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P4 Parking – Should you 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
· May 29th, 2024
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Have you received a private parking fine from P4 Parking and are wondering if you should pay or contest it? This is the right place for you. Each month, more than 130,000 people visit our website to understand their parking fines and tickets.

Which? found that unclear rules and various payment methods in private car parks are partly to blame for an increased number of fines.1

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, don’t worry. In this easy-to-understand article, we’ll cover:

  •  Who P4 Parking is.
  •  If P4 Parking fines need to be paid.
  •  How to contest a P4 Parking fine.
  •  Ways to avoid a P4 Parking fine.

We get how upsetting a private parking fine can be. But there’s no need to worry; we are here to help you understand your options.

Let’s get started!

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.

P4 Parking fine – should you appeal or pay?

I recommend you check the following before paying a P4 Parking fine:

  • That the fine is correctly issued
  • The operator followed the BPA code of practice
  • That you were given a 10-minute grace period before the fine was issued

You have the right to appeal if you feel the fine is not justified or you were overcharged. However, the operator must investigate your appeal, plus it prevents them from pursuing the matter further.

Can they enforce a Parking Charge Notice?

If you don’t pay the fine and you don’t appeal it, the operator can chase you for the money. You’ll get threatening letters, and eventually, P4 Parking could take you to court.

If they win the case, a judge will issue a court order for you to pay. This is when a fine on private land becomes enforceable! A private parking operate, such as P4 Parking or Parking Awareness Services, cannot legally demand you pay without a court order to pay.

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.

Is a Parking Charge Notice the same as a Penalty Charge Notice?

They are not the same as Penalty Charge Notices. They are not covered by UK law. In short, an operator raises an invoice when they give you a fine because you committed a parking violation.

On the other hand, a Penalty Charge Notice is issued by local authorities, the Police and Highways agencies. They are enforceable under the Road Traffic Act.

Although both parking tickets look similar, you should deal with them the same way! However, you should never ignore a fine on private land because things can get very expensive when you do!

Why could I get a fine on private land

You may get a fine from P4 Parking because you failed to follow the T&Cs of using a car park the operator manages. However, in recent times, private operators received a lot of bad press for giving out fines for minor violations!

Also, all British Parking Association members should follow the BPA code of practice. In short, P4 should manage a private car park fairly and only issue tickets to motorists who violate their rules!

Some of the most common reasons why P4 Parking could give you a ticket are:

  • You failed to display a ticket in your car window
  • You didn’t pay
  • You overstayed the allowed time
  • Your vehicle was poorly parked or in bays reserved for the disabled and families with children

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

How do I appeal the P4 parking charge?

You can appeal a P4 Parking fine when you feel it was incorrectly given or because the operator did not follow the Code of Practice. However, you must appeal the fine within 28 days (sooner if possible!).

The operator deals with parking appeals via email using their appeals form. But you can also mail an appeal to P4 Parking. Either way, you must provide:

  • Parking ticket reference number
  • Vehicle registration mark
  • Your name and address
  • The name of the driver if different to your own
  • Supporting evidence

Appeal Process Steps

I’ve put together this table to help you better understand the appeal process. If you want to learn more about the steps you should take or have any doubts, please read our detailed 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 you should contest the fine if you:

  • Did not break any rules when using the car park
  • Received the parking ticket in the post over 14 days after using the car park
  • Could not clearly see car park signs and road markings
  • Found payment machine was out of order
  • Received a fine that was over £50 (the cap on fines is £50 out of London, but £80 in London)
  • Didn’t get back to your car for a good reason
  • Broke down and was waiting for assistance
  • Got back to your car 5 or 10 minutes after the allotted time
  • Received the fine in the post, but no signs stating there was surveillance in operation were in the car park

Although this is not an obligation, your appeal stands a better chance of success if you provide supporting evidence.

The kind of proof could be:

  • Photos of your vehicle and where it was parked, the ticket machine, signs and road markings, the parking fine you got etc
  • Messages and other correspondence you got from P4 Parking and your replies
  • Witness statements if there is anyone who can support your version of events
  • Receipts from the vehicle recovery firm if you had broken down and needed their services

P4 Parking is authorised to hand out fines, but mistakes can happen. Plus, an overzealous car park attendant may give you a penalty without giving you the grace period on returning to your car!

What is an acceptable grace period?

The British Parking Association’s guidelines state that members should allow you a 10-minute grace period on returning to your car. Therefore, an operator should not issue a ticket if you are 10 minutes or under late getting back to the car park.

If you got the parking ticket 5 minutes after your time ran out, you should contest the fine with the operator. Moreover, it costs nothing to appeal, and it stops the operator from taking the matter further. Until the appeal is resolved, that is!

What happens when an appeal is rejected?

You’ll be notified when an appeal is rejected. Plus, the operator must explain how to file an appeal with the Independent Appeals Service (IAS). POPLA is the service that deals with parking fine appeals.

If you lose both appeals, you could contact the Ombudsman Service. But you may have to just cut your losses and pay the fine. Moreover, you’ll have lost the chance to pay the reduced amount!

Will I get a CCJ for a parking charge fine?

No, not for the parking fine. But if the operator takes you to court and wins, you’ll have a CCJ on your credit record. This will negatively impact your ability to borrow in the future.

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

Get started

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P4 Parking Contact Details

Post: PO BOX 71107, LONDON, SE18 9LB
Phone: 0845 5560 789
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://p4parking.co.uk/

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.


  1. Which? – The rise of private parking fines
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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.