Can I Get a Parking Ticket While in my Car UK?

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How to appeal a parking ticket
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Janine Marsh
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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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Updated 21 November 2023
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Parking Ticket While in car

Have you ever asked someone the question, can I get a parking ticket while in the car? It’s a situation motorists often wonder about when confronted by a parking attendant!

Read on to find out whether you could get fined when you’re parked and sitting in your vehicle.

How to appeal and win

If you want to avoid paying a parking ticket 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. For £5 it’s actually amazing value.

Click here to get the trial offer with JustAnswer.

Why would you get a parking ticket?

You’d get a parking ticket for not parking legally in a public place. You could be fined for not following the ‘rules’ in a privately run car park. So what’s the difference?

A parking ticket on public land is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) Councils, Highways agencies, the police, and other authorities enforce. Penalty charges are backed up by UK law.

On the other hand, a parking ticket on private land is a Parking Charge Notice which falls under contractual law. It’s an invoice rather than a fine and the issuer must win a case in a small claims court to get you to pay the charge.

Why? Because private operators can’t lawfully demand payment from you!

Can you get a parking ticket while sitting in your car UK?

Yes. When you are unlawfully parked in a public place, you risk getting a Penalty Charge Notice even when you’re sitting in your car!

The same is true if you’re sitting in a vehicle in a private car park and you haven’t paid or overstayed an allotted time. That said, if you’re preparing to leave and sitting in a vehicle, you could argue your case and have the parking ticket cancelled.

Here’s an example of a motorists getting slapped with a parking ticket with the engine running!

parking ticket while in my car UK


How much do parking tickets set you back?

You could be fined as much as £100 depending on the seriousness of a parking violation.

That said, you should be offered a discounted rate by an issuer when you pay within two weeks. The discount applies to Penalty Charges and Parking Charges. But a private operator only has to discount a fine by 40% whereas an authority offers a 50% reduction.

Can you beat your ticket?

In many cases tickets aren’t actually enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but you could pay £5 to chat with an online Solicitor.

They’ll give you support in crafting the best appeal possible and give you the best chance of not paying your ticket.

You can try it below. 


How long will a parking attendant wait before issuing a ticket?

You should be allowed ten-minutes grace by a parking attendant before they issue you with a fine. You could argue your case against the fine if a parking ticket is issued before the ten minutes are up!

So, if you’re sitting in your vehicle and preparing to leave, you should be allowed the grace period to exit the car park. That said, you must be parked correctly/lawfully for a grace period to apply.

In short, if you’re illegally parked or you didn’t pay, you won’t be afforded a grace period!

Do parking tickets have to be put on vehicles?

No. Whether it’s a Penalty Charge or a Parking Charge, the fine doesn’t have to be put on your car. You could receive the parking ticket in the mail if the incident is recorded on camera.

The council and other authorities access the DVLA database to get the details of a registered keeper. The same is true of accredited car park management companies. So, if you’re the registered keeper, you’ll be sent the parking ticket through the post.

How do you have to appeal a parking ticket?

You could wait 28 days to appeal a parking ticket which is the deadline. Or you could opt to file an appeal against the charge within 14 days. If the issuer rejects your appeal, you still pay a reduced amount. If you don’t want to escalate your appeal that is!

Make sure you have proof to support your appeal whether it’s against a Penalty Charge or a Parking Charge. The issuer places everything on hold while your appeal is being considered which gains you a little time to pay.

Once a decision is made, you’ll either get a letter of acceptance or one of rejection. If the issuer upholds your appeal, they’ll cancel the fine. But if it’s rejected, you’ll have two choices as detailed below:

  • First option is to pay the fine in full within a deadline, Or
  • Second option is to escalate your appeal to an independent appeals service

For Penalty Charges, you’d escalate an appeal to a tribunal. But for Parking Charges, the appeal goes to the Independent Appeals Service (IAS) or the Parking on Private Land Appeals service (POPLA).

The decision is final.

So, if the appeals service or tribunal upholds your appeal, the issuer must cancel the charge. But if your appeal is rejected, you’d have to pay the full amount within a deadline.

Can I get a parking ticket while in my car?

Yes. When you’re guilty of committing a parking infringement, you could get a parking ticket while sitting inside your car.

More car parks have ANPR and CCTV in operation so you’d be caught on camera if you overstay or do not pay to park in a private or public place!

The parking ticket arrives as a complete surprise through your letterbox a little later. But even then, you should deal with things by either paying or appealing the parking ticket.

The one thing you should avoid doing is to ignore a parking ticket because you think it’s unfair or unenforceable. It could be an expensive mistake that lands you in court!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post that hopefully answers the question, can I get a parking ticket while in my car?

Don’t submit your appeal yet.

The best way to beat a ticket is to get professional advice.

For a £5 trial, you can have Solicitors from JustAnswer look at your case and help make your appeal airtight.

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.
How to avoid paying
How to avoid paying

You can increase your chance of not paying a parking ticket by getting legal advice. 

JustAnswer have a deal where a professional Solicitor will help you craft the perfect appeal.

And it’s just £5 to try!

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