How to overturn an unfair parking ticket, according to experts – 64% of appeals succeed

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Feel like you’ve been handed a parking ticket unfairly? Here’s how you could overturn it, according to experts.

There aren’t many worse feelings than returning to your car and seeing a parking ticket attached to your windscreen. This is especially true when it’s felt the dreaded yellow packet has been handed out unfairly.

Parking tickets are given when wardens adjudge a vehicle to have been parked in such a way that it breaks the law - but sometimes owners may have a different point of view. Drivers are encouraged to challenge tickets if they’ve got valid reasons to do so - and this is where the appeal process comes into play.

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Motorists may be eligible for an appeal if they got a Parking Charge Notice more than two weeks after parking. This is as long as they can prove they didn’t break any parking rules, the signs or road markings were unclear, there was no way to pay, or they were charged too much.

Penalty charge notices - otherwise known as parking tickets - can frustrate drivers if they feel they’ve been handed out unfairly.Penalty charge notices - otherwise known as parking tickets - can frustrate drivers if they feel they’ve been handed out unfairly.
Penalty charge notices - otherwise known as parking tickets - can frustrate drivers if they feel they’ve been handed out unfairly. | AFP via Getty Images

It doesn’t cost anything to make an informal appeal, so it is well worth trying to get a penalty overturned. To help you in this situation, experts at the price comparison site Quotezone have identified situations in which drivers can successfully challenge a parking ticket.

How to successfully appeal a parking ticket

Here is Quotezone’s step-by-step guide to appealing a parking ticket:

1. Check what type of parking ticket it is

Official bodies and private companies have different appeal procedures, so it’s important to find out which one you’re dealing with.

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Official tickets are called Penalty Charge Notices, Excess Charge Notices, or Fixed Penalty Notices and you can find the name of the issuing authority on the ticket. All other tickets are issued by private companies.

2. Act quickly

If you don’t want to miss out on the 50% discount, then you must act quickly as the discount will be frozen and should still apply if you file your appeal within 14 days of receiving your ticket.

3. Find evidence

To make your case stronger, it’s good to have some evidence to back up your claim. The easiest way to prove that no parking rules were broken is to provide photo or CCTV evidence.

If that’s not possible in your situation, then it would help to get some witness statements. When your illegal parking is excused by a medical emergency or condition, then you should get a doctor’s note.

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4. Make the right type of appeal

There are three types of appeals that you can file: informal, formal and one with an independent adjudicator.

Informal appeals only apply to Penalty Charge Notices which are left on windscreens. All you have to do is send your appeal to the local authority and include any evidence you have.

If the informal appeal is unsuccessful or if the fine was sent by post, then you’ll have to go through the formal appeal process, where you need to submit a form if you want to get your penalty overturned.

If the dispute fails in the formal stage as well, then you can take your appeal to the private adjudicator for free. You can opt for a personal hearing or complete the process over email, phone or post.

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