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Do I Have to Pay a Parking Charge Notice? 2022 Laws

pay parking charge notice

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

Do you have to pay parking tickets issued by private companies? That’s the main question we’ll be answering in this new post. There isn’t a straight answer for all situations but we can provide clarity on the subject. Read on to learn if you have to pay a Parking Charge Notice. 

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.

What is a Parking Charge Notice?

A Parking Charge Notice is the official name for parking fines issued by private companies. They are not the same as a Penalty Charge Notice from a local council and shouldn’t be treated as the same. 

You can be issued a Parking Charge Notice when you don’t pay to park on private land, including private car parks, supermarket car parks and hospital car parks. The parking fine might be left stuck to your vehicle, or it could be sent in the post if you were caught on camera. 

Is a Parking Charge Notice enforceable?

A Parking Charge Notice isn’t initially enforceable but it can become legally enforceable depending on the course of action taken by the company. 

These fines are not real fines and are comparable to an invoice sent from a business to a client. But that doesn’t mean the private company won’t refer to them as fines and make threats until you pay. 

Do I have to pay a Parking Charge Notice UK?

You aren’t legally required to pay a Parking Charge Notice until a court has ordered you to do so. You may end up having to pay your Parking Charge Notice if you’re taken to court. 

You can still pay your parking ticket if you would prefer to avoid further action taken against you. Alternatively, you’ll be allowed to appeal the parking ticket if you believe it has been wrongfully served. The details of how to appeal a private parking fine should be provided by the company. 

Private parking fine grace period

Many private car park operators are members of trade bodies like the IPC or BPA. By becoming members of these groups, the company must allow motorists a 10-minute grace period to get to their car and exit the car park before issuing a parking fine. 

If you didn’t receive a grace period and subsequently got fined, you could use this as an excuse to have the private parking fine written off. 

What happens when you don’t pay a Parking Charge Notice?

What happens when you don’t pay a Parking Charge Notice can differ between companies. 

The business could:

  1. Send lots of reminders and payment requests
  2. Add late fees and charges to the amount owed
  3. Threaten legal action against you
  4. Ask a debt collection agency to chase you for payment

There’s also a slim chance that the company will stop chasing you for payment if you haven’t been responding. At this stage, they cannot come to your home or (threaten to) repossess your valuables to clear the debt. 

But they could take the matter further… 

Can you get a CCJ for a private parking ticket?

If you haven’t paid the fine to the parking operator, they can take you to court and ask a judge to issue a court order requesting that you pay. At this point, you must pay the private parking fine 

If you ignore the court order, the company could employ bailiffs to recover the debt. And if they have to use bailiffs to get you to pay, the bailiff fees are passed on to you, which can grow expensive. 

Does a Parking Charge Notice affect your credit score?

Your credit file won’t be affected for not paying a Parking Charge Notice unless a court order has been issued and you’re ignoring it. Your credit file can only be damaged for not repaying credit and debts, and a Parking Charge Notice is not a real debt unless a court order has been issued. 

Should I pay a Parking Charge Notice?

It’s an entirely personal decision whether to pay or ignore a Parking Charge Notice. But ignoring it could lead to court action and the legal responsibility to pay. The threat of court action is usually enough to make motorists want to pay. 

Parking Charge Notice Vs Penalty Charge Notice

At the start of this guide, we stressed that a Parking Charge Notice isn’t the same as a similar-sounding Penalty Charge Notice. The latter is a fine from the council for parking and traffic contraventions. 

It’s important to understand the difference because they shouldn’t be dealt with in the same way. From the outset, a council parking fine is a “real fine”. 

Do you have to pay Penalty Charge Notices?

You must pay a Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days or within 14 days to receive a 50% discount. The only time you don’t have to pay within 28 days is if you’re appealing against the parking ticket. But you still have to lodge your appeal within those 28 days. 

What happens if you don’t pay a Penalty Charge Notice?

You’ll be sent a charge certificate If you don’t pay or appeal the Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days. This certificate instantly increases your fine by 50% of its starting value. You have 14 days to pay the increased fine.

If you don’t pay after those 14 days are up, the local authority will get a court order against you and eventually the right to use bailiffs. 

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.

Do I have to pay private parking fines in England? (Quick recap)

So, let’s recap – do you have to pay private parking fines? 

Although you’re not legally forced to pay in the beginning, you might end up having to pay if the company takes you to court. So you may decide to pay to avoid further action, which the company might or might not take. Alternatively, you can appeal against your private parking fine.

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