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Private Parking Fines
Parking Tickets

Park Watch – Should I 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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Featured in...
Park Watch

Have you got a private parking fine from Park Watch and feel unsure about whether to pay it or appeal? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Each month, more than 130,000 people visit our website seeking advice on fines and parking tickets. 

This easy-to-understand article will help you learn about:

  •  Who Park Watch is.
  •  If Park Watch parking fines must be paid.
  •  How to appeal a Park Watch fine.
  •  What happens if your Park Watch appeal is rejected.
  •  If Park Watch can take you to court over an unpaid fine.

Getting a private parking fine can be really upsetting. But don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, over 19,000 parking fines are issued each day in the UK.1

We have lots of useful advice and examples to make things 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.

Will I have to pay a fine?

No. Not necessarily. It’s a fine on private land. It’s really an invoice you get for a minor parking infringement. You can challenge the fine when a parking charge is not issued correctly.

In short, you have the right to appeal a parking charge notice when you believe it’s unfair, incorrectly issued, or because the operator, such as Park Watch or Minster Baywatch, failed to follow IPC guidelines2.

Appeal Process Steps

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.

Keep in mind that you must check the details on the reverse side of the notice you’re sent. Alternatively, you can opt to appeal the parking fine by sending it by post to the Appeals Department, Park Watch, PO Box 624, Exeter, EX1 9JG.

I’ve put together this table to help you better understand the appeal process. If you’d like to learn more about the steps you should take, be sure to 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.

My advice? File an appeal before you pay the Park Watch fine. Like this, the operator cannot send your details to a debt collector. Nor can they start legal proceedings until a decision is made regarding your appeal. 

In short, appealing a Park Watch fine gains you a little time. It also means you get to verify the parking fine is correct.

Park Watch should decide on your appeal within 14 days of receiving it. They should contact you when they do.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

Can I ignore it?

No. Don’t ignore a Park Watch fine because if you do, the operator will hound you for payment. They’ll send you reminders, and if you don’t respond, they could give your details to a debt collector and then take you to court.

The court orders you to pay if they win their case against you. Then you’ll have no choice but to pay the amount and probably more when you add in the time you spend arguing your case.

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 it enforceable?

No. Unless the operator takes you to court, and a judge rules in their favour. In which case, you’ll have no choice but to pay the parking charge.

My advice? You should either challenge the fine by filing an appeal with the operator. This prevents them from taking the matter further. Or you can pay the fine within 14 days, which means you pay a reduced amount.

Can they take me to court over an unpaid fine?

Yes. Park Watch could start legal proceedings to recover an unpaid debt. You should appeal the fine rather than ignore it when you don’t want to pay.

The operator will send you payment reminders, to begin with. But if the fine remains unpaid, they could take you to court. In this case, you’ll have to attend a court hearing.

The chances are a court would rule in the operator’s favour. So you’ll have no choice but to pay the fine, which is capped. In short, the operator must respect the law on how much they can charge you even when the case goes to court.

Will I get a CCJ?

Not for the fine itself. But if you ignore the fine and a court rules against you, you could get a County Court Judgement recorded on your credit history.

My advice? Don’t let things go this far. It’s much easier and less stressful to file an appeal against the fine. Or pay it early so you benefit from the lower amount.

Note: A CCJ remains on your credit history for 6 years. It’ll impact your ability to borrow money during this time.

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

Get started

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What happens if my appeal is rejected?

Park Watch must send you a letter of rejection which should include information on how to take the matter to an independent appeals service. In this instance, it’d be with Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA).

Will they send my details to a collections agency?

Yes. Park Watch may send your details to a debt collection agency if the fine remains unpaid or unchallenged.

My advice? Stay in touch with the operator. Challenge the fine by lodging an appeal within 14 days. Or pay the fine quickly, so you get to pay the lower amount!

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. IPC – Code of Practice
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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.