Should I Pay My Parking Fine
If you have received a council parking ticket, or a private parking fine, it can be frustrating and stressful. However, before paying the fine, it is essential to know your rights. There are situations where you can appeal the ticket and have it cancelled. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about parking tickets and your rights when it comes to appealing them.
Understanding Parking Tickets
Parking tickets are issued when you violate parking rules and regulations. The type of ticket you receive may vary depending on where you parked, the severity of the offense, and the issuing authority. There are three types of parking tickets: Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), Excess Charge Notice (ECN), and Parking Charge Notice (PCN).
A PCN is issued by local authorities, such as councils, for parking violations on public roads. An ECN is issued by the police or highway authorities for parking violations on motorways and major roads. A PCN is issued by private parking companies for parking violations on private land, such as supermarket car parks.
Should You Pay Your Parking Ticket?
If you receive a parking ticket, you may wonder whether you should pay it or appeal it. It is always a good idea to appeal the ticket if you believe you have been unfairly issued one. You can make an informal appeal by contacting the issuer of the ticket. If you choose to appeal, you cannot be taken to court while the appeal is ongoing, and your credit rating will not be affected.
However, if you do not have a valid reason for appealing, it is a good idea to pay the ticket early. You can usually get a discount of up to 50% if you pay a PCN or ECN within 14 days and up to 40-60% if you pay a PCN within 14 days.
Reasons to Appeal a Parking Ticket
There are several reasons why you can appeal a parking ticket. Here are some of the most common reasons:
Accredited Trade Association (ATA)
If the parking company that issued your ticket is not a member of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA), they cannot get your name and address from the DVLA. Only ATA members can get this information. You can check if a parking company is a member of an ATA by visiting the British Parking Association (BPA) or International Parking Community (IPC) websites.
If you receive a Parking Charge Notice more than 14 days after parking, you may not have to pay the fine. The Protection of Freedoms Act requires parking companies to post a notice to you within a certain time frame. If you did not receive a notice at the time you parked, you must receive a notice within 14 days of when you parked. If you did receive a notice at the time, you parked and replied to it, the parking company does not have to send another notice. If you did not reply to it, you must receive another notice within 56 days of when you parked. If you did not receive the notice in time, you can tell the parking company you do not have to pay the charge.
By law, a PCN or ECN from the council must be cancelled if you did not break the parking rules. This is if the ticket was issued on public land, such as a high street. You can check the rules on GOV.UK or on signs near where you parked. When you park on private land, the parking rules should be made clear on nearby signs. If you were given a PCN and can prove you stuck to the rules, your ticket should be cancelled.
Unclear Signs or Markings
All car parks and roads with parking restrictions must have signs or road markings that make this clear. If you can prove the signs or markings were unclear, misleading, or confusing, or there were no signs saying parking was suspended, your ticket should be cancelled. The same applies if you were sent a ticket in the post and there were no signs saying CCTV or an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system was in use where you parked.
No Way to Pay
If a parking meter or machine was broken, and there was no other way to pay, your ticket should be cancelled. However, if there was another machine you could have used, the ticket will not be cancelled. You will need to send evidence that the machine was broken to the issuer of the ticket.
Charged Too Much
If you have been charged too much for a PCN, you can appeal the ticket. You can find out how much a council charges for each band on their website. If you have been given a PCN, the BPA and IPC rules state you should not be charged more than £100 – unless the parking company can prove your parking offense made them lose this much money. You should appeal if you have been charged more than £100 and think this extra cost is unjustified.
Someone Else Was Driving
If you were not driving the car when the ticket was issued, you can appeal the ticket. You will need to provide evidence to prove this.
Could Not Get Back to Your Car
If you could not get back to your car because you are disabled, pregnant, or have a very young baby, you should appeal your ticket. The Equality Act 2010 means you must be treated with understanding and cannot be discriminated against.
Car Broke Down
If you were given a ticket while waiting for your car to be fixed or towed away, you have a strong reason to appeal. See appealing a parking ticket for the types of evidence to include in your appeal.
Only Just Out of Time
If you were only a few minutes late, it is worth appealing. You should be given a few minutes after your parking runs out, called a ‘grace period.’ ATA members must give you an extra 10 minutes before giving you a Parking Charge Notice. You should also be given a reasonable amount of time to leave a car park if you decide not to park.
If you receive a parking ticket, remember to know your rights. You can always appeal the ticket if you believe you have been unfairly issued one. There are several reasons why you can appeal a parking ticket, such as unclear signs, late notice, and parking correctly. Make an informal appeal by contacting the issuer of the ticket, and you cannot be taken to court while the appeal is ongoing. Remember, you do not have to pay the fine if you can prove you should not have received a ticket.