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Private Parking Fines
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Lost Parking Ticket? – What to do First

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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Featured in...
lost parking ticket

Are you concerned because you’ve lost a parking ticket? Not sure if you should pay or appeal a private parking fine?

Don’t worry; you’re in the right spot. Every month, more than 130,000 people visit our website for guidance on fines and parking tickets. 

This simple guide will help you understand:

  •  What to do if you’ve lost a parking ticket.
  • What steps to take if you’ve lost your PCN number.
  •  Whether you should pay the fine or appeal.
  • How to challenge a ticket from a private company.
  •  The difference between a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice.

We know how it feels to get a private parking fine -it can be very frustrating. But you’re not alone! In fact, over 19,000 parking fines are issued each day in the UK1.

Luckily, we’ve got plenty of helpful tips and examples to guide you along the way. Let’s dive in!

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 should you do if you lose your parking ticket?

Contact the issuer as soon as possible when you lose a parking ticket, whether a local authority or private company issued it.

When it’s a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), you need to find out the number so you can either contest the charge or pay it!

The process should be easy enough to do online, provided you have the vehicle registration number.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

Lost PCN number – how do you pay?

It is harder to pay a parking penalty quickly when you lose your PCN number. It also means you may have to pay more because of a payment delay.

Therefore, we suggest you contact the issuer to get the lost PCN number as soon as possible.

Calling them is the best option because you may be able to pay the parking fee over the phone. But, of course, that’s if you’re not going to challenge it.

Either way, you need to have the PCN number.

Plus, you’ll need to be the vehicle’s registered keeper to get the information over the phone! Otherwise, you won’t get the information you need to pay or contest the parking fine.

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.

Where can you find help?

When you lose a PCN number, you need to contact the issuing council and provide the following information:

  • The vehicle’s make and registration
  • The name of the road where you were parked
  • The date (approximate) the PCN was issued

You can find out who issued the PCN by going online and checking the postcode of the road where you parked.

You may also need to provide the following:

  • A copy of the vehicle logbook
  • A copy of your driving licence

Retrieving lost PCN number UK takes a little time and effort, but well worth doing.

What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket?

The repercussions of not paying a parking fine UK could lead to all sorts of issues.

You’ll receive a charge certificate when you don’t pay a Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days. This gives you a further 14 days to pay the penalty. But, and there’s a but, the penalty increases by 50%.

A court order could be issued if you don’t pay up in 14 days.

In addition, bailiffs (enforcement agents) could be instructed to recover the debt!

That said, when you want to challenge the PCN, you must file an informal appeal if the ticket was left on your vehicle.

You’ll need the PCN number to do this.

Janine, our financial expert, advises to formally appeal a parking ticket within 28 days of receipt, providing evidence such as a photo of your car’s registration number if the PCN is incorrect.

Appeal Process Steps

We’ve put together this table to help you better understand the parking ticket appeal process. If you want more information or require further advice, be sure to read our specialized 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.

You won’t have to pay the parking penalty if your ‘representation’ is accepted. However, you’ll receive a ‘notice of rejection‘ when it’s not accepted.

You then have 28 days to pay or lodge an appeal to an independent tribunal. You’ll incur a late penalty charge when you don’t pay or lodge an appeal (charge certificate).

In short, the original amount of the penalty would increase!

Keep in mind that challenging a parking ticket is not the same in Scotland or Northern Ireland! Also, you should check the ticket because different rules apply to certain PCNs!

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. Sky News — Parking Tickets Statistics
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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.