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Parking Ticket 5 Minute Rule UK – What Are The Rules 2022

HomeParking TicketsParking Ticket 5 Minute Rule UK – What Are The Rules 2022
parking ticket 5 minute rule

Do you know about the parking ticket 5-minute rule and how you could challenge a fine when it’s not applied? Motorists can appeal and have their tickets cancelled when a fine is issued before the grace period is up.

Read on to learn more about the rules relating to the 5-minute rule. The rules still apply whether you park on private land or in a public place!

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 are the 5-minute rules?

Issuing parking fines in the UK is big business. Local authorities, the police, Highways Agencies and private car park operators issue. According to a press report, over 5.2 million parking tickets were issued last year.

New laws were introduced to not only protect drivers and businesses but also to promote fairness. For example, it includes the ‘grace period’ afforded to motorists when they return to their vehicles.

Although many people know this as the 5-minute rule, it is, in fact, a 10-minute grace period. The Government introduced the rule in 2015. Since its introduction, motorists have successfully avoided paying the fine when tickets were issued before the grace period was up.

What are the rules that govern the 5-minute rule?

You must have parked correctly and paid a fee on private or public land. That’s the only time you’ll be given the ‘grace period’ when you return to your car.

According to the Department of Transport, any parking ticket issued before the grace period has expired is unlawful. In short, the charge should be cancelled.

Note: If you park illegally or don’t pay a parking fee, you’ll get a ticket no matter what.

What is a reasonable grace period for parking?

When your car is parked legally in a parking bay, Government guidelines state you should be allowed a grace period before a parking charge is issued. Local authorities should, therefore, be “sensitive, fair and proportionate” when giving a parking charge.

Moreover, the guidelines state that motorists should not be issued tickets if they return moments after the permitted parking time has expired.

As such, legislation was put in place so that motorists should not be given a parking ticket if the grace period has not expired. 

When does the grace period apply?

The grace period applies to on-street parking, council car parks, and privately run car parks where an operator is signed up to the Approved Operator Scheme.

This includes private land owned by:

  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping centres
  • Healthcare facilities
  • And more

You won’t be given a grace period when you return to your car if:

  • You park illegally or incorrectly
  • You didn’t buy a ticket

Do traffic wardens have to give you 5 minutes?

Not necessarily. There’s no grace period when you park a vehicle on zig-zag lines, double yellow lines (unless you’re unloading something), and Red Zones.

Can I appeal against a parking ticket overstay?

You can contest the fine when a parking ticket is issued for just a few minutes overstay.

I recommend you do the following:

  • Hold on to your parking ticket so that you have proof when you receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or a Parking Charge Notice in the post. It’ll show whether you were given a grace period before the charge was issued
  • If you leave your vehicle in a private car park, the grace period might not apply. Only those signed up to an Approved Operator Scheme offer motorists a grace period when they get back to their cars

Even when given a grace period, you could still contest the charge if you think it’s unfair. The same applies if any mitigating circumstances include your car breaking down.

Do I have to get a physical parking ticket?

No. A parking ticket could be sent through the mail. You may not know you got a fine until a ticket arrives by post. This must be within 14 days of the alleged parking offence.

Note: You have longer to pay the discounted penalty when you get a ticket through the post. It’s 14 days for one left on your windscreen but 21 days when sent through the mail.

What is the best excuse to appeal a parking ticket?

Apart from not being given a grace period when returning to your car, there are other reasons to contest a fine.

These are:

  • Your car was parked correctly
  • The road markings and/or signs were not clearly visible, or they were unclear
  • You could not pay because the machine was broken
  • The amount you were charged was excessive
  • You weren’t the driver when a ticket was issued (you must provide the name and address of the driver)
  • Your car broke down
  • You had a valid reason for not getting back to your car

You have the right to appeal a parking ticket if you think it was incorrectly given or unfair. However, it’s noteworthy that you cannot appeal a parking ticket when you have already paid the fine!

My advice? Contact the issuer sooner rather than later and ensure the parking fine details are correct.

Can I ignore a parking ticket?

Don’t ignore the fine because it could get expensive and land you in court! In addition, you may end up with a CCJ on your credit history.

You should either pay or appeal the fine whether you got the parking ticket on public or private land. Plus, don’t treat a parking ticket in a private car park the same as you would a Penalty Charge Notice!

Note: They look the same, but they are not.

Will I get a CCJ for a parking ticket?

No. Not unless you go to court and lose. Then you have to pay. A parking ticket does not automatically mean you get a County Court Judgement (CCJ) 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

Lastly, what is the parking ticket 5-minute rule UK?

Although many people call it a 5-minute rule, it is, in fact, a 10-minute grace period you should be given when returning to your car. A parking ticket should not be issued before the 10 minutes is up.

You can challenge the fine if you’re not given the grace period. But only if you were parked correctly and paid the required fee!

Thanks for reading this post. I hope the information helped explain just what the parking ticket 5-minute rule is!

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