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How long can you be chased for a parking ticket? 2022 Laws

how long chased parking ticket

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

If you’re asking, “how long can you be chased for a parking ticket” it depends on who issued it. You could be chased for many years before a PCN becomes unenforceable. Plus, the issuer could take you to court when you commit a parking offence. You could receive a CCJ, which will impact your credit history.

In this post, I take a look at parking tickets, private and public. How to appeal if you think the penalty is wrong or unfair, and when to pay up. I explain your right to challenge a ticket and the laws that govern parking penalties in the UK. Read on to find out 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.

Is there a time limit to receive a parking ticket?

The parking ticket must be served within six months of the issue of the PCN. That said, you could receive the parking ticket on the spot. A follow-up notice is issued 28 days later. Private parking operators can issue a ticket by post within 14 days without giving you an on the spot penalty!

When you get a parking ticket through the post, don’t ignore it. Even when you think it may be from a private company/firm. My advice is to find out if the ticket is yours and whether you should challenge it or not!

What is the difference between a parking charge notice and a penalty charge notice?

Private companies issue parking charge notices (PCNs). These are not backed by UK law. When you park on private land, say the car park of a supermarket, you effectively enter into a contract with the owner. There should be signs that clearly state the ‘rules‘ and that the land is private.

Private parking operators typically hand out PCNs on behalf of landowners. Guidelines provided to accredited parking operators allow for a 10 minute grace period.

If you are not given this ‘grace period’ and receive a parking charge notice, I suggest you challenge it. Note parking on private land and receiving a parking charge notice is not a criminal offence!

A penalty charge notice is an invoice issued for a breach of contract. Most councils enforce PCNs under the Traffic Management Act 2004. Civil enforcement officers (traffic wardens) give PCNs to people who commit parking offences. Receiving a PCN, however, is not considered a criminal offence. You cannot go to prison for obtaining one.

Is a parking fine a fixed penalty notice?

A fixed penalty notice (FPN) can be issued by the police, a local council, or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). In addition, you get to pay an amount which releases your liability for any road traffic offence you committed!

How can a parking charge notice be enforced?

Parking charge notices are not necessarily enforceable. An example being you can appeal if you were not the owner of the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued!

In short, you must decide whether you want to appeal or pay the PCN depending on the circumstances. If you choose to appeal, you must have solid grounds for doing so.

When you don’t pay in full, and you don’t appeal against the notice, an operator could:

  • Chase you for the payment
  • Send your details to a debt collection agency
  • Add costs for recovering the debt (must be reasonable)
  • Take you to County Court (civil action). You could receive a County Court Judgement (CCJ)

You only have a limited time to respond when you receive a claims form. Therefore, I suggest you seek advice as soon as possible if things have gone this far.

You need to either lodge an appeal or pay the amount because a Warrant of Execution could be issued when the case goes to court.

I recommend you do the following:

  • Agree you owe the money and make a monthly repayment offer using the court forms
  • Disagree and use the court forms to put in your defence. However, if you lose, be prepared to have extra costs added to the amount you owe!

Also, if you lose your case, the CCJ is recorded on your credit file and stays there for six years! Also, your assets and income could be at risk.

Can bailiffs contact me for an unpaid parking ticket?

Before a bailiff can contact you over a parking debt, the court must send you the ‘order of recovery‘, and the 21 day time limit must have run out.

Plus, bailiffs are obliged to give you seven clear days’ notice before they visit you, called an ‘enforcement notice’. Even at this stage, you can appeal. In addition, you can file a ‘late witness statement’.

This suspends the enforcement action while the authority deals with your application.

You could also ask for ‘breathing space’, allowing you to seek debt solution advice and decide if you should pay the parking charge notice. It could also prevent further interest and other charges for 60 days!

Can you challenge a court order?

You can’t challenge a court order because you think it is ‘wrong’. You must have legal grounds to do so.

That said, if you can show any of the following, you may be able to have a court order cancelled or changed:

  • You never received the PCN or the “notice to owner” because it went to the wrong address
  • You lodged your appeal in time but never received a ‘notice of rejection’
  • You filed an appeal but never got an answer
  • You already paid the ticket

You need to fill out a form TE9 when you want to have a court order cancelled. Remember to keep a copy for your records, so the information is on file! Thanks for reading this post on “how long can you be chased for a parking ticket!” I hope you found the information helpful. My advice is to challenge a ticket if you think it is wrong or unfair, but never ignore it!

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.

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