Understanding parking penalties (under the road traffic Act 1991)
Parking Tickets or Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)
Different rules apply if you received a police-issued ticket (Fixed Penalty Notice or FPN) or were clamped or towed away.
Parking tickets are usually issued by a parking attendant at the scene. They may, however, be sent to the owner of the vehicle by post, for example if the contravention was observed using a CCTV camera.
Do not ignore parking tickets. They may carry extra penalties if not paid (or contested) promptly. In order to qualify for a discount, payment must be received by the council within 14 days. A payment slip accompanies the ticket - if you wish to pay the ticket but have lost the payment slip contact the council.
The ticket will show the alleged contravention, plus the date, time and location. If you feel it was wrongly issued, or that there are special circumstances in your case, you should write to the council. They may cancel the ticket, or turn down your case and inform you about your rights to take the matter further. If you write to the council promptly they will usually give you another opportunity to pay at the reduced rate even if they turn down your case.
If you wish to preserve your right to appeal against the ticket you should not pay the penalty. Paying a PCN will usually result in the case being closed. If you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle, let the keeper know they should expect a ‘Notice to Owner’ demanding payment of the penalty. Ask them not to pay when they recieve the ‘Notice to Owner’ but to make ‘Representations’ instead.
Notice to owner
If a parking ticket isn’t paid within 28 days a ‘Notice to Owner’ is sent to the keeper registered at DVLA (regardless of who was driving). It should normally be served within 6 months of the ticket. The ‘Notice to Owner’ provides you with an opportunity to either pay the outstanding penalty or make formal ‘representations‘. The penalty needs to be paid or representations made within 28 days. If you do not make representations within 28 days the council can disregrard them. Do not hand the Notice to Owner to the driver – if the driver does not pay the PCN, you could be liable for an increased charge and lose the opportunity to appeal.
If you make a case under one of the statutory grounds (see page 9) the council should cancel the ‘Notice to Owner’. If none of the statutory grounds apply to your case you can still make representations to the council and ask them to take other circumstances into account. The council is not obliged to waive the penalty, but they may do so in exceptional circumstances.
The Road Traffic Act makes the owner, not the driver, liable for most parking penalties.
Having considered your Representation the council will send you a ‘Notice of Acceptance of Representations’ if they agree you should not pay the penalty. The council will send you a ‘Notice of Rejection of Representations’ if they feel you should pay.
If you receive a ‘Notice of Rejection of Representations’ you must either pay the penalty or appeal to an independent Parking Adjudicator within 28 days using the appeal form provided with the Notice of Rejection. See below for how to appeal.
Statutory Grounds to Challenge a PCN or NtO
The contravention did not occur
For example : the contravention (as described on the ticket) did not happen; the parking restriction was not properly signed ; the reason for stopping was lawful in the circumstances (eg vehicle broken down or stopped briefly to pick up passengers). If you can you should submit evidence to support your claim (eg. if claiming you stopped to unload goods, send a copy of any delivery note).
- The penalty exceeded the relevant Amount
For example : you are being asked to pay the wrong amount ; the parking ticket was not correctly issued ; the council claims you paid less (or later) than you did.
- The Traffic management Order was invalid.
This applies if the traffic management order is defective.
- The parking attendant was not prevented from serving the PCN.
This applies when the council sent the PCN to you by post because it claims that the parking attendant was prevented by someone from issuing it at the scene.
- I was not the owner of the vehicle at the time
For example : the vehicle was sold before the contravention occurred. If you can you should submit evidence to support your claim (eg copy of letter to DVLA, cancelled insurance etc).
The two cases when the owner is not liable for penalties are :
- The vehicle was parked by someone in control of the vehicle without my consent
For example : the vehicle was illegally parked after being stolen. If you can you should submit evidence to support your claim (eg letter from police showing crime report number or copy of insurance claim).
- We are a hire company and have provided details of the hirer’s name and address.
This only applies to hire companies where the hirer has signed a suitable agreement accepting liability for penalty charges.
