How To Deal With PCN – Penalty Charges , Parking Fines
Written By
Team Nucleus

SPANISH EDITION: Si usted quiere tener acceso a esta ficha informativa en español, clique aquí por favor:

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), also know as a parking ticket, is a penalty for either:
  • Breaking some traffic rules, for example going against a ‘no right turn’ sign or driving in a bus lane.
  • Not paying the charge for the London congestion zone, low emission zone or Dartford Crossing (Dart Charge) on time.
How can I get a PCN?

You can receive a PCN in the following ways:

  • A civil enforcement office can fix a penalty charge notice to your car or hand it to you directly.
  • A penalty charge notice can be sent by post. This will happen when CCTV footage is available.
  • A penalty charge notice can be issued at the same time as your car is clamped or removed by the civil enforcement officer.

You should be aware that you get a 10 minute grace period before a penalty charge notice is issued. There are some exceptions to this grace period.

Moreover, you should be aware that parking officers have powers to clamp your car but this does not happen very often. It is most likely to happen if you have had penalty charges before, or if you are not properly registered with the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

How can I pay for a PCN?

The most easiest and convenient way to pay for a PCN is online. Depending on your PCN ticket issuer, you will need to follow the instructions laid out on your PCN.

The different types of PCN are the following:

You will have 28 days to pay for it. The fine might be reduced if you decide to pay within the following 14 days. You will need to double check this on your PCN.

If you do not pay your PCN within 28 days, you will be issued a “charge certificate” and will be asked to pay the original fine plus 50% more within the following 14 days.

If you have not paid by then, you will receive a county court order demanding payment and bailiffs may visit your house. It will be treated as a civil debt – no criminal record or points on your licence will be issued.

How can I challenge a PCN?

You can challenge a PCN by informal/formal appeal, or by defending a claim for payment under the small claims track of the county court.

1. Informal appeal

It’s important to appeal if you think the PCN isn’t right – gather evidence and make an informal appeal to the council without delay within 14 days.

An informal appeal doesn’t automatically extend the 14-day period.

Remember that you can appeal if you were issued a ticket within the 10-minute grace period.

2. Formal appeal

If you plan to make a formal appeal, then it’s important that you don’t pay the penalty charge first. Otherwise, they will close the case straightaway.

If one or more specific statutory grounds for appeal apply, you will be able to appeal.

Who you make your formal appeal to depends on where in the country the alleged contravention took place. It will be one of the following:


SPANISH EDITION: Si usted quiere tener acceso a esta ficha informativa en español, clique aquí por favor:

Disclaimer: This blog is for general information only.
Nothing on this blog constitutes formal legal advice or gives rise to a solicitor-client relationship.
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