What to consider before appealing against your PCN

Things to consider before appealing

There are a number of points which you should take into account when considering whether or not to challenge your Penalty Charge Notice.

1) Every person has the right to appeal their Penalty Charge Notice.

  • Firstly, to the Local Authority who issued the PCN;
  • and then; to the independent adjudicator through the Traffic Penalty Tribunal who receive over 10,000 appeals per year.

2) Do you have grounds for appealing your Penalty Charge Notice?

  • Although you may feel aggrieved about the situation you must consider carefully whether the contravention occurred.
  • There are only a limited number of grounds upon which you can appeal, does your appeal fall into these grounds?

To choose the ticket you have been issued and to view grounds for appeal click here

  • You may appeal to the adjudicator citing compelling reasons, however the adjudicator may only recommend (not order) the council to cancel the charge.
  • The council and adjudicator will consider all of the facts surrounding the case so you need to present any evidence clearly and concisely.

3) What are the financial implications of appealing your penalty?

  • If you decide to challenge the Penalty Charge Notice you may loose the right to pay the discounted rate if your challenge is unsuccessful.
  • If you receive a Penalty Charge on your vehicle and wish to challenge this you should do so immediately (within 14 days). If this is rejected the Local Authority may extend the 14 day period from the date of their rejection.
  • Generally after this point the cost of the ticket will have increased by 50% and you will have to make a further representations when you receive a Notice to Owner through the post (sent automatically if no appeal is made or if an appeal is rejected)
  • Faliure to challenge the Notice to Owner or to pay the charge will result in the penalty increasing in stages and eventually being registered as a debt.

Breakdown of PCN charges

4) You've decided to challenge your PCN

  • You need to follow the process laid out in this website - failiure to to this could result in valuable time being lost or stages of the process being missed resulting in an increased charge.

Appeals process

  • You need to prepare your case carefully. refering to your PCN number in any correspondence with the council (please note councils will not resolve queries over the phone - it is best to make any appeals in writing). You should always include any evidence with your appeals such as witness statements or photographs.
  • If your appeal to the Local Authority is rejected you will then have the opportunity to appeal to the Independent Adjudicator.

5) You should note there may not always be a quick fix

  • The council may accept your appeal at any time and resolve the matter immediately.
  • However in some circumstances the time taken to resolve your case may be longer. Any appeal to the council will generally take around two months before the opportunity to appeal to the adjudicator arises.
  • Any appeal to the adjudicator will take in the region of 8-12 weeks. (As this is a judicial process some appeals may be decided outside this time period)


What should I do if I've received a Penalty Charge Notice for a parking or bus lane Contravention.

A step by step guide to the enforcement process

Download this diagram from the PATROL leaflet explaining the parking penalty enforcement process

parking penalty enforcement process diagram