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Westminster PCN – Should you Pay or Appeal? 2022 Laws

Westminster PCN

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

The City of Westminster Council can issue parking tickets for local parking offences within its jurisdiction, known as a Westminster PCN. Uncover whether you really need to pay a Westminster PCN and your other options to push back against these council parking fines. 

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 Westminster PCN?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is a type of fine issued by local councils, such as Westminster City Council. 

These fines are most often served for parking offences on council land, as opposed to private parking fines in Westminster. But they can also be issued for driving offences and missing road toll deadlines. The latter is more likely to be issued by a transport group than a council. 

Therefore, a Westminster PCN is a fine that has been left on your car or sent to you in the post by Westminster City Council. 

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

If you don’t pay or challenge a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) within 28 days of it being served, your fine will increase by 50%, and you’ll lose the right to appeal in the future. The council will send a charge certificate that increases your fine, which needs to be paid within 14 days. 

But what happens if you still don’t pay the parking fine? The local council can ask for a court order that makes you legally obligated to pay. If you want to pay but are struggling, contact the council to discuss your options. Because if you ignore a court order the council could employ bailiffs to recover the debt, and you’ll have to pay bailiff fees during the process. 

How do I pay a parking ticket in Westminster?

You can pay a Westminster City Council parking ticket by cheque, over the phone by calling 020 7823 4567 or even by visiting a Westminster post office. But the easiest way to pay a Westminster PCN is online. 

The Westminster City Council website allows you to pay your parking fine directly on their website. You’ll need your PCN number, which can be found at the top of your PCN. Click here to pay your City of Westminster PCN online. 

The City of Westminster PCN discount

You can get a discount on your Penalty Charge Notice if you make the payment required within 14 days of receiving the fine on your vehicle, or within 21 days of receiving the fine in the post. 

The discount is usually 50% off the standard fine amount. Most PCN fines range from £80 to £130, so you can save between £40 and £65 by paying quicker

But before you reach for your wallet…

Can you appeal a Westminster PCN?

As mentioned, you are in your right to challenge a Westminster PCN when you think the fine should not have been issued. You must appeal the Westminster Council parking fine within 28 days of receiving it. After this period, you can no longer lodge an appeal. 

How do you challenge a PCN in Westminster?

You challenge a Westminster PCN by sending a formal letter with an argument why the parking ticket should be cancelled. Your argument is made stronger if you can provide evidence, such as photos or statements from independent witnesses. If the PCN was left on your vehicle, you have to make an informal appeal before you can escalate to a formal letter.

Some examples of arguments that might get your Westminster PCN cancelled include:

  1. You were actually parked correctly
  2. You broke down
  3. The parking machine was out of service
  4. You were involved in an emergency situation
  5. They served the PCN out of time

City of Westminster PCN – appeal or pay?

You might be wondering whether to pay your Westminster PCN or challenge it/ What’s the right decision? There is no single decision that’s right for everyone, and it will come down to the facts around your case and individual preferences. 

People who genuinely believe their parking fine is unfair are usually inclined to challenge the ticket. Whereas those with doubts about whether they are in the right or not might prefer to pay the 50% reduced fee and be done with it. 

In a nutshell, it depends on your situation and a little bit down to your preferences. 

City of Westminster PCN rejected – next steps! 

Sometimes the council will reject your PCN appeal even though you are adamant that the ticket should not have been issued. In these cases, you don’t have to accept the council’s decision, and you can escalate your PCN appeal. 

This time you’ll get to make the same argument to an independent tribunal not connected to the local authority. All escalated City of Westminster PCN appeals are sent to London Tribunals. 

Is there free parking in Westminster today?

Parking in Westminster is free in lots of areas after 6.30 pm and on Sundays. Always check the road or street you’re parking on in case you have to pay. Or you could end up with a Westminster PCN. 

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.

More tips to deal with London parking tickets

Dealing with London parking tickets can be stressful and even cause mental health problems, which is why our MoneyNerd team has written other articles to help you fight back. Equip yourself with your legal rights when taking on all types of parking tickets, including private parking fines

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