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Private Parking Fines
Parking Tickets

Can You Get a Parking Ticket While in the Car?

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 25th, 2024
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Can You Get a Parking Ticket While in the Car UK

Have you just received a parking ticket while sat in your car and are wondering what to do next? Welcome! This article is here to help you.

Every month, more than 130,000 people who are dealing with fines and parking tickets visit our website seeking advice. So you’re in the right place.

We are going to share clear and simple information about:

  •  The kinds of parking tickets you can get in the UK.
  •  What happens if you don’t pay for a parking ticket.
  •  How to decide if you should pay or not.
  •  The best way to appeal a parking ticket.
  •  How to avoid getting a parking ticket while sat in your car.

We know that getting a private parking fine can be very annoying. You’re not alone! In fact, over 19,000 parking fines are issued each day in the UK1.

Don’t worry; we have lots of useful tips and examples to help you handle this.

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.

Can you get a parking ticket while sitting in your car?

You can get a parking ticket when sitting in your car.

Whether you are in your car, out of your car or doing a handstand on top of your vehicle is irrelevant. If you are guilty of a parking contravention, you can always be issued a parking fine. 

However, a new rule is coming into effect that could help you if you’re sitting in your car preparing to leave.

Keep reading this MoneyNerd guide to find out what it is. 

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

What type of parking notice can you get?

You could get a Penalty Charge Notice2 or a Parking Charge Notice3 while sitting in your vehicle, depending on whether you’re parked on council or private land.

Both types of parking tickets can be issued to someone who has committed a parking contravention while sitting in their vehicle.

If you receive your ticket in the post, it is likely the local council or private company caught you on camera. Some car parks use number plate recognition software and CCTV cameras to issue different kinds of parking fines in the UK.

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.

How much will the fine be?

The parking fine will be the same if you are outside of your vehicle or sitting inside it. 

The fine for a Penalty Charge Notice will vary depending on the seriousness of the parking contravention and the location of the contravention within the council area.

You can usually expect to pay between £60 and £80.

However, the local authority must give you a 50% discount if you pay within 14 days. So you could end up paying as little as £30. 

If you received a parking fine from a private landowner or car park management company, they could charge you up to £100. New rules are said to be coming into force to cut this amount in half.

However, this new cap is not yet in place.

How long does a parking attendant have to wait?

Parking attendants working for the council or private car parks must now give drivers a ten-minute grace period.

I was recently featured in The Sun4 to help educate people around the 10 minute grace period. This means you can’t be fined if you overstayed by 10 minutes or less.

So, you could be sitting in your car preparing to leave and not be allowed to be given a ticket. The ten-minute rule is for you to exit the car park, not just to get to your vehicle. 

The ten-minute grace period only applies when the driver has parked legally, such as paying for their parking initially and using the correct parking spots.

It doesn’t apply if the driver has not lawfully parked, such as failing to pay for parking or parking in places they are not allowed. 

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

Get started

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How can you appeal a parking ticket?

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.

You must appeal your parking fine in writing to the council or car park management company that issued the ticket.

You can escalate the appeal to an independent tribunal if it is rejected. The process slightly differs depending on whether you’re fighting a council or private parking ticket. 

This MoneySavingExpert forum user escalated their appeal to POPLA.

Later on in the thread, they mentioned using the argument that the 10 minute grace period was not given and that they were parked in the car park to have a meal at McDonald’s.

Ultimately, this forum user won their appeal and did not have to pay.

Appeal Process Steps

Here’s a table that explains the appeal process. If you require further advice or want to learn more about the steps involved, don’t forget to read our complete 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.

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. National Debtline – Penalty charge notices
  3. National Debtline – Parking charge notices
  4. The Sun — Grace Period Rule
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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.