The legal process for appealing a penalty charge

Parking tickets particularly come from official bodies (e.g. councils, the police) or private companies. Knowing where yours came from is a bit difficult as they appear to be similar. Parking-related laws are set for general safety and for helping traffic flow. Although at times, honest errors occur when there is an unclear sign, technological faults, or plainly biased parking attendants.

Gather as much evidence as possible at the parking ticket scene, or even after it has been handed to you. Your evidence will really help you on your appeal.

To accurately reflect your situation at the time you got your ticket, your evidence should be contemporaneous — meaning you need to have it as soon as possible. Make sure to collect the following as your evidence:


Take photos of unclear signs, bay markings or lines, and areas where you believe they were wrongly placed and where they should be rightfully placed. Taking photos of your car, its placing, the meter, your ticket, and other relevant things will also be helpful.


Make sure to store everything you have received and to copy anything you’ve sent off to and from the company

Proof of mitigating circumstances

If your car had broken down during the time that the parking ticket was issued, make sure to keep receipts or anything else that may be relevant from a recovery company.

Witness statements

Get details such as complete name, mobile number, address, or anything that will allow you to contact people who will corroborate your story or your situation.

To admit your liability, pay the fine imposed on your ticket. Do not pay if you want to make an appeal, but you have to do it as soon. Else, charges will go up.

Make an appeal against a penalty charge notice (PCN) to an independent tribunal if you think you were wrongfully given a ticket. Note, though, that you will only be able to do so if you have already made a formal challenge or “representation”. Typically, you have about 28 days to make an appeal after you get a “Notice of Rejection” stating that your formal challenge failed.

In England or Wales, this includes:

  • parking;
  • breaking traffic rules; and
  • not paying the Dartford Crossing, London congestion, or low emissions zone charge on time.

On the other hand, there are different processes to make an appeal in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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