Powered by MoneyNerd, featured in...
How to appeal a ticket

What if I Can’t Afford to Pay My Fixed Penalty Notice? Answer

Janine Marsh Thrifty Family
Janine Marsh Thrifty Family

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.

Learn more about Janine
· Mar 1st, 2024
Fight back against fines with JustAnswer, get legal guidance now!

In partnership with Just Answer.

Powered by MoneyNerd, featured in...
Can't Afford to Pay my Fixed Penalty Notice

Are you concerned because you got a Fixed Penalty Notice but can’t afford to pay it all at once? Don’t worry! Each month, more than 32,000 people come here for advice on tickets and fines, so you’re not alone. We understand that it can be hard to pay a fine when money is tight.

In this article, we will help you understand:

  • What a Fixed Penalty Notice is and why you might get one.
  • How to argue against your Fixed Penalty Notice and maybe not have to pay.
  • How much a Fixed Penalty Notice might cost you.
  • How long you have to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice.
  • What can happen if you don’t pay your Fixed Penalty Notice.

Our team has guided lots of people who were in your shoes, so we know how it feels to worry about paying a fine. We’re here to help you learn how to deal with your Fixed Penalty Notice. Let’s get started!

Do You Have to Pay?

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

In partnership with Just Answer.

How Much is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

A Fixed Penalty Notice fine differs in amount based on the offence and even details of the offence. 

For example, a Fixed Penalty Notice for speeding comes with a minimum fine of £100. But the actual fine will depend on how much you were speeding and some other factors, including your weekly income. 

Can I pay a Fixed Penalty Notice online?

Yes, you can pay a Fixed Penalty Notice online with a debit card or credit card

How you do this will depend on where the Fixed Penalty Notice was issued, but payment instructions are listed on the back of the conditional offer letter. 

You might need to pay the FPN on a council website or via the government’s online pay-a-penalty portal.

You can also pay via automated payment lines set up by each police force. Or you can send a cheque in the post. There is no longer an option to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice in cash. 

What if you can’t afford to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice?

Depending on the size of the fine and/or your personal financial circumstances, you might not be able to afford to pay your Fixed Penalty Notice within 28 days. But at the same time, you don’t want to miss the deadline and have to pay more costs and attend court.

So, what can you do? Unfortunately, there is no fixed procedure to follow if you cannot pay the Fixed Penalty Notice. 

Despite what you may read online, this fine isn’t registered at a court until you fail to pay within 28 days, so you cannot speak to the court to discuss other payment options within the first 28 days. 

But there are still options. You could:

  1. Ask a friend or family member in confidence to help you pay the fine
  1. Speak with Citizens Advice to see if financial help is available.
  1. Speak with a debt charity like StepChange to see if financial help is available.
  1. Check your eligibility to increase state benefits or access other financial support, including packages designed to help households overcome the current cost of living crisis. 
  1. Consider your safe borrowing options, including extending a bank overdraft. 

Successful Appeal Case Study


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 started

In partnership with Just Answer.

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

If you fail to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice within 28 days, you could be issued a greater fine or you may be summoned to court.

If you don’t agree that you were guilty of a motoring offence, you can simply refuse the conditional offer of the Fixed Penalty Notice and allow the matter to escalate to court prosecution. 

If the matter does escalate to court, there will be further fees to pay. 

“I can’t afford my parking tickets”

There might not be an easy way to appeal a motoring offence without incurring more costs, but there is a discount available and an appeals process for council and private parking tickets, which are called Penalty Charge Notices and Parking Charge Notices, respectively. 

Councils and private parking companies offer 50% off parking tickets if they receive your payment within 14 days. This can often make expensive parking fines more affordable. 

You can also appeal these fines in a much easier compared to Fixed Penalty Notices, which as we discussed above, isn’t often possible without fighting them in court. 

But be aware, if you don’t appeal within the first 14 days, or if you escalate the appeal to an independent regulator after an initial appeal rejection, you will lose the right to a 50% reduction in the fine amount. So you will need to consider the strength of your arguments before taking further action. 

One of the best reasons to appeal – which not enough people know about – is the five-minute rule. This is a rule that says you cannot be given a parking ticket if you exited the car park within five minutes of your time running out. 

How long do I have to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice?

You’re given 28 days to accept the conditions of the Fixed Penalty Notice, which includes paying the fine and accepting the penalty points on your licence (if applicable). 

This is a strict deadline, so you should make every effort to make the payment in time. 

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

Get started

Reviews shown are for JustAnswer.

Can I pay a Fixed Penalty Notice in instalments?

No, a Fixed Penalty Notice must be paid in full within 28 days. In no circumstances can the fine be spread out over multiple instalments. 

Can you appeal a Fixed Penalty Notice?

Some police forces will allow you to make an informal Fixed Penalty Notice appeal, but most of the time this isn’t an option. The only way to fight back against a conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice is in court. 

But there is something you need to know. 

If you go to court and the judge decides you’re guilty of the offence, you will be forced to pay a much bigger fine as well as the court costs. In other words, you need to be fairly sure you’ll win in court to let this happen. 

For example, if your vehicle was stolen at the time and you have proof, you probably would be able to successfully avoid the conviction and the penalties.  

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.

Did you like this article?
Show your support ❤️
We're glad you liked the article! As a small team, your support means everything to us. If you could rate us on Google, it would be amazing. Thank you!
We are so sorry...

Is there something missing? We’re all ears and eager to improve. Send us a message and let us know how we can make our article more useful for you.

You can email us directly at [email protected] to share your feedback.

The authors
Janine Marsh Thrifty Family
Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.