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Civil Enforcement 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 23rd, 2024
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Have you received a private parking fine from Civil Enforcement Ltd? You’re not alone! Our website is visited by over 130,000 people each month, seeking advice on fines and parking tickets.

Which? found that unclear rules and various payment methods in private car parks are partly to blame for an increased number of fines.1

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, don’t worry. This article will give you simple-to-understand information on:

  •  What a Civil Enforcement parking charge notice is.
  •  Whether you must pay Civil Enforcement parking fines.
  •  How you can appeal a Civil Enforcement parking fine.
  •  Useful tips to help you avoid a Civil Enforcement parking fine.

We know getting a private parking fine can make you feel upset. With our experience, we’ll provide helpful advice and examples to help you through this.

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.

What is the purpose of a penalty charge notice?

Understanding Penalty Charges as opposed to Parking Charges is essential because you deal with them differently.

A Parking Charge Notice aims to fine motorists for not following regulations in a public car park.

You can:

  • Pay the fine2
  • Challenge it by filing an appeal

You could get a fine because you:

  • Didn’t pay
  • Overstayed the time allowed
  • Left your vehicle in the wrong bay (one that’s for the disabled or families with children)
  • Didn’t park correctly

There should be signs3 entering the car park that indicate how it must be used.

The consequences of unpaid Parking Charge Notices

The RAC reports that the majority of complaints regarding private parking companies stem from exorbitant fees and unreasonable conduct by private parking companies.4 So, if you believe the PCN was unfairly issued, it’s understandable if you’ve considered not paying it. However, it’s crucial to weigh the potential consequences.

Unpaid PCN fallout for not paying a parking ticket on private land could be far-reaching. For example, the operator could pass your information to a debt collection agency.

They could also:

  • Start legal proceedings against you
  • Ask the courts to issue an order to pay

As we mentioned, there is a chance the operator won’t take you to court but this is never guaranteed.

Plus, if a default is registered on your credit file for failing to pay a court order, the impact would ruin your credit rating. In short, a CCJ is recorded on your credit history Remember, you can settle a CCJ within a month to prevent this from happening. If you don’t, the record remains on your file for 6 years.

You’d have trouble getting any sort of finance until it expires.

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 to appeal a Parking Charge Notice

We’ve listed reasons to challenge a Parking Charge Notice from Civil Enforcement Ltd here:

  • You got a Parking Charge Notice over 14 days after parking in the car park
  • You parked correctly and did not break any rules
  • The signs or road markings in the car park were unclear
  • There was no way for you to pay to park
  • You were overcharged
  • You weren’t the driver when the charge was issued
  • You could not return to your vehicle due to mitigating circumstances
  • Your vehicle broke down
  • You got back 5 minutes late and weren’t given a 10-minute grace period

Appeal Process Steps

Here’s a quick table that will 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.

Make sure you follow the correct PCN appeal process. The operator claims to correspond to all appeals they receive within 14 days!

If you want to save time and write an effective appeal, you can download MoneyNerd’s free parking ticket appeal letter template. This free resource gives you a fantastic starting point to launch your appeal.

Download The Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Template

Download the parking Appeal Template today

What is a 10-mins grace period?

According to the Code of Practice, all accredited private operators must allow you a 10-minute grace period when you return to your car.

You can appeal the fine when you get a ticket and are not given this mandatory grace period!

First, get in touch with the operator and request they launch an investigation. If they find you are right, they should cancel the Parking Charge Notice. However, if they reject your appeal, you can file one with an independent appeals service.

How do you appeal a CE Service PCN?

We’ve explained how to challenge a CE Service PCN when you think the fine is unfair or because they failed to abide by the Code of Practice below. You can appeal their Parking Charge Notice online, and they claim to respond within 14 days. Once the operator has acknowledged receipt of your appeal, they will assess it and reply within 35 days.

It’s at this point, Civil Enforcement will either accept your challenge or reject it. The Parking Charge Notice amount will not increase while the appeal is reviewed.

If the operator rejects your appeal, they will send you details on how to escalate the matter to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA). POPLA is an independent, impartial appeals service.

It’s worth noting that if the POPLA appeal is unsuccessful, you’ll be liable to pay the full amount of the Parking Charge.

Can you get CCJ for an unpaid private parking ticket?

You could get a CCJ if you fail to pay the Parking Charge Notice when a court has ruled you must pay it!

We recommend you don’t let things get this far.

Never ignore any correspondence you get from the courts. The impact of unpaid parking tickets could seriously make your life difficult. A County Court Judgement would ruin your credit history, making it hard to borrow money in the future if you don’t settle the CCJ within a month.

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

Get started

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Civil Enforcement Advice Line

The Civil Enforcement advice line is open Monday to Friday between 9AM and 5PM. However, they do not discuss PCNs over the phone.

Any appeals and any correspondence must be in writing – either online or by posted letter.

Civil Enforcement Contact Details

We’ve listed ways of contacting Civil Enforcement Ltd in the table below.

Address: Horton House,, Exchange Flags, Liverpool L2 3PF
Phone: 0115 822 5020
9am – 5pm (Monday – Friday)
Website: https://www.ce-service.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
  2. Civil Enforcement Limited – How to pay
  3. BPA – Parking Signs
  4. RACF – Private Parking: Public Concern
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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.