Parking Tickets

Close up Of UK Parking TicketThere are a wide variety of places where your vehicle can be issued with a parking ticket. The following are examples of places where it is illegal to park: double yellow lines, red lines, zigzag markings, junctions, reserved areas, loading bays and pedestrian crossings. Places where it is forbidden to park are generally marked or clearly sign-posted. As well as parking in illegal places, you can also be issued with a parking ticket if your car is parked in a legal space for longer than the allotted time period. The most common way of being issued with a ticket is via a Civil Enforcement Officer (traffic warden). It is also possible that a camera or mobile camera unit spots your car in an illegal spot. Should this happen, you will receive a parking ticket in the post.

Regional Differences

It is important to remember that parking fines may vary from council to council. In addition, though most councils treat parking tickets as civil matters, there are some which treat parking tickets as criminal matters. Whether your ticket is treated as a civil or criminal offence is likely to depend on why the ticket was issued. For example, if your car is parked on a junction, it is probable that the matter will be treated as a criminal offence. Whereas a car parked on a double yellow line in a residential street will probably be treated as a civil offence. Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) are civil parking tickets. Excess Charge Notices (ECN) are criminal parking tickets, which can be issued by the police. For serious parking offences, it is also possible that your vehicle may be clamped and towed away.


There are a variety of ways to pay fines incurred from parking tickets. For example, they can be paid by credit or debit card, cash, cheque or even online. However, not all councils enable people to pay fines online. The payment of a parking ticket fine equates to an admission of liability. However, if you pay for your car to be released from captivity (if clamped) this does not equate to an admission of liability - the fine can still be contested.

Typically, civil fines are reduced by 50% if paid within a 14 day period of receiving the ticket. If you contest your fine and lose the appeal, your payment will still be reduced in a similar manner if paid within the 14 day period. Not paying the fine in the given time period will result in the fine increasing. Following 28 days, if the fine has not been paid, the council will issue the registered owner with a Notice to Owner (NTO). The NTO will set a timescale for when the fine must be paid by. Usually, the fine will increase by 50% should you fail to pay within the set timescale. However, the specifics may vary from council to council.

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