Can you appeal your parking fine?
Firstly, you have to determine whether you have grounds for an appeal or not. Listed below are several legal grounds on which you can base an appeal. If you fall under one of these categories then it is likely that you will be able to avoid your parking fine.
1. THE CONTRAVENTION DID NOT OCCUR. (i.e. you didn't do anything wrong in the first place)
This can because of one or more of the following reasons:
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- the signs or road markings in the area were misleading or obscured;
- This is a common complaint, and can prove a successful way to challenge your parking ticket. Councils must provide clear signs on each and every road entering an area where parking is restricted.
- All signs should be clearly visible and show the hours when the restrictions are in place. You should check all the roads entering the area where you received your ticket. Check that there are signs on both sides of the road, and that the signs are not too small, faded, or covered by branches. All these can be reasons to invalidate a parking ticket.
- If the restriction is particular to one street, rather than a whole area, each yellow line should have a sign on every lamp post. If there is a gap of more than 60m between lamp posts, there should be a signpost.
- All single and double yellow lines have to be continuous, unbroken and must end in a 'T-bar'. If there are breaks in the line, or the line does not end in a T-bar (except where the line is broken with other road markings), this can invalidate any ticket given anywhere on the line.
- Where there are parking bays at the side of the road there must be signs every 30m along the road. There should also be signs within 5m of each end of the parking bays.
- you were loading/unloading your vehicle
- If it is a double yellow line, loading and unloading of vehicles is not allowed at any time. However, if there is a single yellow line you can load or unload your vehicle for up to 20 minutes, unless there is a sign that says otherwise. Any tickets issued in this time are invalid.
- If there is a sign indicating restriction on loading and unloading, there must also be lines marked on the kerb at 90 degrees to the road.
- Some areas will have specific rules against parking for 20 minutes and then moving away and returning to the same spot. If you want to appeal against a ticket on these grounds then check the rules in your area.
- If you are appealing on the grounds that you were making a delivery, it will help your case if you have a delivery note (for commercial deliveries) or witness statements from someone at the address that can confirm your story.
- a valid permit or pay & display ticket was displayed
- If you had a ticket or permit to park when you got your parking fine, you can appeal. Parking attendants often take pictures of offending vehicles to show that a valid ticket was not displayed visibly, so be sure that you still have the ticket if you want to appeal.
- the council cannot provide evidence of the alleged offence
- This defence can only be used if you were sent your PCN through the post instead of it being affixed to your vehicle.
- If this is the case then the first thing you should do is request photographic evidence of the contravention from the issuing authority.
- If the council cannot supply evidence, then you can argue the contravention did not occur. Check the photo carefully against the actual area. Has it been cropped to make it misleading, does the picture actually show a contravention, is it marked with date and time, does it definitely show your car? In many instances, there may not be sufficient proof.
- the parking bay was too small
- If your ticket was for 'parking outside of a marked bay', you should check the parking space met the minimum width. By law, a parking bay must be at least 1.62m wide, measured from the edge of the kerb to the outer edge of the white line.
3. THERE HAS BEEN A PROCEDURAL IMPROPRIETY BY THE ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (i.e. your PCN has not been filled out incorrectly)
If your PCN has been filled out incorrectly or is missing information then it can be deemed as invalid and be appealed against.
Check your ticket for the following details. If any are missing then you have a good chance of winning your appeal.
- The date it is served.
- The name of the enforcement authority.
- The registration of the vehicle.
- The date and the time the alleged contravention occurred.
- Why the ticket has been issued.
- The amount of the penalty charge.
- That the penalty charge must be paid within 28 days.
- That if the penalty charge is paid within 14 days the fine will be reduced.
- How to pay the charge.
- If the charge is not paid within 28 days, a 'Notice to Owner' form will be sent to the vehicle owner.
- That you can appeal within the first 28 days and how you need to make the appeal, including the address (and email and fax if appropriate) that appeals should be sent to.
- The grounds under which you can make an appeal.
- That if your formal appeal is made on time but is rejected, that you can appeal to an adjudicator.
4. THE PENALTY EXCEEDED THE RELEVANT AMOUNT
- In other words, the fine was too big. Fines issued outside of London should be between £40 and £60. Within London they are between £80 and £120. If your fine is over these amounts then you can appeal.
5. THE TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER WAS INVALID.
- The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is basically a document outlining the terms and conditions of a council's parking regulations. Sometimes these orders are legally defective and can be challenged (e.g. the council introduced a new parking restriction but did not follow the correct procedures in enforcing it). Look at the TRO and if something doesn't add up then contact a solicitor to determine whether the order is legally sound or not.
6. YOU WERE NOT THE OWNER OF THE VEHICLE WHEN THE ALLEGED CONTRAVENTION OCCURRED.
- If you recently sold or bought a car the DVLA may not have up-to-date records of the current owner. If you are appealing a ticket on these grounds, you need to provide contact details of whoever bought the vehicle from you, or whoever sold it to you.
7. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT
- If your vehicle was stolen at the time the alleged contravention occurred then you can appeal against any fines incurred during that period. If this is the case then you must supply a crime reference number with your appeal.
8. YOU ARE A HIRE COMPANY AND HAVE SUPPLIED THE HIRER'S NAME AND ADDRESS.
To find out how to appeal your parking fine, click here to go the next page of our guide.
These are legal grounds on which you can make your appeal. If you feel your appeal does not into any of the above categories then it may be possible to make a claim under mitigating circumstances.