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Do Parking Fines Expire UK? What You Need to Know 2022

HomeParking TicketsDo Parking Fines Expire UK? What You Need to Know 2022
do parking fines expire uk

Do parking fines expire in the UK? If you’ve just received a delayed parking ticket or have an outstanding parking ticket from a while ago, this is the guide for you. 

We’ll be discussing whether UK parking fines can expire and how long car park companies have to send you the fine. You could be off the hook! 

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 are the different types of parking fines?

Most motorists in the UK will receive one of two types of parking fines. If the parking contravention was committed on council land, they’ll be issued a council parking ticket called a Penalty Charge Notice

But if the parking contravention was on private property – usually a private car park connected to a business like a supermarket – they will be issued a private parking fine called a Parking Charge Notice.

Both of these parking fines can either be left on your vehicle or sent to you in the post. The council and any private company that is a member of an Accredited Trader Association like the BPA can request the vehicle owner’s address from the DVLA. This enables them to send the fine in the post. 

What happens if you don’t pay a parking fine (UK)?

What happens when you don’t pay a UK parking fine depends on the type of fine you’ve received. A Penalty Charge Notice is an official fine, which means there is a strict process which follows. But a Parking Charge Notice is only considered an invoice, so what can happen may differ from case to case. 

Read on for the specifics!

Not paying a Penalty Charge Notice

When you don’t pay a Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days, the council sends the driver a formal notice called a Charge Certificate. This notice doesn’t just inform them of the missed payment deadline, it also increased their fine by 50%. So an £80 fine becomes a £120 fine. You get 14 days to pay this or a court order will be issued, which could then result in the use of bailiffs. 

Not paying a Parking Charge Notice

Not paying or appealing a Parking Charge Notice within 28 days will result in reminder letters, late fees and legal threats. These may come directly from the car parking company, or they may come from a debt collection agency working on behalf of the car park operator.

As they aren’t considered genuine fines, you don’t really have to pay the fine until a judge orders you to do so. Although getting to such a stage may incur further expenses. It’s difficult to know whether any legal threats are empty or real. 

Is there a time limit on parking fines?

There is a time limit for private parking companies to issue you with the Parking Charge Notice. As long as the parking fine has “Protection of Freedoms Act” written on it, the company must issue the parking fine within 14 days of the incident. 

Moreover, if the parking company left the Parking Charge Notice on your vehicle and you haven’t responded to it, they must send another one within 56 days of the incident. However, none of these time limits apply when the Parking Charge Notice doesn’t state “Protection of Freedoms Act” anywhere on it. 

This information comes from Citizens Advice, which also states that you can claim it’s unfair to make you pay a Parking Charge Notice if it arrives seven months after the incident and doesn’t include “Protection of Freedoms Act” on it. 

Council parking fines usually have to be issued within 28 days from the date of the incident. They may get longer if the DVLA is slow to respond with the vehicle keeper’s address. 

How long can a company chase you for a parking ticket?

Some online forums advise drivers to ignore Parking Charge Notices, suggesting they won’t take legal action. Sometimes they can be right and ignoring them won’t result in litigation or having to pay the fine. 

Side note – this is still a risky strategy. 

If you’ve followed this route and ignored a Parking Charge Notice in the past, you may be wondering how long a company can chase you for a parking ticket? Well, after a long time spent researching, the answer wasn’t always clear. But we may not have the correct answer.

Lane & Co Solicitors state that an unpaid invoice falls within the statute barred law. This means any unpaid invoice must be acted upon with litigation within six years before it can no longer be enforceable. The six-year time limit to start legal action on an unpaid invoice begins from the date of the invoice. As a Parking Charge Notice is considered an invoice, this will also apply here. 

Can you go to jail for not paying parking tickets in the UK?

You cannot be sent to jail for not paying a parking fine to a council or private company. And you cannot get a criminal record or points on your license. Your credit score can be negatively affected if you’re issued with a court order to pay, such as a CCJ. 

Have another parking ticket question?

If you have another question about UK parking tickets, we have you covered at MoneyNerd. We’ve just released scores of parking fine articles and guides, answering the internet’s most asked PCN questions. Read our comprehensive guide to learn your rights. 

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

Do parking fines expire in the UK? (Quick recap!)

Council parking fines won’t expire because they follow a strict and quick process to make them legally enforceable. In fact, you could be subject to a court order in a little over 42 days for not paying. But a private parking fine can expire in the sense that it can become legally unenforceable. 

If no legal action has been taken within six years of the date of the parking fine, it will become statute barred.

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