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How to appeal a ticket
How to appeal a parking ticket

What Makes a Parking Ticket Invalid?

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
· Jun 11th, 2024
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What Makes a Parking Ticket Invalid

Are you worried about a parking ticket you’ve received? You’re not alone. Every month, over 32,000 people visit this site seeking guidance on parking tickets and fines. 

In this easy-to-read guide, we’ll show you:

  •  Why a parking ticket might not be valid
  •  How to make a successful appeal against a parking ticket
  •  The difference between a Parking Charge and a Penalty Charge
  •  What to do if a private car park company rejects your appeal 
  •  How long you have to appeal a parking ticket

It’s important to understand your parking ticket and what it means. Not dealing with it could affect your financial health and could lead to legal action.

We know how it feels to get a parking ticket, and we are here to help you learn how you can deal with your parking ticket.

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.

What makes a Parking Charge Notice invalid?

You could challenge a Parking Charge Notice for various reasons which I’ve listed below:

  • The issuer failed to follow the Code of Practice (this applies to accredited members of an association only)
  • The parking charge arrived in the post more than fourteen days after an ‘apparent’ breach of contract
  • You got the ticket in the post although no signs indicating CCTV was in operation in the car park
  • The parking notice was issued before the mandatory ‘grace period’ had expired. This only applies if the operator is a member of a car park management association. Plus you must have parked correctly
  • Bay markings were faded and signage unclear
  • The payment machine was out of order so there was no way to pay
  • The parking ticket is way too much
  • The ticket was issued when you weren’t the driver at the time
  • An emergency prevented you from returning to the car park on time
  • You had to wait for a recovery truck because you’d broken down

You should appeal the parking charge as soon as you can to prevent the issuer from taking the matter any further. A Parking Charge Notice is enforceable when there’s court order to pay!

Check out what happened to one motorist who hopes he can appeal a valid Parking Charge Notice:

What makes a Parking Charge Notice invalid

Source: Moneysavingexpert

What makes a Penalty Charge Notice invalid?

There are several grounds which could see a Penalty Charge Notice being invalid. You could use any of the reasons in the list below to challenge the fine:

  • The fine exceeds the amount normally charged for the same offence
  • A contravention never happened
  • The TRO isn’t valid (Traffic Regulation Order)
  • The issuing authority committed a ‘procedural impropriety’
  • The issuer sent the fine through the post claiming you prevented them from giving the fine to you although this never happened
  • You didn’t own the vehicle when the penalty charge was issued
  • The vehicle is owned by a hire car company
  • The vehicle was stolen or taken without your consent
  • You already paid the fine
  • There are compelling reasons 

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

If an issuing authority rejects your appeal against the Penalty Charge, you can raise an appeal with a relevant tribunal.

The tribunal will consider your appeal and either accept your reason or reject it. If they reject your appeal, you’d have to pay the Penalty Charge which could be the full amount.

Plus, if the tribunal rejects an appeal, you can’t escalate the matter any further. You could take legal action against the issuer yourself which would prove risky not to mention expensive.

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.

Are parking tickets reduced if settled early?

Yes. If you settle a parking ticket early, the fine amount is reduced. I’ve listed how much you’d pay for a Parking Charge Notice and what you’d pay for Penalty Charge in the table below:

Type of parking ticket Discount percentages
Parking Charge Notice paid within 14 days Fine amount reduced by 40 to 60%
Penalty Charge Notice paid within 14 days Fine amount reduced by 50%

A private car park company should respond to your appeal against the parking ticket within 56 days!

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

Get started

Reviews shown are for JustAnswer.

How long do you have to appeal a parking ticket?

You have 28 days to file an appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice.

If you miss the 28-day deadline, you lose the right to challenge a parking ticket. Also worth noting is that once you’ve paid the fine, you can’t appeal it!

It’s best to use a parking ticket appeal template when you challenge a fine. Like this, you enter all the right information from the word go!

What if the private car park company rejects your appeal?

If the operator rejects your appeal, you can raise another appeal with an independent appeals service.

This would either be with the British Parking Association or the International Parking Community depending on which association they are with.

An independent appeals service may side with the issuer or they could uphold your appeal. In which case, the parking charge is cancelled and you won’t have to pay.

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.


Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

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