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Heathrow Drop Off PCN – Pay or Appeal? 

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Scott
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Scott Nelson

Managing Director

MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.

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Janine
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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.

Learn more about Janine
· Feb 26th, 2024
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heathrow drop off pcn

Have you received a Heathrow Drop Off Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)? You’re not alone. Our website is visited by over 130,000 people each month for guidance on fines and parking tickets.

In this article, we’ll explain:

  • What a Heathrow Drop Off PCN is, and why you might have received one.
  • If you have to pay the charge right away.
  • How you can appeal against the charge if you think it’s not correct.
  • Situations where you might not have to pay the charge.
  • What could happen if you decide not to pay the charge.

In 2021, Churchill Motor Insurance reported an 8% increase in penalty charge notices (PCNs) in Britain, with over 5.2 million issued.1 So rest assured, you’re not alone.

We’ve been where you are now, and we’re here to help. So, let’s guide you through the details.

64% of 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. In partnership with Just Answer.

What is a Heathrow Drop-Off Charge?

If, like many others, you didn’t know about the £5 Drop-Off charge at Heathrow terminals, chances are that getting a PCN is a surprise.

Motorists must pay the fee when they drop people off at the terminals.

According to Heathrow’s management, the new airport charge was introduced last November to compensate for the airport’s financial losses during the COVID pandemic and improve air quality. It is pretty consistent with other UK airport charges.

The charge is £5 for every car that drops people off in drop-off zones, and each ticket is valid for 12 months.

You can pay a drop-off fee online using an auto-pay function. Alternatively, you could pay for Heathrow terminal parking using the automated telephone service.

You can’t pay any other way!

Plus, there’s no getting out of paying the £5 fee because it applies 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. In addition, every car number plate is recorded using ANPR cameras!

They are pretty tough on ANPR parking enforcement.

Note: The only way to avoid paying a drop-off fee at Heathrow airport terminals is to drop people off at long-stay car parks and stay within the Heathrow Airport parking rules! There’s a free bus transfer system to the terminals.

Successful Appeal Case Study

Situation

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 the Heathrow drop-off charge?

You could get an £80 fine, which is reduced if you pay within 14 days to £40 when you don’t pay a Heathrow Drop-off fee.

Remember, this is a parking fine issued by a private operator!

Is a Heathrow Drop Off PCN the same as a penalty charge notice?

No. A Heathrow Drop-Off PCN is a parking charge notice.

Therefore, it’s not covered by UK law. Only a court can order you to pay a fine on private land, not an operator.

In short, a parking charge notice differs from a penalty charge notice and should not be dealt with in the same way.

A penalty charge notice is from a local authority such as the council or Transport for London where a parking charge is through private parking enforcement.

However, if you refuse to pay, you may well be taken to court by the private operator, and a CCJ could be issued.

This could stop you from taking out any credit for six years – including getting a mortgage or renting a property – and if you fail to pay, bailiffs could be sent to remove personal property.

Can you challenge a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN?

You can contest a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN if you believe the fine was issued incorrectly.

Also, you can file an appeal against the ticket or request a refund from the operator through the Heathrow PCN appeals process.

The appeals process might vary from one institution to another, but the broad strokes are as follows.

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.

Are there any exemptions to paying a Heathrow Drop Off fee?

Yes, but only very few exemptions exist, which include:

  • Permitted operational vehicles
  • Emergency services
  • Military vehicles

Some vehicles enjoy discounts, so they don’t have to pay a drop-off fee at the terminals. This includes:

  • Black licenced cabs
  • Blue badge holders
  • Roadside recovery vehicles
  • Two-wheeled motorbikes
  • Valet Parking (Heathrow)
  • Buses and coaches

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

Get started

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How do you appeal a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN?

You can contest the fine when you feel the parking charge notice is unfair or when you think the fine was incorrectly issued. Plus, you can view the evidence against you online.

First, gather as much evidence as possible.

You can check what evidence there is of the offence online via the official website. Also, ensure you can provide the parking charge reference number and vehicle registration details.

Options on how to contest a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN include:

  • You can also challenge the PCN via email. Again, you must provide supporting evidence to challenge the fine.
  • Alternatively, you could call the operator’s customer service on 0333 200 7459
  • You can request a refund by sending a message to [email protected]
  • Plus, you can lodge a complaint against the PCN by calling 0333 200 7459
  • You can also challenge the PCN by writing to DRPL, PO Box 230, MANCHESTER, M34 0DW

What reasons can you use to challenge a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN?

You could contest a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN for a number of reasons, such as:

  • You got the PCN over 14 days after the alleged infringement
  • The signage was unclear
  • You couldn’t find a way to pay even though you tried within 24 hours of dropping someone off at a terminal.
  • You can prove you were not the driver dropping off at a terminal

How do you make a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN payment?

To make a Heathrow Drop OFF PCN payment, you will need the PCN number and your vehicle registration to hand.

Head to the official Heathrow Drop-Off PCN website and follow the instructions to pay the fine via their digital payment methods for parking.

Should you pay a Heathrow Drop Off PCN straight away?

No. Don’t pay a Heathrow Drop Off PCN without first checking the following:

  • That you committed the alleged offence and the details on the parking charge are correct
  • Proof you were driving that resulted in a Heathrow Drop Off charge being issued
  • The fine was sent to you within the 14-day deadline

What happens if you don’t pay the Heathrow Drop-Off PCN?

Knowing your rights can help you decide how to pay or appeal a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN.

That said, when you don’t want to pay the fine, here’s what you need to know:

  • Getting a Heathrow Drop-Off PCN is a civil offence.
  • APCOA Parking issues the PCN
  • The fee is applicable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • PCNs are enforced by ANPR cameras
  • A Heathrow Drop Off PCN is £80 but £40 when you pay the fine within 14 days

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

What if you lost your parking ticket at Heathrow?

Contact the issuer as soon as possible to retrieve the details. Remember that you can either pay the ticket or make an appeal.

Heathrow Drop-Off Contact Details

Customer Service Number 0333 200 7459
Lodge a Complaint 0333 200 7459
Email to request a refund [email protected]
Challenge a PCN DRPL, PO Box 230, MANCHESTER, M34 0DW

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.

References

  1. Direct Line Group — Parking Fines Statistics
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The authors
Scott Nelson Profile Picture
Author
MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.
Janine Marsh Profile Picture
Appeals Expert
Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.