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Oxford PCN – Should I Pay or Appeal? 2022 Laws

HomeCouncil FinesCouncil Parking FinesOxford PCN – Should I Pay or Appeal? 2022 Laws
oxford pcn

So, you’ve received a PCN in Oxford, and you’re wondering whether you should pay it or appeal. It isn’t very clear, is it? There are so many myths surrounding the issue and so much confusion that it is little wonder that you aren’t sure what to do. Don’t worry, though, because here at MoneyNerd, we aim to provide clarity on the problem, so you know whether to pay or appeal your Oxford PCN.

Often, a PCN is not legally enforceable in the early stages of the process. However, depending on what action the issuer takes, it can become enforceable, which we will cover in more detail below.

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 is a PCN?

PCN stands for parking charge notice, and is issued by a private company. This is different to a penalty charge notice, which are from a local council. It is important to distinguish between the two, as you need to deal with these very differently.

You may be issued a PCN when you have not paid to park, overstayed or parked incorrectly on private land, such as a private carpark, supermarket or hospital carpark.  Sometimes they are stuck to your vehicle, usually the windscreen, and others are sent via post.

Is a PCN legally enforceable?

This is the grey area, so read carefully!

The parking charge notices (and remember, we are talking about ones issued by private companies) are not fines. They are not initially legally enforceable, despite some of the things that parking companies say. They are akin to an invoice – by parking in the car park or on the land, you have agreed to their fees. They will call them fines, though – because that sounds much more formal and intimidates many people into paying without question.

Theoretically, you could just ignore it because, as we have just mentioned, it is not legally enforceable at this point. However, while burying your head in the sand and ignoring it sounds like a great idea, it really isn’t. If you don’t cough up, many parking charge companies will take the issue further, and if it goes to court, this is where you could have a problem.

Should I pay my PCN in Oxford?

Once you have received a parking charge notice, you have three choices. You can, as we have just said, ignore it, but this is likely to cause bigger issues further down the line. Your second option is to pay it – this avoids any further action being taken against you. Your third and final option is to appeal it. This is only something that you should do if you think you have received the PCN unfairly or incorrectly. The PCN issuer needs to provide you with the details of how to go about appealing.

What happens if I just ignore an Oxford PCN?

Each company will have their own way of doing things, but they are likely to do some or all of the following:

  • Bombard you with reminders and payment requests
  • Adding extra fees, bumping up your initial fine by a significant amount
  • Threaten you with legal action
  • Passing the debt to a debt collection agency, such as Lowell, to collect the money on their behalf.

Of course, some companies will give up chasing you for the money if you don’t respond, and after six years of no response, they are no longer able to pursue you.

However, many companies are determined to get their money – and this is where it can all get a bit complicated and very expensive.

What happens next?

If you choose not to pay or appeal, the parking company may decide to take you to court and a judge may order you to pay up. This is a court order, and if you ignore this, the company may use bailiffs to come and collect the debt. As well as costing you a lot more due to the additional fees a bailiff will add on, it is also very stressful – who wants a bailiff knocking at their door?

The other problem with a court order is that if you don’t pay it, you can end up with a county court judgement, otherwise known as a CCJ, and this can have a pretty damaging effect on your credit score. If you want to obtain any credit in the future – even something as simple as getting a phone contract, this can be a problem.

What about if I want to appeal an Oxford PCN?

Every private operator, regardless of whether they are members of the British Parking Association (BPA) or the International Parking Association (IPA), is required to adhere to a Code of Practice.

In addition to that, private management firms are required to be members of the Accredited Trade Association (ATA).

If the parking charge notice is warranted, you are required to make the appropriate payment. In a nutshell, you are required to pay the fee if the citation was issued appropriately and you were found to have violated the parking rules.

You have the legal right to appeal the parking ticket if you believe it was issued in error or if it was unfairly given to you. However, your appeal must be submitted within 28 days or additional action will be taken against you.

What is the process for appealing an Oxford PCN?

When you appeal a parking fine issued in Oxford, you will be required to make a representation. You can submit the appeal using the website. In the event that your argument is accepted, the ticket in question will be void.

In the event that your representation is not successful, however, you will be mailed a letter informing you of the rejection. After that, you have the option of appealing the decision to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT). You are able to submit the appeal electronically once 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.

GET STARTED

So – should I pay or appeal an Oxford PCN?

Never dismiss an Oxford PCN, and under no circumstances should you disregard any communication that you are provided. Instead, you should either pay the fine or submit an appeal. There is a discount applied to the total due if it is paid within the first 14 days.

If you choose to contest the fine, you have only 28 days to do so in order to avoid incurring more costs and facing additional consequences.

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