parking ticket, pcn, how can i get out of paying a parking ticket,




ConsumerUK Guide




If you get a parking ticket you first need to consider if you have any grounds of appeal:

Grounds of Appeal1.       The contravention did not occur

1.     The Ticket should not have been issued

For example:

  • The signs and lines were wrong
  • The PCN was not served
  • The events alleged did not happen
  • The vehicle was entitled to park

For example:

  • Loading/unloading was taking place
  • A passenger was boarding/alighting
  • A valid disabled person's badge was displayed
  • A valid
  • pay-and-display ticket or permit was displayed. 

2.        The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case.

This means that the council has asked for more than it was entitled to under the relevant Regulations - The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Guidelines on Levels of Charges) (England) Order 2007.

Levels of Penalty Charge 

Band >>>>>>>>>>>


Higher level penalty charge

Lower level penalty charge

Higher level penalty charge paid early 

Lower level penalty charge paid early 

Higher level penalty
charge paid after service of charge certificate 

Lower level penalty
charge paid after service of charge certificate 















3.        The relevant Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is invalid.

This means that the TRO was invalid or illegal.

What is a TRO?
A TRO is the legal instrument by which traffic authorities implement most traffic management 
controls on their roads. Under the provisions of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, local 
authorities can implement Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs), designed to regulate, restrict or prohibit 
the use of a road or any part of the width of a road by vehicular traffic or pedestrians. A TRO may 
take effect at all times or during specified periods, and certain classes of traffic may be exempted from

When will a TRO be invalid?


4.        There has been a procedural impropriety by the council.

This means that the council has not complied with the Regulations made under the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) or the relevant regulations. For example:

The PCN or some other document did not contain the required information

The council did not respond to a challenge or responded too late.

The appellant is not liable to pay a penalty, because:

5.        The appellant did not own the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred. 

For example:

  • They never owned it
  • They sold it before or bought it after the date of the contravention. The appellant should provide information about the transaction including the new or former owner's name and address, if known.
  • Some long-term leasing arrangements have the effect of transferring keepership from the registered keeper to the hirer.

More information about owner liability.

6.        The owner is a vehicle hire firm and:

            (i) the vehicle was on hire under a qualifying hiring agreement; and

            (ii) the hirer had signed a statement of liability for any PCN issued during the hire period.

This ground applies only to formal hire agreements where the hirer has signed an agreement accepting liability for penalty charges. The requirements are specific. They are contained in Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic (Owner Liability) Regulations 2000. The appellant should provide the hirer's name and address and a copy of the agreement.

7.        The vehicle was taken without the owner's consent.

This ground covers stolen vehicles and vehicles used without the owner's consent.  
It could apply, for example, to a vehicle taken by "joy-riders". It does not generally apply to vehicles in the possession of a garage or borrowed by a relative or friend. 
If possible, the appellant should supply a Crime Reference Number from the police.

8.        The penalty has already been paid:

            (i) in full; or

            (ii) at the discount rate and in time.

If you decide that you dont have any grounds of appeal you may have mitigating circumstances. If you do, you should write to the Council and explain your circumstances. The Council has no obligation to listen but they may cancel the ticket based on your circumstances:

Example Mitigating Circumstances

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some examples:

  • You were parked due to an emergency
  • You was only loading or unloading so was not actually parked
  • You was only dropping someone off so was not actually parked
  • You had broken down so was not purposely parked
  • You had gone to get change for the parking meter

Appeal process - Civil parking tickets


This will apply to you if you had a ticket put on your car (not if you were clamped, had a ticket through your door or was towed – if any of these apply to you your recourse is to go through the ‘formal procedure below’).

All you need to do is write a letter to the council and explain why you feel that the ticket should not have been issued.

Get your letter within 14 days of the ticket, as this is the time limit for taking advantage of the reduced fine.

If the council reject your informal appeal you will need to more to the formal procedure below


You will have received an appeal form with your ticket. You now need to fill out the form and clearly explain your grounds for appeal.

The council has 56 days to respond to a formal appeal or you win by default.

If the council do respond it will either be to confirm that you have won or lost your appeal. If you lose the Council will send you a Notice of Rejection of Representations letter, you'll then receive a form called a Notice of Appeal to challenge the ticket at an independent tribunal. At this point you will have lost the chance to pay at half price anyway, so there's no harm in continuing to the next stage.

You need to submit the form within 28 days of receiving it.


There are four bodies which hear tribunals. The good news is that this is a free process and you wil not have to attend.

If you lose You will need to pay the penalty within 28 days or the fine can increase by 50%.


Click hear to Read our full guide on Fighting Parking tickets.








Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the legal information contained on “consumeruk” is accurate, it does not constitute legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act upon it, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk. Neither the Proprietor nor Dean Dunham can assume responsibility and do not accept liability for any damage or loss which may arise as a result of your reliance upon it.


Last updated 14.07.2014

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