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Parking Ticket Rules UK – What You Need to Know 2022

HomeParking TicketsParking Ticket Rules UK – What You Need to Know 2022
parking ticket rules uk

Have you received a parking fine and want to know more about parking ticket rules (UK) to see what you can do about it? 

If you answered yes, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to recap the two common types of parking fines and discuss some parking ticket laws and rules that could help you fight back. 

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.

Penalty and Parking Charge Notices

The two types of parking tickets in the UK are Penalty Charge Notices and Parking Charge Notices. 

The former is served by local councils for parking contraventions in council areas. They can also be served for minor driving offences and for failing to pay road tolls. Parking Charge Notices are exclusively parking fines from private car park operators. 

It’s important not to mix these up, because as we will discuss, they are very different and should be tackled in different ways. 

Do you have to pay council parking fines?

You are given 28 days to pay or appeal a council parking fine. If you pay within 14 days you will receive a 50% discount, so it’s worth paying early if you don’t plan on appealing. 

If you don’t pay the council parking fine within the 28 days, the council will send you a charge certificate. This is a notice that the fine has been increased by 50% of its initial value due to the delay. For example, an £80 Penalty Charge Notice will become £120. 

Not paying the newly increased fine within an additional 14 days will result in the council asking for a court order against you. This court order will force you to pay; otherwise, you’ll have to deal with debt enforcement action, which often means the use of bailiffs. 

Do you have to pay private parking tickets?

Private parking fines can be legally sent by a private landowner, but they aren’t considered genuine fines. They are considered to be invoices from the private company. You don’t have to pay the money requested unless you are ordered to by a judge. But if you’re taken to court to get a judge to order you to pay, you may owe further fees. 

A judge will only order you to pay if the parking company has operated their car park in line with the law. For example, they may need to have the correct signage so motorists are aware of their unwritten contractual agreement by using the car park. 

Alternatively, you can also appeal a private parking ticket when you think it has been wrongfully issued. 

How to appeal parking tickets

The process of appealing council and private parking tickets are different. 

Both types of parking fines are challenged with a written explanation of why you believe the ticket should be cancelled, and it should be accompanied by evidence. Sometimes you can do this online and sometimes you will have to write a letter. 

If the council or private form decides to reject your appeal, the parking ticket rules state you have the right to escalate the appeal. The council or parking company should provide all information on how to do this, along with timescales. 

Council parking fine appeals are escalated to an independent tribunal based on the location of the council. Private parking fine appeals are escalated to an independent body based on what Accredited Trade Association (ATA) the car park operator is a member of. They will either be escalated to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) or the Independent Appeals Service (IAS). 

What is the best excuse to appeal a parking ticket?

There are a number of excuses you might be able to use to get out of a council or private parking fine. Some of the best excuses include:

  1. Payment machines out of order – be careful as some car parks state that you must not use the car park if there is no method to pay available. 
  2. Your car broke down – you may need evidence, such as an invoice or statement from a mechanic.
  3. Your appointment went over – this is more likely to be accepted in private car parks attached to a hospital. You may also need written confirmation that your appointment was delayed. 
  4. You were involved in an emergency – again you may need evidence, such as a police report.
  5. The ticket wasn’t issued in time – more on this later!

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

You can get a parking ticket if you are sitting in, on or next to your vehicle if you haven’t paid for parking when you are supposed to

However, if you:

  1. Entered a car park and sat in the car while looking for a space but didn’t find one and left.

Or 

  1. Were sat in your car preparing to leave but were within 10 minutes of your time running out and then left. 

You cannot be issued a private parking ticket. The latter is because car park operators must give everyone who pays for parking a ten-minute grace period to get in their car and exit the car park. This is one of the new parking ticket rules in the UK.

Is there a time limit on parking fines?

There is a time limit on parking companies sending you a Parking Charge Notice. If the company didn’t put a notice on your windshield, they have to send the notice to your address within 14 days, as long as the notice says “Protection of Freedoms Act” when it does arrive.


If it takes longer than 14 days, you can use this to appeal the ticket and state you won’t be paying. And if you received a notice in good time but subsequently appealed the parking fine, the company must respond to your appeal within 56 days. Failing to respond to an appeal in this timeframe will result in the parking ticket being cancelled.

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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