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Parking Tickets Northern Ireland – Pay or Appeal? 

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Scott Nelson

Managing Director

MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.

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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.

Learn more about Janine
· Mar 4th, 2024
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parking tickets northern ireland

Have you received a parking ticket in Northern Ireland and are not sure what to do next? Our guide is here to help. Every month, over 130,000 people visit our website looking for guidance on fines and parking tickets. 

In this guide, we’ll explain:

  • What a parking ticket in Northern Ireland is and why you might get one.
  • If you need to pay it straight away.
  • How to fight the charge if you think it’s not right.
  • Cases where you might not have to pay.
  • What can happen if you choose not to pay.

In 2021, Churchill Motor Insurance reported an 8% increase in penalty charge notices (PCNs) in Britain, with over 5.2 million issued.1 We understand it can be puzzling and annoying to get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). But don’t worry; we’re here to help you figure things out.

64% of Appeals Succeed

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your 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

*Around 35,000 people dispute their tickets each year with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, and a striking 64% of those appeals are successful. In partnership with Just Answer.

Do You Have to Pay Northern Ireland Parking Tickets?

In many circumstances, you could appeal your Northern Ireland parking ticket.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a PCN I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer. 

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

Click here to get the trial offer with JustAnswer.

The appeal process usually goes as follows.

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.

What is a Northern Ireland parking ticket? 

When you park, you need to make sure that you follow the rules outlined either by the council or in the private parking space you are using.

If those rules are broken, you can end up with a fine. 

There is a key difference between the law for parking tickets issued in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Here it is the driver who is responsible for paying the parking ticket, whereas, in England and Wales, the registered keeper is liable

Are PCN enforceable in Northern Ireland?

Yes, if you get a Penalty Charge Notice in Northern Ireland, the fine is enforceable under the Traffic Management (Northern Ireland) Order 2005.

You have two choices when you get a PCN which are to:

  • Pay the fine within the deadline
  • Challenge the PCN within the deadline

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

How much is a parking ticket in Northern Ireland?

A PCN, more commonly known as a parking ticket in Northern Ireland, is £90.

However, if it is paid within 14 days of receiving the PCN, the fine is reduced by 50%, meaning you will only pay £45. 

How long do I have to pay for a parking ticket in Northern Ireland?

From the date of issue, you have 28 days to pay your NtO or PCN.

If there is no payment and no action to appeal is taken within the 28 days, you will receive a Charge Certificate

A Charge Certificate will mean that your fine will be increased from £90 to £135

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 legal help

In partnership with Just Answer.

Can a parking ticket in Northern Ireland be cancelled?

Once the traffic attendant has issued a parking ticket, it cannot be cancelled.

The way that you can have the PCN cancelled in Northern Ireland is to successfully appeal

How can I pay my PCN in Northern Ireland?

All the information on how to pay is detailed on the reverse of your parking ticket.

You can make payments by post, calling, or online via their online payment portal

Make sure you have your details when calling or paying online.

You’ll need: 

  • Your PCN reference number
  • Vehicle registration
  • The card that you will use to pay your PCN

When paying by post, you must include a postal order or a cheque to the ‘Department for Infrastructure’ and include the tear-off slip from the bottom of the parking ticket

Be sure to include the parking number on the back of the postal order or cheque. 

To pay by post, send your cheque and slip to: 

Parking Enforcement Processing Unit, PO Box 134
Coleraine
BT52 9AF
United Kingdom

You can pay by phone on this number: 0300 200 7895

Do not pay your PCN if you intend to challenge it. 

How can I appeal a Northern Ireland PCN?

You can appeal your Northern Ireland PCN in the following ways: 

You can appeal your PCN in writing by sending your appeal to the address above

Top tip: Grab a copy of my template for PCN appeals: PCN Appeal Letter Template – Free Sample

You can appeal your PCN online: Appeal a PCN Northern Ireland

By appealing within the 14 days that you received the PCN, if your appeal is rejected, you will still benefit from the 14 days and be given a new deadline.

The full fine amount will stand if the challenge is outside 14 days but within 28 days. 

When your appeal is successful, your fine will be cancelled, and the case will be closed.

If your appeal is rejected, you will be informed, and you can then pay the fine, or you may choose to escalate the situation by waiting for the NtO

From here, you will need to make a formal representation: Make a representation about a parking ticket (Penalty Charge Notice) | nidirect.

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

Get started

Reviews shown are for JustAnswer.

Can I Ignore my Northern Ireland parking ticket?  

All PCNs, from bus lane fines to parking contraventions, require action.

You need to decide if you will pay for your parking ticket or if you feel it is unfair and wish to appeal it

Ignoring the fine will mean that extra charges are added on top, including a Charge Certificate, and you may be taken to court.

In the end, ignoring your fine may mean that you have bailiffs taking action and a much higher cost

Parking Tickets Northern Ireland – Pay or Appeal?

In my experience, paying your Northern Ireland parking ticket or appealing it will come down to your personal circumstances.

If you feel that your reason for appealing your PCN is valid, then it is best to take action in the first 14 days. 

Many people don’t want the hassle of the appeals process and choose to pay within the early-repayment discount period. 
You can get the lowdown on all parking tickets and how to tackle them from my Parking Tickets info-hub.

How much is a Notice to Owner in Northern Ireland?

In some cases, you may receive an NtO without receiving a PCN first; the cost of a notice to the owner in Northern Ireland is £90.

The NtO no longer offers the ability to pay in the early-repayment time, and the full amount of the fine will stand. 

The early-repayment discount is only applied for the 14 days after the PCN has been issued

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.

Can I complain about a traffic attendant issuing a PCN in Northern Ireland?

You have the right to complain about the traffic attendant who issued your PCN.

All complaints about behaviour can be sent to: 

NSL Services Group
Glengall Exchange
3 Glengall Street
Belfast
BT12 5AB

Within the complaint, you should give as much detail as possible.

Also, when you make the complaint, you could submit a challenge for the PCN.

All replies about the complaint will be on the parking ticket challenge. 

How can I find out more information about my PCN in Northern Ireland?

If you want more information before you decide to pay or appeal your Northern Ireland PCN, then you are free to ask questions.

You can write to the Parking Enforcement Processing Unit or call them

Before calling, have your PCN number and the vehicle registration to hand. 

Within Northern Ireland: 0300 200 7895

From outside Northern Ireland: 0300 200 7895

Or you can post your enquiry to: 

Parking Enforcement Processing Unit, PO Box 134
Coleraine
BT52 9AF
United Kingdom

You can also email: [email protected]

Remember that inquiring is not appealing or paying; one of these actions will still need to be taken. 

Northern Ireland Parking Enforcement Processing Unit Contact Details

Address Parking Enforcement Processing Unit
PO Box 134, Coleraine BT52 9AF United Kingdom
Phone number 0300 200 7895
Pay by phone 0300 200 7895 (Payments through credit or debit card)
Email address [email protected]

FAQs

How long do I have to pay a Northern Ireland PCN?
You have 28 days to pay a Northern Ireland PCN, but if you pay within 14 days, the fine is reduced by 50%.
How long do I have to appeal a PCN?
You have 28 days to appeal a PCN, but if you appeal the fine within 14 days and it’s rejected, you still get to pay 50% less.
Do I get a grace period before a PCN is issued?
Yes, you should be allowed a 10-minute grace period before a PCN is issued.

Reference

  1. Direct Line Group — Parking Fines Statistics
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The authors
Scott Nelson Profile Picture
Author
MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.
Janine Marsh Profile Picture
Appeals Expert
Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.