Grounds for appeal: There’s no point in appealing your ticket without any good to do so – just being angry doesn’t count. To be in with a chance of success, you’ll need to satisfy at least one of these grounds for appeal:
1. The contravention did not occur: There is no case to answer and the issuing agent got it wrong. This covers everything from incorrect signage to contradictory information.
2. The penalty exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case: There are strict limits on what you can be charged for this type of ticket, so being overcharged is a legitimate reason to appeal. The amounts will be published on the issuing authority’s website.
3. The relevant Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is invalid: This is where a new traffic restriction – such a double yellow line – was introduced without the authority following correct procedure. This is an unlikely avenue of appeal, but worth investigating if rules have recently changed where it was previously legitimate to park
4. There has been a procedural impropriety by the council: This could occur when the council or issuer has made an error on the ticket or subsequent Notice To Owner letter. Look closely for inaccuracies or omissions.
You should be able to clearly see the following information:
The date when it was served
The name of the enforcement authority
The registration number of the vehicle
The date and time of the alleged contravention
The reason for the issuing of the ticket
The amount of the penalty charge
A statement that the penalty charge must be paid within 28 days
A statement that only half the charge will need to paid if it is paid within 14 days
Instructions regarding how to pay the charge
Information about grounds for appeal and the appeal process.
If any of this information is missing or incorrect, it’s likely you’ll win your appeal.
5. The appellant did not own the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred: This is where the offence occurred but you weren’t the owner – i.e you’d just bought or sold the vehicle. Log book records should win your appeal
6. The owner is a vehicle hire firm and the vehicle was on hire under a qualifying hiring agreement: This is for hire car owners and not relevant to this guide.
7. The vehicle was taken without the owner’s consent: If the vehicle was stolen and the offence committed by the thief, then you have a good case. Make sure you have a crime number to prove you reported the theft to cops.
8. The penalty’s already been paid (i) in full; or (ii) at the discount rate and in time: Get proof from your bank or any emailed receipts.
Mitigating circumstances: If the above don’t apply, but you have mitigating circumstances such as suffering a health event, breakdown, bereavement or similar, then collect proof and use as grounds for your appeal.
New 10-minute rule: If you were parked on the street and fined within 10-minutes of your ticket expiring, cite the Government’s new advice on the10-minute ‘grace period’. Keep your parking ticket and match it up against the time on the Penalty Charge Notice.
Make the civil appeal.
Now you have grounds for appeal, here’s how to lodge it…
Stage 1: Informal appeal
You will need to do this once the ticket has been slapped on your windscreen. If you were towed or clamped, just move on to the next stage.
Contact the council: You’ll find the address, email and other contact methods on the ticket. Write to the council and explain your grounds for appeal and request they cancel the ticket. Submit (copies) of all the evidence you have to back up your appeal to prove you have a case and intend to take the case further. This will cost them time and effort so the council may decide to do cut its losses and cancel the ticket. Send the appeal within the 14-day 50% discount period as many councils will let you pay the lower amount even if they reject your appeal – should you decide to pay it at this stage.
They agree – you win…
They reject your claim – move on to next stage
Stage 2: The formal appeal process
Depending on how you get to this stage, you will at some point receive an appeal form. You can also add a separate letter to go into more detail. Make sure you resend all the evidence to support your claim. The council must respond to your appeal within 56 days or you will automatically win. Make sure you keep electronic receipts or postal records to prove when you lodged the formal appeal.
They agree – you win…
They reject your formal appeal – move on to next stage
Stage 3: Appeal to Independent tribunal
If your formal appeal is rejected, you’ll receive a Notice of Rejection of Representations letter and a Notice of Appeal to continue your challenge at an independent tribunal. You must submit this appeal within 28 days of receiving the form. The time will start two days from the letter’s date.
Going to the adjudicator is free and independent. They are accepted to be fair and not afraid to challenge councils. A large number of these appeals are successful, so don’t think it’s not worth carrying on because your formal challenge was rejected.
Now all you need to do is make your appeal. Many of the tribunal bodies will let you apply online, providing you have your Notice to Appeal from the council. This will have a reference on it that you will need to enter.
Choose the body for you then make your appeal:
England and Wales (not London):
Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
The Scottish Parking Appeals Service: Call 0131 221 0409.
Northern Ireland Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
The Parking and Traffic Appeals Service.
You win – ticket is cancelled
You lose – pay the fine within 28 days or it can rise by 50%
The appeal is adjourned – more information is required
The appeal is dismissed but the adjudicator believes there to be reasons why the penalty should not stand – this can include mitigating circumstances that you submitted. The adjudicator will ask the council or issuing body to consider waiving the charge. It has 35 days to respond. If it doesn’t – you win.