Do I have to pay a parking charge notice? Maybe not…

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How to appeal a ticket
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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- Financial Expert
Updated 18 August 2023
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Do I have to pay a parking charge notice

You may wonder how many motorists ask the question, ‘do I have to pay a parking charge notice?’. Unfortunately, the answer is a lot! After all, are parking fines on private land legal?

Read on to find out when you could get out of paying a parking charge notice and when it might be better to swallow hard and pay up!

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 charge notice?

You’d get a Parking Charge Notice when you don’t follow an operator’s rules when using a private car park. So, for example, you’ll get a ticket if you park your car in a Tesco car park and overstay the permitted free time.

Other reasons include:

  • You parked in a disabled bay but didn’t have the proper badge
  • You left your car in a bay designated for families with children
  • You parked overnight, which is not allowed in many private car parks
  • You didn’t pay a fee to use a car park

A private operator is authorised to issue you with a parking ticket by a landowner. Whether you’re handed the ticket, it’s left in your car or sent to you via the post!

Is a parking charge notice like a penalty charge notice?

No. The parking tickets look similar and have the same acronyms, but that’s where the similarities end. A ticket you get on private land, say, Aldi, is an invoice an operator gives you. It’s a civil matter that would be heard in a small claims court if the operator pursues matters.

A Penalty Charge Notice is a fine that falls under UK legislation. Although not a criminal offence, the issuing authority can enforce a penalty charge. So, when you don’t pay, you’ll get a Charge Notice followed by an Order to Pay.

Is a parking charge notice enforceable?

No. Not unless a court orders you to pay the parking ticket once the operator wins the case. An operator or landowner can’t legally demand payment from you. They can only tell you their intentions to take you to court over an unpaid parking ticket.

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. 


Should you pay a parking charge notice immediately?

There are certain advantages to paying a parking charge notice as soon as possible. First, you don’t worry about being taken to court. Second, paying a parking ticket in a private car park pays 40% less than the original amount.

What excuses can you use to appeal a parking charge notice?

An operator must consider an appeal against a parking charge notice providing you have a good reason to challenge it. So, what excuses could you use? I’ve listed a few below:

  • You didn’t park badly
  • You paid the fee to use the car park
  • You didn’t overstay the allotted free time to park
  • You weren’t given a grace period before the ticket was issued
  • The signs in the car park were unclear or missing altogether
  • Payment machines were out of order, and there was no other way to pay
  • You were broken down and waiting for a vehicle recovery truck to arrive
  • You couldn’t get back to your car because of a medical emergency

Of course, you’ll need to provide evidence to support an excuse for having a parking charge notice cancelled. However, even with proof, an operator could reject your appeal.

What happens if the operator rejects your appeal?

You’ll get a letter of rejection from the operator. The letter should contain information on how to proceed, whether you want to pay or take the matter further. The operator must tell you how to appeal to an independent appeals service.

It’s a free service that stops the operator from taking the matter further until a decision is made. The downside is that you’ll have to pay the full amount if the independent appeals service sides with an operator!

Plus, it’s the end of the line as far as appeals go.

What is the grace period for a parking ticket?

There’s a 10-minute mandatory grace period that private operators must allow before issuing a parking ticket. But your car must be parked correctly for the grace period to apply.

How do you appeal a parking charge notice?

Information on how to appeal should be on the parking charge notice. For example, whether you get the parking charge through the post, find it on your car, or are handed it by a parking attendant.

Make a note of the time limit to appeal the parking ticket. But first, make sure all the details are correct. Then try to file your appeal with the issuer as soon as possible. It puts everything on hold until an operator accepts or rejects your appeal.

What happens when you fail to pay a parking charge notice?

The issuer can chase you for the payment. First, you’ll get payment reminders. Then an operator could threaten you with legal action. Finally, a debt collector could be instructed to recover the unpaid amount.

There’s never any guarantee that an operator won’t start legal proceedings when you don’t pay. It’s a risky decision which could ruin your credit history when a CCJ is registered against you!

Why? Because what was initially a parking ticket becomes a debt when you fail to pay!

Do you have to pay a parking charge notice?

Motorists ask the question, ‘do I have to pay a parking charge notice?’ all the time. In short, an operator cannot demand payment from you. Only a court can do that. So the issuer must win a court case for a parking charge notice to be enforceable.

You have two choices when you get a parking charge notice from a private operator. You could either pay the fine within 14 days to pay a lesser fine. Or you could appeal the fine by providing a valid reason for having the parking ticket cancelled.

The one thing you should not do is ignore the fact you got a parking charge notice because it could get expensive!

Thanks for reading this post. I hope I’ve answered the question ‘do I have to pay a parking charge notice?’, and you now know what to do!

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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