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Darlington PCN – Should I Pay or Ignore? 2022

HomeCouncil FinesParking TicketsDarlington PCN – Should I Pay or Ignore? 2022
darlington pcn

What is a Darlington PCN and should you pay it? We discuss all your options when dealing with a PCN in Darlington, including paying, appealing and what can happen if you ignore the fine. Discover the details here. 

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.

What is a Darlington PCN?

A Darlington PCN could refer to a Penalty Charge Notice from Darlington Council, or it could refer to a Parking Charge Notice from a private car park operator in the Darlington area. 

A Penalty Charge Notice is a fine for a parking contravention or a minor traffic offence, such as driving in a bus lane at times when not permitted. The PCN will be left on your vehicle or sent to you in the post. The council will have to ask the DVLA for the registered vehicle keeper’s address so they can send it in the post. 

A Parking Charge Notice is a parking fine for not paying or overstaying in a privately owned car park, which is usually connected to a supermarket, gym etc. They can also be left on your vehicle or sent out in the post. As will be explained later, these aren’t considered real fines. 

It is strongly believed that private car park operators named these fines as Parking Charge Notices so they sounded like the real fines of a Penalty Charge Notice, which is why they have the same abbreviation – PCN. This can confuse and trick people.

How much is a Darlington PCN?

The cost of a Darlington PCN can differ based on the type of parking ticket you’re referring to and specific details about the contravention.

If you’ve received a Darlington Penalty Charge Notice, these fines will usually cost between £50 and £80 depending on the exact contravention. Some contraventions are considered more serious and therefore warrant bigger fines. However, the council will grant a 50% discount on the fine to any driver that pays within 14 days of the incident. 

Parking Charge Notice fines are capped across the UK. At the time of publication, a Darlington Parking Charge Notice can cost you up to £100 with at least a 40% discount available to those who pay within two weeks. 

However, new laws will reduce this cap at some point in 2023. The new cap will see the current cap slashed in half, meaning private car park operators will only be allowed to charge a maximum of £50 – and they’ll still have to offer a discount for paying early. 

Do you have to pay a Darlington PCN?

To avoid further action and more expense, you’ll need to pay or appeal a Darlington PCN within 28 days. If you plan on paying, do so within 14 days to make the most of the discount available. 

But what would happen if you didn’t pay your Darlington PCN?

What happens if you ignore a Darlington council parking fine?

What will happen if you ignore a Darlington Penalty Charge Notice is pretty much set in stone. After the 28-day deadline to pay has passed, the council will send you a Charge Certificate. This is a formal notice that you’ve missed the deadline, and as a consequence, the council will increase your fine by 50% of its value. So an initial £70 fine will now become £105.

You’re given an extra two weeks to pay the new fine amount. If you ignore the new fine and don’t pay, the council can apply for an automatic court order against you, which makes it a legal responsibility to pay. With this court order, they could pursue the debt with other debt enforcement actions, such as using enforcement officers to come to your home.

If it gets to this stage, your debt will have inflated with various fees.

What happens if you ignore a private Darlington parking fine?

What can happen if you ignore a private parking fine in Darington is vastly different. There are two main possibilities, which are:

  1. The car park operator will eventually stop chasing you for payment and you’ll never be taken to court and made to pay
  2. The car park operator will take you to court to ask for an order against you. They could then use this to enforce the debt with bailiffs etc. 

The private company might chase you for payment and make legal threats themselves. But they also might outsource all of this and the legal process to a debt collection business. 

You could always appeal the Darlington PCN!

As alluded to earlier, you don’t necessarily have to pay the Darlington PCN to avoid increased fines and court orders. You might be able to halt the process or be let off the hook by making an appeal.

Your appeal should first be made to the council or the car park operator. It will need to be made in writing, usually via the council or company’s website – or by letter. They then have 56 days to respond. If they agree with your reasoning the ticket will be cancelled. But if they reject it you’ll have to pay or escalate the appeal.

Appeals can be escalated to independent bodies, which will have the final say on the matter. You’ll be given further instructions about this if your first appeal is rejected. 

Darlington parking FAQs

Can you park on double yellow lines in Darlington?

You can rarely park on double yellow lines. There are some exceptions in some cases for unloading or if you’re a Blue Badge holder. Blue Badge holders can often park on double yellow lines for up to three hours – but not always! 

When can you park on single yellow lines in Darlington?

You can only park on single yellow lines in Darlington when nearby signage states you’re allowed. This will be on certain days and times if allowed at all. 

Where can I learn more about Darlington PCNs?

Learn more about Penalty and Parking Charge Notices on the MoneyNerd website. We have lots more content discussing the appeals procedure in depth and more.

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.

GET STARTED

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