Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information

READ THE TICKET CAREFULLY
: It should give the date, time and place of the offence and the date of notification. It should identify your vehicle, the rule that has been broken and tell you how to deal with the ticket. If it fails to do these things, it may be invalid.

GATHER YOUR EVIDENCE: If you have a camera phone, take pictures. Ask any witnesses to sign brief statements.

UNOFFICIAL CHALLENGE: Within 14 days, write to the council explaining, simply, why the penalty should be waived.

NOTICE TO OWNER: If the council rejects the first representation, it will inform the vehicleís owner by post, giving another 14 days to pay the discount rate. After that, it will issue a notice to owner.

APPEAL: The "notice to owner" details the grounds on which the owner can appeal. If your case doesnít fit into these categories, you can still challenge the ticket. You have 28 days to file.
Ticket tactics: What to do when you are booked

ADJUDICATION: If the formal appeal is turned down, you can now turn to the adjudicators, independent lawyers paid for by a 55p levy on every ticket issued. They will talk to you and a representative of the council in person, or deal with evidence youíve posted in, and reach an impartial decision. In more than half of cases they back the motorists.

CONTACTS: In metropolitan London, visit www.parkingandtrafficappeals.gov.uk; outside London, visit www.parkingappeals.gov.uk

1 CLAMPED
Moments after a warden slaps a ticket on, the clampers arrive. Ironically, this means the car will be illegally parked for even longer

2 REMOVED
Towing cars that are blocking traffic is one thing, but when all youíve done is overstayed the meter, the cost is over the top

3 C CHARGE
The congestion charge has cut traffic in London, but drivers have been wrongly ticketed when cameras have been left on at night

4 PAY AND DISPLAY
Stick your receipt upside down or on the wrong bit of window and you will earn a ticket

5 LINE PAINTERS
Beware! If they paint yellow lines beside your parked vehicle, the traffic wardens will not be far behind

6 HELPFUL SHOP ASSISTANTS
With the warden around the corner, it is a race to your car. But helpful store staff may bring your purchases to you

7 CCTV CAMERAS
Pull into a parking bay, read the sign, realise you canít stay, pull out again. You may still be posted a ticket by an automatic camera

8 WARDEN WARNINGS
Some shops have started installing cameras that let patrons watch out for approaching parking wardens

9 PARKING ATTENDANT
Underpaid, even if they are on commission. They have so little room for discretion that it is not worth arguing with them

10 BROKEN METERS
Donít expect any sympathy if they donít work. Leaving a note saying you paid wonít let you off a ticket

11 RUSH HOUR RESTRICTIONS
It may be OK to park here now, but not in half an hour. Some bays change status as often as five times a day

12 WHEELCHAIR ACCESS
A dip in the kerb usually means access for vehicles or the disabled, even if it is not marked. Park here at your peril

13 LOOK OUT!
One of the best defences against unfair ticketing comes from drivers warning each other that parking attendants are near

14 RESIDENTSí PERMITS
Being entitled to buy a permit doesnít mean you can park wherever you want. Make sure your permit is displayed properly

15 RED ROUTES
Donít even think about stopping here in rush hour. If you do, you deserve the fine you will almost certainly get

16 DOUBLE YELLOW LINES

Old, faded and patched lines may not be legally valid, but you will still have the hassle of disputing a ticket

17 DISABLED BAYS
Even with a blue badge visible, disabled drivers are often given tickets for using the bays reserved for them

18 HIDDEN SIGNS
Keep a sharp eye out when parking for signs obscured by trees or lorries. Not seeing the sign is never an excuse

19 LOADING
Donít take too long bringing that piano down the stairs. Parking wardens are not renowned for their patience





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