Making a false statement or presenting false evidence to a council or an Adjudicator when making a Representation or an Appeal is a criminal offence carrying with it a maximum fine £5,000
PCN Contravention Codes – On Street Parking
CODE - DESCRIPTION
01 Parking in a restricted street during prescribed hours
02 Parking or loading/unloading in a restricted street where waiting and loading/unloading restrictions are in force
04 Parking in a meter bay when penalty time is indicated
05 Parking after the expiry of paid for time at a pay & display** bay
06 Parking without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket**
07 Parking with payment made to extend the stay beyond initial time (‘meter feeding’)
08 Parking at an out-of-order meter during controlled hours
09 Parking displaying multiple pay & display tickets where prohibited
10 Parking without clearly displaying two**** valid pay and display tickets when required.
15 Parking in a residents’ parking space without clearly displaying a valid residents’ parking permit
16 Parking in a permit space without displaying a valid permit
20 Parking in a loading gap marked by a yellow line
21 Parking in a suspended bay/space or part of bay/space
22 Re-parking in the same parking place within one hour* of leaving
23 Parking in a parking place or area not designated for that class of vehicle
24 Not parking correctly within the markings of the bay or space
25 Parking in a loading place during restricted hours without loading
26 (London only) Vehicle parking more than 50 cm from the kerb and not within a designated parking place
27 (London only) Parking adjacent to a dropped footway
30 Parking for longer than permitted
31 (London only) Entering and stopping in a box junction when prohibited
32 (London only) Failing to drive in the direction shown by the arrow on a blue sign
33 (London only) Using a route restricted to certain vehicles
34 (London only) Vehicle seen contravening bus lane regulations
35 Parked in a disc parking place without clearly displaying a valid disc
36 Parking in a disc parking place for longer than permitted
37 (London only) Failing to comply with a give way to oncoming vehicles sign
40 Parking in a designated disabled person’s parking place without clearly displaying a valid disabled person’s badge.
41 Parking in a parking place designated for diplomatic vehicles
42 Parking in a parking place designated for police vehicles
45 Parking on a taxi rank
46 Parking on a clearway where stopping is prohibited
47 Parking on a restricted bus stop/stand
48 Stopped in a restricted area outside a school***
49 Parking wholly or partly on a cycle track
50 (London only) Failing to comply with a sign indicating a prohibited turn
51 (London only) Failing to comply with a no entry sign
52 (London only) Failing to comply with a sign indicating a prohibition on certain types of vehicle
53 (London only) Failing to comply with a sign indicating a restriction on vehicles entering a pedestrian zone
54 (London only) Failing to comply with a sign indicating a restriction on vehicles entering and waiting in a pedestrian zone
55 A commercial vehicle parked in a restricted street in contravention of the Overnight Waiting Ban
56 Parked in contravention of a commercial vehicle waiting restriction
57 Parking in contravention of a coach ban
58 (London only) Using a vehicle on a restricted street during prescribed hours without a valid permit
59 (London only) Using a vehicle on a restricted street during prescribed hours in breach of permit conditions
61 A heavy commercial vehicle wholly or partly parked on a footway, verge or land between two carriageways
62 Parking with one or more wheels on any part of an urban road other than a carriageway (footway parking)
63 Parking with engine running where prohibited
99 (London only) Stopped on a pedestrian crossing and/or crossing area marked by zig-zags
70 Parking in a loading area during restricted hours without reasonable excuse
77 - - - RESERVED FOR DVLA USE - - -
80 Parking for longer than the maximum period permitted
81 Parking in a restricted area in a car park
82 Parking after the expiry of time paid for in a pay & display** car park
83 Parking in a pay & display** car park without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket** or parking clock
84 Parking with additional payment made to extend the stay beyond time first purchased
85 Parking in a permit bay without clearly displaying a valid permit
86 Parking beyond the bay markings
87 Parking in a disabled person’s parking space without clearly displaying a valid disabled person’s badge
88 - - - DELETED - - -
89 Vehicle parking exceeds maximum weight and/or height permitted in the area
90 Re-parking within one hour* of leaving a bay or space in a car park
91 Parking in an area not designated for that class of vehicle
92 Parking causing an obstruction
93 Parking in car park when closed
94 Parking in a pay and display car park without clearly displaying two****valid pay and display tickets when required
* Or other specified time
** Or voucher
*** Sometimes applies during term time only
**** Or other number