The appeal process – Parking

Parking Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)

Parking penalties outside London are usually either £70 or £50, depending on the parking ‘offence’ (called a ‘contravention’). In all cases the council must accept 50% if they receive the payment within 14 days – £35 or £25 as appropriate. Most councils accept payment by credit or debit card by phone or online.

The procedure for challenging this type of PCN is set out below.


To challenge this kind of PCN you should contact the council as soon as possible – read the notice for details. Quote the PCN number and say why you believe you should not have to pay. This is called an informal challenge.

The council will decide whether or not to cancel the PCN. If they cancel it, you have nothing to pay. If they don’t cancel it, you can either pay the penalty or wait for the issue of the Notice to Owner (see below).

If you challenge within 14 days and the council rejects it, they will usually reset the 50% rate for a further 14 days. You can check with them whether they will do this.

If the PCN was sent through the post, you should follow the instructions below to make representations. No Notice to Owner is issued in these circumstances. A PCN sent through the post should be sent within 28 days of the date of the alleged contravention.

If you want to challenge a PCN, do not pay it. If you do, the council will close the case and that will be the end of it.

Notice to Owner (NtO)

If the council decides not to cancel the PCN and you don’t pay, they will send an NtO to the person who the DVLA has as the registered keeper of the vehicle, this is presumed to be the vehicle’s owner. At this point the penalty will usually be the full amount, £50 or £70. The council will also send an NtO if they don’t have payment or any contact within 28 days of issuing the PCN. They can issue an NtO between 28 days and 6 months (longer in limited circumstances) after issuing the original PCN.


If you want to challenge a PCN, do not pay it. If you do, the council will close the case and that will be the end of it.

The NtO (or PCN issued by post) includes a form or an online link that enables you to make ‘formal representations’ to the council about the PCN. You should explain why you don’t think you should pay and send copies of all your evidence – even if you have already done so.

The NtO will explain the grounds for appealing. You have 28 days from when the NtO or postal PCN was delivered* to appeal against it to the council.

Notice of Rejection of Representations

The council will consider your formal representations. If they agree with you, they will cancel the PCN and you pay nothing. If they don’t, they will send the owner a Notice of Rejection (NoR) and tell you how to appeal to the independent adjudicator.

Appeal to the adjudicator

At this stage you should either pay the PCN or appeal to the independent adjudicator. You have 28 days from when the NoR is delivered* to pay or appeal. But it is best to appeal as soon as you decide to, because if you delay beyond 28 days you may lose the right to have your case considered by the adjudicator. You can only appeal to the adjudicator once the council has issued an NoR.

View the grounds on which an adjudicator can cancel a PCN

Ready to appeal

*Delivery is usually deemed to be 2 working days after the date on the notice.