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Can you Get a Refund on a Parking Ticket?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 25 Oct 2019 |
Can You Get A Refund On A Parking Ticket?

Many people suspect that parking fines are less about maintaining vehicular order on the streets, and more about generating money. Whatever your view, there is nothing quite so annoying as getting a parking ticket. So if you’re faced with a parking fine, what should you do?

There are ways to appeal, but there are several things you must remember. It is very difficult to get a refund for a parking ticket once you have paid the fine. If you intend to appeal the ticket, it is important not to pay it before the outcome of the appeal is known because the council will think you have accepted the fine and will withdraw your appeal.

The local council has a duty to act fairly when issuing parking tickets so it’s worth sending a letter if you feel you have a legitimate reason for appealing the fine. If the council did act fairly in issuing the parking ticket, you will have to pay the fine. It is very important not to provide false information when appealing a parking ticket, which is a criminal offence.

How To Appeal

When you get a parking ticket, there is usually a 50% discount for paying it in full within 14 days of the fine or “penalty charge notice”. If you want to dispute the parking ticket, write a letter of appeal to the local council within 14 days. That way if the appeal is unsuccessful, the 50% discount will be valid until 14 days after the date of the council’s written rejection. In any event, if you wish to appeal against the issue of a parking ticket and avoid paying the fine, you must do so within 28 days. If the letter arrives later than that you will almost certainly lose your right to have the appeal considered.

There are a number of statutory defences to a parking ticket, which are as follows:

  • It wasn’t your car at the time, or it has never been your car. If you use this defence, you must supply the name and address of the person who owned the car at the time, if you have this information.
  • At the time the vehicle was parked it had been taken without your consent. This is the ground to use if the car has been stolen, in which case you should also provide a CRN (Crime Reference Number) with your letter; or the car was not stolen but taken without your consent. Note that the latter does not apply if you lent your car to someone.
  • The alleged reason for the parking ticket did not occur. There are many different reasons, for example, because you had a valid ticket, permit, badge, or because the parking ticket was issued before the expiry of the meter/ticket, or because there was a valid reason for the vehicle to be there, e.g. it was loading or unloading, or there was inadequate signage relating to the prohibition.
  • There was no parking ticket issued.
  • The Notice to Owner was served more than six months after the alleged offence took place (issued ‘out of time.’)
  • If the Council has sent a ticket to your home because they say the Traffic warden was prevented from issuing a ticket at the time, you can dispute this.
  • The Traffic Order was invalid. In practice this is hardly ever used as a ground for appeal because it requires the High Court to have found the law under which the ticket was issued to be wrong.
  • The penalty charge amount is excessive: i.e. the demand for payment exceeds the fine for the alleged offence.

There are several websites that will lodge an appeal for you at a charge. However, it costs only the price of a stamp to write a letter and lodge an appeal against your parking ticket. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of parking tickets issued every year – a surprisingly large number of which aren’t properly issued. The next time you receive an unfair parking ticket, appeal it!

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[Add a Comment]
I received a parking fine from armtrac I appealed as I did purchase a ticket but it was very wind and must of fell of my windscreen I sent pics of the ticket but got threaten if I didn’t pay 100 pound more charges would be added so I payed. How can I get a refund as I did purchase a ticket
Lou - 25-Oct-19 @ 1:26 PM
Me and my friend were both given a parking fine for parking in the same bay. Completely legit. We both appealed (first stage).Provided the same reasons. Both rejected. I paid the reduced rate fine upon rejection. My friend waited to receive the NtO and made a formal appeal (2nd stage). Fine was cancelled. How can I get a refund for paying the fine? Cheers!
Haza - 2-Sep-19 @ 10:34 PM
We received a parking ticket for parking in a disabled bay without realising and it said if it was paid in 14 days then the fine would be reduced by half. I paid the ticket when we got home and didn’t have chance to tell my partner, he paid the ticket the next morning. This has now caused huge problems for me. I’m wondering if I will be able to get a refund for paying twice?
Nikki - 16-Feb-19 @ 1:30 PM
I got a fine for using a bus lane. I phoned the parking services immediately and informed that of what had happened, and tried to pay the fine. I was advised that I would have to wait for the PCN to arrive in the post. However, I was due to leave the country a few days later, so would never of had any chance to pay the fine as soon as it arrived. As a result, I have ended up paying a fine which is considerably higher, as well as my house had visits from bailiffs in my absence. I have now paid the fine in order to avoid any further implication, however I want to appeal it as I endeavoured to try and settle it in the knowledge that it would arrive whilst I was away. What is the best way of going about this?
Nikki - 5-Dec-18 @ 10:12 AM
Hi I am trying to argue for a parking refund.I paid £3 cash in a machine and entered my reg.The money was taken but no ticket printed.I rang the helpline and was advised to pay by phone and request a refund by email which I did.The ticket by phone added extra charges of 42p. I have asked for my refund and have been told this is only available in the form of a days parking.This is no good as I don't need to use that car park again.I have asked for a refund in cash or cheque for the original £3 which is being refused.Also the extra charges will not be paid back as they say these are a different company's charges.Can I insist on a fill.cash refund? Thanks.
Tracey - 23-Nov-18 @ 11:48 PM
My son got a ticket for being in a bus lane in London.He was adament that he was somewhere else. I made him pay the £65 charge.After receiving over 10 PCNs we discovered that his car had been cloned. We got a CRN from the Metropolitan Police. The PCNs have now been dropped as the clone had a few different features. Do you think the council will refund him the ticket that he paid for?
Gilly - 28-Sep-18 @ 11:39 PM
Tina - Your Question:
I got a ticket for expired tags and the police department took my federal taxes but when I registered my car they took the money too,so I want my money back from the police department. How do I do that

Our Response:
As we are a UK-based site, unfortunately we can only answer UK-based questions. You would have to contact the police department directly.
WheresMyRefund - 13-Aug-18 @ 9:56 AM
I got a ticket for expired tags and the police department took my federal taxes but when I registered my car they took the money too,so I want my money back from the police department.How do I do that
Tina - 11-Aug-18 @ 11:22 PM
I Am looking for a refundfor the penalty charge I got on surbiton crescent along with thousands of others for poor signs and suddenly changing the layout after about 30 years Not happy at all when enforcement officer knocked 6.30 woke the grandson and threatened to take the vehicle which in fact is no longer mine !!!! Please advise
Nuts - 6-Jul-18 @ 9:46 PM
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