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McDonald’s Parking Fine – Pay or Appeal?

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
· Jun 4th, 2024
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McDonald™s Parking Fine

Have you received a McDonald’s parking fine and are wondering whether to pay or appeal? You’ve come to the right place. Every month, over 130,000 people visit our website seeking advice on fines and parking tickets.

In this article, we will provide clear and easy-to-understand information on:

  •  The rules of parking at McDonald’s.
  •  Whether you have to pay McDonald’s parking fines.
  •  How to appeal a McDonald’s parking fine.
  •  Useful tips to avoid getting a McDonald’s parking fine.

Rest assured, you’re not the only one facing this issue. In fact, over 19,000 parking fines are issued each day in the UK1.

We understand how you feel, but there’s no need to worry. We’re here to provide helpful advice and real-life examples to make this process easier for you. 

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 fees, 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.

Should you pay a McDonald’s parking ticket?

You should pay a McDonald’s parking fine if you want to avoid potential court action and if you know you’re guilty of the infringement. If you decide to pay a McDonald’s parking penalty, you should do so within 14 days so you only pay the discounted rate

Alternatively, you might want to challenge the McDonald’s parking fine and hopefully be off the hook.  That said, check out what happened to one motorist who got a Mcdonald’s parking ticket.

Source: Moneysavingexpert

Appeal Process Steps

If you believe your McDonald’s parking ticket was unfairly issued, you have the option to appeal. Here’s a quick table that explains the process.

If you want to learn more about the steps involved, don’t forget to read our complete 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.

Keep in mind that the appeal must be in writing, which may require you to write a letter, or it could be lodged in writing via the company’s website.

You’ll need:

  • Your fine reference number
  • Car registration number

You must state your reason for appealing and support your statement with evidence when possible. Even the best excuses could be rejected if you don’t have sufficient evidence. For example, the company might state that you didn’t use McDonald’s. But you know you did and could send them a copy of your receipt or your bank statement to show the time and date of the purchase. 

Oh, and don’t forget about the 10-minute grace period! We were recently featured in The Sun2 to help educate people about this rule. It means you can’t be fined if you overstayed by 10 minutes or less.

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.

McDonald’s parking fine explained

McDonald’s doesn’t issue parking fines themselves.

They outsource the management of their car parks to car park management companies. Plus, they don’t use one specific company and may use multiple companies at different UK locations. 

These companies add specialist CCTV cameras called Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to the McDonald’s car park, which can detect and track vehicle movements based on their number plates. If the vehicle is parked too long at McDonald’s, the company issues a parking ticket called a Parking Charge Notice.

These are sent to the registered keeper in the post after consulting with the DVLA

Parking Charge Notices can charge the driver up to £100 with a discount available for paying within the first 14 days.

However, new laws will prevent car park operators from issuing such severe penalties.

At some point in 2023, the most they can fine the driver is up to £50 in most cases. And they still have to offer a discount of at least 40% if the driver pays within two weeks. 

Are McDonald’s parking fines enforceable?

The short answer is yes. McDonald’s can take you to court and get a judge to tell you to pay. They will cite you breached the Terms and Conditions of using the car park

But things aren’t that straightforward. Here’s our quick video talking you through the situation:

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

Parking Charge Notices are not classified as genuine fines. They’re an invoice from the car park operator for a service provided. For example, parking for free but not eating at McDonald’s

The legal implications of parking fines on private land are that they fall under ‘contractual law.

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

Get started

Reviews shown are for JustAnswer.

Importance of keeping receipts

We suggest you hold on to any McDonald’s receipts if you receive a parking ticket in the post. This way, you have proof that you ate at the fast food restaurant if you’re accused of not doing so.

Proof of purchase at McDonald’s could help make your case against the parking ticket.

What if the PCN appeal is rejected?

If the operator rejects your appeal, you may or may not be given time to pay the discounted rate. Alternatively, you can escalate the appeal to an independent appeals service

The service you use will depend on what Accredited Trade Association the company is a member of.

For example, you’ll escalate the appeal to POPLA if they are a member of the British Parking Association (PBA).

How long can you park in McDonald’s UK?

The UK McDonald’s parking duration restrictions depend on location.

Some restaurants allow customers to park for free for up to one hour, some 90 minutes and others as long as two hours. There have been some instances of the fast-food chain imposing ten-minute time limits in some UK locations.

It caused one man who attended the same chain four times to receive four £100 fines. The full story can be found here

As we see it, you should check the time limit in the McDonald’s car park you visit.

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
  2. The Sun — Grace Period Rule
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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.