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Parking Fines UK – Everything You Need to Know 2022

HomeParking TicketsParking Fines UK – Everything You Need to Know 2022
parking fines uk

Want to know all the fundamentals about parking fines in the UK? This parking fines UK guide is your crash course – pun not intended – into the two types of UK parking fines and whether you have to pay them. 

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.

Parking fines UK

There are two types of parking fines in the UK

A local council can issue you a parking fine for a parking contravention on council land. Alternatively, you can be issued a private parking fine for contravention on private land and private car parks, usually attached to businesses like supermarkets.

UK parking fines from councils are known as Penalty Charge Notices. And parking fines from private UK companies are called Parking Charge Notices. They should be dealt with differently but based on individual circumstances. 

How much is a parking fine (UK)?

The cost of a parking fine differs between Penalty Charge Notices and Parking Charge Notices. Moreover, there are different fine amounts and potential discounts for each type of fine. 

Council parking fines usually range from £50 to £80. They tend to be more expensive in London or in certain areas of city areas. They can also be made more expensive if the parking offence is considered to be dangerous. But the council must offer a 50% discount to any motorist who pays within two weeks. 

Recent law changes mean private parking fines are going to be reduced to £50 at most, or slightly more in London or in a few exceptional cases. The cap reduction must be in place by 2023 at the latest. And just like local councils, the private car park operator must offer a 50% reduction for paying within two weeks. 

Do I have to pay a council parking fine?

You must pay or appeal a council parking fine within 28 days. If you plan on paying, it’s best to do so within 14 days so you receive the 50% fine reduction. Alternatively, your appeal must be lodged in writing. The parking company will then have up to 56 days to make a decision on your appeal.

If the appeal is rejected, you can escalate the appeal to an independent tribunal, which will have the final say. Further details on the council parking fine appeals process can be found at Money Saving Expert.

What happens if you don’t pay a council parking fine?

If you don’t pay a Penalty Charge Notice by the deadline, your fine will be increased by 50% through something called a charge certificate. You’ll need to pay this inflated fine within 14 days and you’ll lose your right to make an appeal. 

But what happens if you don’t pay the new fine amount? Well, the council will ask for a court order to make you pay. Failing to pay after a court order has been issued will result in debt enforcement action, which may include the use of bailiffs and you having to pay even more. 

Do I have to pay a private parking fine?

Private parking fines are a little more complicated and not as straightforward. Technically, the private car park operator has a legal right to serve you with a parking ticket if you have not stuck to the unwritten contract by using their car park. 

But they are simultaneously not considered a real fine. They’re instead considered the same as an invoice from the company. This invoice can become enforceable (meaning you have to pay) if a judge says you do. Therefore, you might have to pay a private parking fine if they take the matter to court, which could also escalate to the use of bailiffs. 

What happens if you don’t pay a private parking ticket (UK)?

If you don’t pay a private parking ticket you are likely to receive further payment requests and legal threats. These requests for payment and legal threats are likely to come in the form of a Letter Before Action. The letter might be sent directly from the car park operator, or they may have outsourced the collection process to a debt collection agency. 

It’s important to know that a debt collection agency isn’t the same as a bailiff company. Debt collection businesses are just like administration companies trying to get you to pay. A bailiff is someone who enforces debt collection (among other tasks) with a court order already issued. 

If the car park company decides to take legal action, they might win a court order to make you pay. Refusal to pay at this point could then result in bailiffs or even money taken from your wages. Or on the other hand, legal threats may not be followed through and you could get away without paying. But this is a huge risk. 

Do parking fines expire (UK)?

Council parking fines don’t expire because they follow a stringent process with a set timescale. The motorist will be subject to a court order quickly if they don’t pay. 

Private companies may not be able to take you to court over an unpaid private parking fine after six years, as per The Limitations Act. 

Do parking fines affect your credit rating?

Experian states that private parking fines don’t affect your credit rating in most cases. However, if you don’t pay and the debt recovery process is outsourced to a debt collection agency, they have the potential to do so. 

Your credit score will suffer more significant damage If legal action is used and a County Court Judgment (CCJ) is issued against you.

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

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