Grounds of appeal – Parking Penalty Charge Notices

Below are
the only grounds (reasons) on which an adjudicator can instruct the council to cancel a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Don’t worry if you don’t know which ground applies, the adjudicator can decide if a particular ground applies.

It may be that none of these grounds apply to your case. If so and if there is another compelling reason, the adjudicator may recommend that the council cancel the PCN. The council must then consider the recommendation and make a formal response.

View the grounds for appeal if your vehicle was removed (towed away).

The penalty exceeded the amount that applied in the circumstances

This means the council have asked for more than they are entitled to under the relevant regulations. This is either £50 or £70 depending on what the penalty was issued for.

The contravention did not occur.

For example:

  • the signs and lines were wrong
  • the events alleged did not happen
  • the vehicle was entitled to park
  • loading or unloading was taking place
  • a passenger was boarding or alighting
  • a valid disabled person’s badge was displayed
  • a valid pay-and-display ticket or permit was displayed.

The relevant traffic regulation order (TRO) is invalid

TROs are bylaws – created by councils – which specify parking restrictions and the conditions under which vehicles may park. This ground means the TRO was invalid or illegal. 

There has been a procedural impropriety by the council

This means the council have not complied with the relevant regulations. For example:

  • the penalty charge notice or another document did not give the required information.
  • the council did not respond to a challenge or responded too late.

You did not own the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred

For example:

  • you never owned it.
  • you sold it before or bought it after the date of the contravention – you should say what you know about the transaction including the new or former owner’s name and address, if known.
  • it was under a long-term leasing arrangement that transfers ‘keepership’ from the registered keeper to the hirer.

More information about owner liability.

The owner is a vehicle hire firm


• the vehicle was on hire under a qualifying hiring agreement, and

• the hirer had signed a statement of liability for any penalty charge notice issued during the hire period.

This ground applies only to formal hire agreements where the hirer has signed an agreement accepting liability for penalty charges. The requirements are specific. You can see them here: Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic (OwnerLiability) Regulations 2000 and here: Section 66 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act1988. You should provide the hirer’s name and address and a copy of the agreement.

The vehicle was taken without the owner’s consent

This ground covers stolen vehicles and vehicles used without the owner’s consent. It could apply, for example, to a vehicle taken by ‘joyriders’. It does not generally apply to vehicles in the care of a garage or borrowed by a relative or friend. If possible, you should supply a crime reference number from the police.

The penalty has already been paid


  • in full, or
  • at the discount rate and in time.

Compelling reasons

If the adjudicator agrees that you have compelling reasons why the penalty should not be paid, they may make a recommendation to the council that they cancel the penalty. If the council choose not to do this they must explain why.
The adjudicator cannot cancel a penalty based on compelling reasons.