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Parking Fine Loopholes

Scott Nelson MoneyNerd Janine Marsh MoneyNerd
By
Scott
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
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 25th, 2024
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parking fine loopholes

Have you got a private parking fine, and you’re not sure if you should pay or appeal?

You’ve come to the right place. Each month, over 130,000 people visit our website for advice on fines and parking tickets. 

We’re here to guide you with simple and clear information on:

  •  Uncovering parking fine loopholes
  •  Knowing when you need to pay
  •  Learning how to appeal a fine 
  •  Avoiding parking fines in the future

We know how annoying a private parking fine can be. Believe it or not, over 19,000 parking fines are issued each day in the UK1.

But rest assured, we’re here to support you. We’ll help you understand the laws around parking fines in 2023, and how you can use certain loopholes to your advantage.

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.

Are there any loopholes on parking tickets?

What loopholes and excuses can you use when making a parking ticket appeal?

Below are some of the legal loopholes followed by some convincing excuses. Some of the excuses might need solid evidence.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

The grace period loophole

We were recently featured in The Sun1 to help educate people about the 10-minute grace period.

This means you can’t be fined if you overstayed by 10 minutes or less. The grace period applies on public land or in private car parks.

So if a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) or private firm attendant issued you with a parking fine when you overstayed by less than ten minutes, you can use this loophole to get out of having to pay.

The time limit loophole

Councils and private firms must serve you with the parking fine within 28 days or 14 days since the supposed parking contravention or unauthorised parking, respectively.

They can do this by leaving the ticket on your vehicle or by sending you it in the post. 

If they don’t serve the parking ticket in this timeframe then the fine might no longer have to be paid.

However, there are some other factors that could give the council or private car park operator additional time, which you can read about here

Blue badge holder legal loophole

Some of the usual parking rules are different if you have a blue badge and display it clearly on your windshield when parked. Some parking attendants may not even know about the unique rules. 

For example, blue badge holders can park on double yellow lines for up to three hours in some cases.

If you have a blue badge and had it on display when parked, you may want to double-check that you did actually break any parking laws. 

Successful Appeal Case Study

Situation

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.

How to get out of a parking ticket

The only way to get out of a parking ticket once it has been served is to make a successful appeal, which should include a reasonable excuse and evidence.

Or your appeal should take advantage of one of the parking fine loopholes. 

You must appeal by the deadline, which is usually 28 days for council and private parking fines. 

There’s a specific process that must be followed when appealing a parking ticket. Here’s a quick table summarizing every step.

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.

How do you appeal parking fines?

You usually appeal to either type of parking ticket by making a formal appeal known as a representation.

This is a statement or letter explaining why you think the parking fine should be cancelled.

For the best chance of getting the fine withdrawn, you might need to attach good evidence, such as a photograph of a broken ticket machine or unclear parking signs.

You might be required to make an informal appeal first. But if this is rejected you can progress to a representation.  

If the local council or private parking operator rejects your appeal, you can take your appeal to an independent tribunal instead.

The tribunal you have to use for council parking fines depends on the location of the council. And the tribunal you have to use for private parking fines depends on what Accredited Trade Association (ATA) the parking firm is a member of. 

Most private companies are members of the British Parking Association (BPA), which means escalated appeals have to be handled by Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA). 

If you want to save time and write an effective appeal, you can download MoneyNerd’s free parking ticket appeal letter template. This free resource gives you a fantastic starting point to launch your appeal.

Download The Parking Ticket Appeal Letter Template

Download the parking Appeal Template today

What happens if you don’t pay a private car park fine?

When you don’t pay a Parking Charge Notice, the company is likely to send payment reminders, use debt collection agencies to chase you for payment, and eventually threaten court action. 

They or the debt collection agency working for them could send a Letter Before Action (LBA).

This is a final chance for you to pay the fine or expect to be taken to court. Sometimes these letters are genuine, and the company will take you to court, which is why ignoring them is a risk. 

But on other occasions, these letters are just scare tactics trying to get you to pay out of fear of legal proceedings. There’s no way of knowing for sure.

Some people do choose to ignore them and never get taken to court and never end up paying. 

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

Get started

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Are council parking fines enforceable?

Council parking fines are enforceable.

The council has a straightforward process to get a judge to ask you to pay if you ignore these fines. If you have received a parking ticket from a local council, you shouldn’t ignore it. 

What happens if you don’t pay?

Local authorities send charge certificates to motorists who don’t pay or appeal a Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days.

The charge certificate increases your fine by 50% and provides you with 14 more days to pay the inflated fine. 

If you miss the deadline after a charge certificate has been issued, the council can start court proceedings. They can ask a judge to issue you with a court order that requests you to pay the council parking ticket.

You may be also responsible for paying court costs due to the escalation. 

Not paying the Penalty Charge Notice after a judge has asked you to is a bad idea. The council will be given permission to use debt enforcement action, which could mean bailiffs at your doorstep. 

A private bailiff company may be used to recover the money, and the bailiffs add their own expensive fees to your debt in the process.

The bailiff fees alone could be more than your ticket. 

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.

References

  1. Sky News — Parking Tickets Statistics
  1. The Sun — Grace Period Rule ↩︎
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The authors
Scott Nelson MoneyNerd
Author
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.