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17 Jan 2022

'I lost my parking ticket appeal. What can I do now?'

Find out the steps to take if you appeal a parking ticket and are unsuccessful

Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.

Dear Which?

I've received a Penalty Charge Notice from East Suffolk Council for £25.

I was very confused by this as I recalled that I'd bought a ticket for four hours at the cost of £2. I searched for the ticket and managed to find it, but then realised that I made a mistake when entering the number plate.

I was really flustered because we had recently changed our car. The parking app had our old car registered and I tried to update it, but it wasn't working, so I gave up and paid at the machine.

I appealed but was unsuccessful. I was told I could wait and appeal again, but risk the fine being doubled.

The number plate that had been entered wasn't even valid so there was no way the ticket could've been used by anyone else.

What can I do? I feel this is really unfair.

Vicky, Suffolk

Put to Rights

Lauren Deitz, Which? consumer rights expert, says:

Parking fines can come with a sting in their tail, and anyone would be frustrated if they faced a £50 for an honest mistake despite paying to park.

It isn't fair for anyone to pay many times over the cost of their ticket if they've already paid in the first place.

We helped Vicky appeal again, and using our free template letter she was able to explain the circumstances around this mistake: the parking app wasn't working and feeling pressured to pay for parking immediately she tried using the ticket machine instead.

Vicky told us that the second appeal was successful.

We asked East Suffolk Council about the parking fine and it said: 'While we wouldn't necessarily discuss the circumstances of specific cases, civil parking enforcement is a process which allows those affected the opportunity to appeal.

'We are satisfied that the appropriate action was taken throughout; however, we do understand that a mistake was made by the driver and we are content with the final outcome.'

Appealing a parking ticket

Appealing a parking ticket may not always be successful, but if you have a genuine reason to believe you shouldn't pay the fine then it's worthwhile lodging an appeal.

When appealing, the evidence that could help your appeal might include:

  • Photographs of any signs or road markings that aren't clear
  • Photographs of the ticket machine if it was broken
  • Witness statements
  • Any evidence to prove mitigating circumstances, screenshots of a parking app not working
  • A crime reference number, if your vehicle was stolen

Appealing a parking ticket doesn't impact your credit record. The only way your credit rating could be affected is if you're taken to court and you lose, and you still don't pay.

Need to know

  • Councils, the police or private companies can issue parking tickets.
  • An official ticket is either a 'Penalty Charge Notice', 'Excess Charge Notice' or 'Fixed Penalty Notice'.
  • A privately issued ticket is a Parking Charge Notice and can't be imposed, but the firm could pursue you through the courts.

Get in touch.

If you've got a consumer rights problem you need put right email us at yourstory@which.co.uk.

Please be aware that we cannot help with, or respond to every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.