Admittedly, a blog about parking tickets might not be the most scintillating read, but don’t knock it, because you might need it. In 2013 parking wardens issued more than eight million parking tickets¹. So how do we get parking tickets and what do we do once we’ve got one?
Many years ago, when I first started driving, I was living in Maida Vale, West London and would park my car outside my flat. Before parking, I would always check there were no parking restrictions and ensure that I wasn’t parked where I could get a ticket. I was always particularly vigilant. But one day I parked my car in a different stretch, in Grantully Road in Maida Vale. There were no yellow lines and no restrictions so I parked and thought nothing of it. The next morning I saw, to my utter disbelief, that a parking ticket had been affixed to my windscreen. The contravention was for parking on a yellow line. What yellow line? There were none on this stretch of road. It turned out there had been, at some point, a yellow line, but it had worn away, so was no longer visible. I decided to challenge the ticket, produced photographic evidence, and won my case.
Just because you’ve been issued with a parking ticket doesn’t mean you have to take it lying down. If you feel you have a valid case to argue, then you can challenge it, but you’ve got to be prepared to invest the time in doing it, and ensure you follow the procedures correctly.
So how do you get a parking ticket? Quite simply, you can get a parking ticket for a number of things. According to the Citizens Advice Bureau², a traffic warden can issue you with a parking ticket if you park:
- On yellow lines
- In a permit-only zone without a clearly displayed valid permit
- In a council-owned car park or on a metered space if you haven’t paid the parking charge
- In a car park or on a metered space if you haven’t paid the correct amount for the time you’ve been parked there, or haven’t clearly displayed the parking ticket
- Anywhere else where parking is banned, for example, on white zigzag lines or on the pavement.
It also advises that if the parking meter is faulty a parking ticket can only be issued if there is another working meter nearby.
Parking tickets can be issued by local authorities, the police, Transport for London and private companies.
There are also three types of tickets:
- Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) – issued by local authorities and Transport for London – which are the most common type of parking ticket
- Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued by the police
- Excess or Standard Charge Notices issued by some local authorities
Parking tickets are issued by affixing them to your windscreen, handing them to whoever appears to be in charge of the vehicle, and in some cases, by post. Usually, the parking ticket will result in a fine that has to be paid. PCNs have to be paid within 28 days, but the fine is reduced by 50% if you pay within 14 days. After 28 days the cost goes up. With FPNs you also have 28 days to pay, after this the fine increases by 50% and if you don’t pay within 28 days you’ll receive a court summons. For excess or Standard Charge Notices you also have 28 days to pay, and in most cases the fine is reduced by 50% if you pay within 14 days.
One thing many young drivers don’t realise is that even if someone else is driving the car at the time the ticket is issued, it’s the owner’s responsibility to pay for it.
Tickets can be paid online by clicking here: How to pay parking fine. They can also be paid by credit or debit card over the phone, by cheque or postal order or in person at your local council offices.
Tickets issued by private companies – for parking on private land such as a supermarket or hospital car park for example – are different and are called Parking Charge Notices. They are different to tickets issued by local authorities, Transport for London and the police and cannot be imposed in the same way as PCNs. For the lowdown on Parking Charge Notices and also on how to appeal a parking ticket click here: How to successfully appeal a parking ticket.
Most PCNs won’t result in points on your licence but some FPNs issued by the police will. Wherever you park do your research to make sure you don’t fall foul of the law.
Sources: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/money-saving-tips/11158641/How-to-successfu lly-appeal-a-parking-ticket.html