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Parking fines frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about penalty charge notices (PCNs).

If you have been issued with a PCN and are unsure why you can check our Guide to penalty charge notice (PCN) pages. They detail the contravention codes that appear on the PCN. The guide explains what each code means and gives guidance on how to appeal against the fine.

My vehicle broke down

A civil enforcement officer (traffic warden) may not be able to tell that your vehicle has broken down. If you received a PCN (penalty charge notice) in this circumstance, write to us and include a garage invoice or work sheet as proof that your vehicle required work.

I was loading or unloading goods

A traffic warden will observe a private motor car for five minutes or a goods vehicle for 10 minutes to establish whether it is being used for loading/unloading purposes. If no activity is seen around the vehicle during the observation period then a PCN will be issued. If you feel the traffic warden issued the PCN wrongly you may write to us. A delivery note may be accepted as proof that loading/unloading was taking place.

My appointment overran at the dentist, doctors or meeting

You are responsible for making sure that you have paid for enough parking time, therefore you must pay the fine.

I thought I was legally parked but I made a mistake

It is your responsibility to read and obey the signs and line markings, therefore you must pay the fine.

I didn't receive a PCN on my vehicle

Write to us explaining the situation. We will check digital photos of your vehicle and the traffic warden's notes and let you know our decision.

The vehicle is owned by a hire/lease company

If you are an employee of a hire/lease company, write to us explaining the situation and send a copy of the rental agreement in which the hire/lease company has accepted liability for parking penalties. 

If you were hiring the vehicle or it is on long term lease to you, you are responsible for pay the fine.

I am the driver of the vehicle but not the owner

If you were driving the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued, you must either pay the fine or write to us. If you do not do one of these within 28 days, the owner of the vehicle becomes responsible for the full penalty charge.

I am the owner of the vehicle but it wasn't me who parked there

If you are the registered owner or keeper of the vehicle then you are responsible for the charge. You will have the opportunity to make an appeal or pay the fine when you receive the notice to owner letter from us.

I used to be the owner of the vehicle but it has now been sold/disposed of

We will check for ownership details of the vehicle for the day the PCN was issued with the DVLA. We will pursue the registered keeper whose details are given to us by the DVLA. If you have sold your vehicle tell the DVLA about the change in ownership immediately and keep a note of the new keepers name and address for future reference. You will have the opportunity to tell us the new keepers name and address when you receive the notice to owner letter from us.

I don't know the name and address of the new owner

When you sell a vehicle you have a legal obligation to inform the DVLA of the transaction by completing and returning the registration documents to them. If their records show that you are the registered keeper of the vehicle on the day of the contravention then you are responsible for any parking charges. Therefore, you must pay the fine

Miss-spelling of registered owner's name

The miss-spelling of the owner's name and/or address on the notice to owner does not invalidate it or discharge the liability of the person receiving it. The onus is still on the genuine owner to deal with the matter. Such names and addresses are, in most cases, obtained from the DVLA and are supplied by the owners themselves. It is also incumbent upon the owner to ensure that these are correct. If any miss-spelling is discovered then alterations will be made immediately to ensure that future notices are sent out correctly.

How do I dispute the charge?

See our Guide to penalty charge notice (PCN) page.

Do the traffic wardens have targets for the number of tickets they issue?

No they don't.

I have lost the PCN

Contact us with the registration number of the vehicle, when the ticket was issued and where the vehicle was parked. We should be able to track the ticket down for you but only from the day after it was issued.

Signs and markings are missing, obscured or broken

Where it is claimed that a yellow or white line(s) is worn away or has been covered by a repair, the parking restrictions will be enforced if the traffic warden's photograph shows otherwise.

Where weather conditions (for example snow/leaves) have obscured the lines then each case will be looked at individually.

If it is confirmed that the claim is valid the fine will be cancelled. Where the lines can be clearly seen, even though they may be partially worn, the PCN will be enforced.

Estate agents 

Estate agents are not exempt from parking restrictions while visiting a client's property.

Plumbers, electricians and gas fitters - emergency call out

An emergency is considered to last as long as it takes to make the premises safe, for example turn off the main supply. After this any vehicle should be moved to a permitted parking place before any further repairs are undertaken. Heavy equipment is dealt with in the same manner as loading/unloading.

Police officers on duty 

PCNs will not be issued to marked police vehicles when on official duty. Requests for cancellation of PCNs to an unmarked police vehicle must be made by the officer's area superintendent or equivalent. It should contain confirmation that the officer was on official business and that it was inappropriate for the vehicle to be parked elsewhere.

Pregnancy/carers with young children 

Generally, pregnancy is not considered to be a disability. Delays caused by young children will not usually lead to the cancellation of a fine. However, minor medical emergency may be considered with supportive evidence. Each case will be treated on its own merits.
If the delay was caused by a carer not allowing enough time to deal with young children,or their own condition in the case of pregnancy (both of which they are fully aware of), then the PCN will be enforced.

Council officers and councillors on duty

All council officers and members on duty are expected to fully comply with parking regulations. Staff or members using their own cars to carry out their official council duties must comply with the parking regulations by purchasing a pay and display ticket or displaying a valid permit. Failure to comply will result in a PCN being issued. A request for cancellation of a PCN will only be considered when supported by written confirmation from the employee's head of service or appropriate manager.

Intervention in appeals processes by councillors

The process of dealing with challenges and representations against the issue of PCNs is well documented and will be carried out in a fair, unbiased and equal manner. To preserve the integrity of these procedures they will be managed and carried out by the parking appeals team and no undue external pressure shall be brought, by either members of the council or other senior officers, designed to unduly influence the decisions by virtue of their position alone.

I had a medical emergency

Write to us explaining the situation and include a letter from the hospital or doctor as proof.