 for sending a letter to you. 

Can you challenge a City of London PCN?

Absolutely – you have the right to honestly challenge a City of London PCN within the first 28 days of being served the parking ticket. After this time you cannot make an appeal and must accept the fine. 

How do you challenge a PCN?

You challenge a PCN by making a representation. This is a written account of your arguments against the PCN with accompanying evidence. Read more about PCN appeals on our PCN challenge guide, which includes a free appeal template. 

City of London PCN – appeal or pay?

When deciding whether to pay or appeal the PCN, ask yourself some questions:

  1. Is your appeal honest?
  2. Do you have a good excuse or reason for the contravention?
  3. Do you have sufficient evidence?
  4. Do you think it will be accepted
  5. Would it be easier and less stressful to pay within 14 days and get the 50% fine reduction?

There is no right or wrong answer. Everybody is different and will prefer their own approach. 

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.

City of London PCN appeal denied – what now?

Any representation that is denied by the City of London Corporation can be escalated to an independent tribunal. Although you may be discouraged by the decision, it doesn’t have to be the end of your PCN challenge! 

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