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PCN Pay – Do You have to pay

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Do you have to pay a PCN? Whether you found a PCN on your windshield or received one through the letterbox, the first question drivers usually ask is if they have to pay. We answer this question and related PCN queries here. Let’s start the engine. 

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 is a PCN?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is a fine for parking illegally or for breaking some driving rules, such as driving in a lane reserved for buses. You may also be issued with a PCN if you have failed to pay some other fines on time. For example, you can be issued with a PCN if you do not pay a London Congestion Charge on time.

Do you have to pay a PCN?

You will have to pay a PCN if you have been rightfully issued with one. In most cases, you will get 28 days to make the payment. The fine is usually reduced if you make the payment within 14 days. The process may differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

What happens if you don’t pay a PCN? (UK)

Your fine will increase if you don’t pay your PCN on time, and you could be given a court order forcing you to pay. If the PCN is not cleared after 28 days, you will be issued with something called a ‘charge certificate’. This will give you a further 14 days to pay the original PCN fine plus an additional 50%. So if you originally owed £100 you would now have to pay £150 within 14 days. 

If you ignore the charge certificate, you will be issued with a court order that asks you to pay, known as an order of recovery. You’ll then have 21 days to either pay the fine or challenge the court order. If you do neither, bailiffs will be used to visit your home and ask for payment or repossess your goods to clear the debt. 

How do you make PCN payments?

Most Penalty Charge Notices can be paid online. You will need to pay at the website owned by your PCN issuer. This may be on your local council’s website (local parking fines) or it could be the website owned by Transport for London (TfL). 

You don’t have to pay your PCN online if you prefer not to. There are usually many ways to pay a PCN, which will be stipulated on the PCN. 

Can you challenge PCN payments?

You can challenge a PCN, and if your challenge is successful, you will no longer have to pay the fine. How you challenge a PCN depends on who issued you with the PCN and even how it was issued. 

For example, if the local council placed a PCN on your windshield, you will need to make an informal challenge to the council. But if they sent you a PCN in the post, you’ll need to make a formal challenge, also known as a representation. You’ll also need to make a representation when challenging PCNs issued by Transport for London or challenging a Dart Charge. 

Making a representation requires you to provide details of why you are challenging the PCN and evidence when possible. You can also challenge an order of recovery for a handful of reasons. 

Is a PCN a criminal offence?

A PCN is not considered a criminal offence. They are considered as a civil offence only, but they may need to be mentioned on some applications, including visa applications to visit or work in other countries.  

Do I need to declare PCN payments to my insurance company?

Most insurance companies don’t need to know about any PCNs you have received. It is highly unlikely that a PCN will affect the insurance policy you are offered. However, the insurer does need to know about incidents and accidents that you and other named drivers have been involved in over a fixed period. 

What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is a fine for some driving offences and are issued by the police, local authority or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). They are not the same as a PCN and have different rules and processes. You can pay your FPN online using the FPN portal. 

Do you have to pay a PCN? (Recap)

You must pay a PCN if you have been rightfully issued with one due to illegal parking, wrongful driving practices or not paying other fines. Otherwise, you could challenge the PCN and explain why you should not have to pay. Paying within 14 days could save you money, but ignoring the fine could make it grow 50% bigger. 

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

Find further help with PCNs here!

We have answered lots of other PCN questions here on MoneyNerd. Read more about PCNs and what you can do to save money or challenge your fine with us. All guides and discussion articles remain completely free to help you. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you on our blog again soon!

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