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How to appeal a ticket

How to Check Car Penalty Online – Questions Answered!

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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.

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· Mar 1st, 2024
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check car penalty online

I you think you might have a car penalty but aren’t sure, this article will give you the steps to check online. We know you might be worried about what happens if you don’t pay a penalty, and we’re here to help.

Each month, over 32,000 people visit us for help with tickets and fines. We’re experts in this area and have guided many people in the same boat as you.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
  • How to check if you have a car penalty online.
  • The deadline for paying a PCN.
  • How to challenge a car penalty.
  • What happens if your appeal is rejected.

We understand that getting a PCN can be scary. But there’s no need to worry – we have lots of helpful advice to share. Let’s dive in and discuss your options.

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.

Can you do a car penalty check /online?

No. You can’t do a car penalty check online to see if you’ve got an outstanding PCN. The issuer sends you a Charge Notice in the post if the fine is not left on your vehicle.

It’s worth noting that if the contravention is caught on camera, the issuer must send you the notice within 14 days of the offence. Should the notice arrive later than that, you may have grounds to challenge the fine.

However, there are exceptions when the DVLA doesn’t respond to a request from the issuer quickly.

How to check if you have a parking ticket

If you lose a PCN from a local council or other authority, you should contact them sooner rather than later. The issuer needs the following information to retrieve the PCN’s details:

  • Your vehicle registration number
  • Location and date when the PCN was issued (if you know them)

Can you pay a PCN online?

Most authorities have dedicated payment pages on their websites which allow you to pay the fine. But you must provide the following when you pay:

  • The penalty Charge reference number found on the notice you received
  • Vehicle registration number (VRN)
  • Payment method

Some authorities let you pay a PCN over the phone and details should be on the notice you got.

Can you challenge a car penalty online?

You could challenge a car penalty online when you feel it’s wrong or unjust. But make sure you follow the issuer’s appeal process. Also, you’d need to have a solid reason for disputing the PCN.

Check out the sort of evidence you’d need to provide below.

How to Check Car Penalty Online

Source: MoneySavingExpert

Once your appeal is lodged, the issuer can’t chase you for payment. It can take a few weeks for a response to come through. Also when you challenge a PCN within two weeks, and the issuer rejects it, you’d get to pay a reduced fine.

There are three parts of an appeal process against a PCN:

  • First, you have the right to file an informal appeal with the issuer
  • Second, you file a formal appeal (representation) to the issuer
  • Third, you could escalate your appeal to an independent appeals tribunal

Can you just ignore a PCN?

No. Things escalate when you ignore a PCN. In fact, you’d end up paying a lot more when you don’t pay on time. Bailiffs could be instructed to recover the ‘debt’ which could be a lot more than the original ‘fine’.

Your goods could be seized and sold at auction amongst other things!

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’s the deadline for paying a Penalty Charge Notice?

You have 28 days to pay the PCN once you get the fine whether it’s left on your car or it drops through your post box. However, when you pay the PCN within two weeks, the issuer lets you pay a discounted amount.

So, if the original fine is £130, you’d only pay £65 when you pay within 14 days!

That said if you don’t pay within the 28-day deadline, the fine increases by 50%!

What’s the 14-day rule mean?

An issuer must serve the PCN within 14 days of an alleged offence. If it takes longer than 14 days, you could have grounds to contest the fine. But not always. 

For example, if the DVLA is slow to respond when an issuer asks for details, the fine could arrive later.

To clarify, an issuer retrieves the registered keeper’s details from the DVLA and the 14-day rule is supposed to cover this. But sometimes the DVLA takes longer to respond!

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

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How to appeal and win

If you want to avoid paying a Penalty Charge Notice, then you’ll need an airtight appeal.

The best way to perfect your appeal is getting a little advice from a Solicitor. I’d 100% recommend spending a fiver to get a trial of JustAnswer.

You can explain your situation in their chat and they’ll connect you with a Solicitor who can advise you and give you the best chance to win your appeal.

Click here to get the trial offer with JustAnswer.

How to do a car penalty check online

You can’t do a car penalty check online. But if you have the reference number, you can view the following online.

What you can do online Yes/No
Evidence of the offence Yes
Pay the Penalty Charge Notice Yes
Challenge the PCN Yes
Check a PCN online No

What happens if the issuer rejects a PCN appeal?

You’ll have two choices if the issuer rejects your PCN appeal. First, you could pay it within the deadline but you’d pay the full amount.

Second, you can escalate your appeal to an independent tribunal. The tribunal’s decision is final and both sides must respect it. So, if the tribunal sides with you, the issuer must cancel the PCN.

However, if the tribunal rejects your appeal, you’d have no choice but to pay the PCN in full.

Thanks for reading my post on how to check car penalties online. I hope the information helps you deal with an unwanted and maybe unmerited PCN!

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

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The authors
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My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.