If you receive a parking Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) that you feel is unfair, you can challenge it.
Sections in this guide (click title to view)
- 1. Can I challenge a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
- 2. Make an informal challenge
- 3. Make a formal appeal (representation)
- 4. Appeal to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators service
- 5. Appeal against the removal of a vehicle
1. Can I challenge a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
Before you consider appealing your PCN please view your PCN footage and images.
Please do not send payment if you will be challenging a PCN.
If you do want to appeal your PCN, it is a legal requirement that all challenges are made in writing, which can be by email or by sending a letter in the post.
Please ensure that you clearly display your PCN reference number on all documentation. Your PCN number starts with LH or LJ followed by eight digits which could include a letter. If you do not have this information to hand please include your vehicle registration number.
There are three stages to the challenge process: informal challenge, formal representation and appeal to the Parking and Traffic Adjudication service. You can also make a challenge against the removal of your vehicle after you have paid your PCN and removal fee.
2. Make an informal challenge
If you have received a PCN on your vehicle, or for driving in a bus lane you can make an informal challenge up to 28 days after a PCN is issued.
You cannot make an informal challenge against a moving traffic or postal PCN.
If you make an informal challenge within the first 14 days from the date of issue, you will receive a discounted rate if your challenge is unsuccessful. If you challenge the PCN outside of the 14 days you must pay the full amount of the PCN if your challenge is unsuccessful.
PCN informal challenge form
To make an informal challenge on a PCN complete a PCN informal challenge form and explain to us why you want to challenge it.
We will investigate the points raised in your form and make a decision as to whether or not the PCN must be paid. We aim to let you know as soon as we can.
Please note you will no longer be able to discuss a parking fine with a member of our team at our customer service centres. This change has been made as all challenges must be made in writing by using our online web form or submitting a challenge by post. You will still be able to drop off a challenge at our customer centres.
3. Make a formal appeal (representation)
If you do not pay or challenge your Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) within the first 28 days after it is issued, we will issue a written reminder called a Notice to Owner or an Enforcement Notice giving you an option to either pay the PCN or make a formal appeal (representation).
You can only make a formal appeal (representation) to us after receiving a Notice to Owner or an Enforcement Notice, which will explain how to make a formal appeal. Appeals must be made on one of the grounds set out on the Notice to Owner or Enforcement Notice.
We will investigate the points raised in your appeal and will make a decision as to whether or not grounds have been met. If they have, you will receive a Notice of Acceptance and the PCN will be cancelled.
If the PCN is not cancelled, you will be told the reasons why and sent a form that will allow you to appeal to the Environment Tribunal Adjudicators if you disagree with our decision.
We are required to respond to your appeal (representation) within 56 days of receipt.
4. Appeal to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators service
If we reject your formal appeal (representation) on a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) you can make an appeal to an independent adjudicator at the Environment Tribunal Adjudicators to get your decision reviewed.
You may choose whether to attend the hearing in person or have the appeal dealt with by post. The adjudicator's decision is final and binding upon both you and us.
Appeals to be sent:
Environment and Traffic Adjudicators (ETA)
PO Box 530
Please note, you cannot appeal to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators until we have told you that your formal appeal has been rejected.
You can find out more about the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators by visiting their website.
What happens if I don't pay or appeal within the required time?
If you don’t pay or appeal against your PCN it will progress through the statutory process starting with the issue of a Charge Certificate. Please remember outstanding PCNs may end up being passed to one of our bailiff contractors to collect.
If you receive a Charge Certificate you must pay the charge within 14 days. At this stage the PCN charge increases by 50%. There is no right of appeal at this stage. If you do not pay the charge it will be registered as a debt in the County Court, a court fee is added and an Order for Recovery is sent. Please do not appeal your PCN as it will be automatically rejected.
Order of Recovery
If you do not pay the charge it will be registered as a debt in the County Court, a £8 court fee is added at this point and an Order of Recovery will be sent out. You have 21 days in which to pay the charge or make a witness statement if you believe you have grounds to do so.
What if my PCN has been passed to a bailiff?
If your PCN has been passed to one of our bailiff contractors we will not be able to consider any challenges. Enforcement action will continue, therefore it is important that you contact the bailiff directly.
5. Appeal against the removal of a vehicle
If your vehicle is removed and you feel it is unfair, you can appeal against it after you have paid the penalty charge and release fees.
You must make an appeal within 28 days of collecting your vehicle from the car pound.
Details on how to do this and an appeal (representation) form will be given to you after you have paid for the release of the vehicle at the car pound.
The grounds upon which you may appeal against the removal of your vehicle are detailed on the form.
We are required to respond to your appeal within 56 days of receipt.
If the PCN cannot be cancelled, you will be told the reasons why and sent a form that will allow you to appeal to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators if you disagree with our decision.