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Do parking tickets have to be issued within 14 days? Easy Guide

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Have you been given a parking ticket and you’re unsure about its validity? Don’t fret. Each month, over 32,000 people come to this site seeking guidance on tickets and fines. We understand your worries about the cost of the fine, the appeal process, and potential legal issues.

In this easy guide, we’ll help you understand:

  • The meaning of a parking charge notice and why you might get one.
  • How to appeal against a parking ticket and increase your chances of winning.
  • The rules that private operators need to follow to issue parking tickets.
  • What happens if you ignore the parking ticket.
  • How to deal with parking charge notices on private land.

Our team is experienced in dealing with cases like yours. We know how stressful it can be to receive a parking ticket, and we’re here to support you. Let’s get started and discover how you can deal with your parking ticket in the best possible way.

Why would you get a parking charge notice?

You could get a parking charge notice for a variety of reasons. But mainly, it’s because you allegedly parked badly, didn’t pay, or overstayed the time allowed.

Many landowners employ operators to manage their car parks. This includes the likes of Morrisons, Tesco, and many others. Plus, an operator could manage car parks for the public and private sectors, namely the NHS.

Most operators are members of accredited trader’s associations, whether it’s the International Parking Community (IPC) or the British Parking Association (BPA). So, in theory, operators should follow a code of practice when issuing you a parking ticket.

Do parking tickets have to be issued within 14 days?

Operators/landowners should send you a parking charge notice within 14-days of the offence if you weren’t aware of the ticket at the time. In short, if the infringement was caught on camera, the parking ticket should be sent to you by post within 14 days.

But the time limit could be extended if the DVLA is slow to respond to an operator’s request for the registered keeper’s details.

Yes, accredited car park management companies can get registered keeper’s details from the DVLA!

So, what are your options once you get a ticket on private land?

You basically have three options once you get a ticket on private land. This is to:

  • Pay the parking charge
  • Appeal the parking ticket
  • Ignore things

The parking charge you got is a notice that the operator/landowner intends on taking you to court. This is a civil court because a parking charge notice falls under ‘contractual law’.

Should you pay for a parking ticket on private land?

If you decide to pay for the parking ticket within 14 days, you could pay a discounted amount. For instance, if the fine is £85, you may only have to pay £50. It could be worth considering, but only if you’re convinced the parking ticket is right and not unjustified.

If you miss the deadline to pay a parking ticket on private land, you may miss out on paying the lower amount. The deadline to pay is typically 28 days!

Should you challenge a parking ticket on private land?

You have every right to challenge a parking ticket on private land. Especially when you feel it’s unfair or incorrect. You may think the charge is over the top, which is another good reason to appeal the ticket.

What reasons could you have to appeal a parking ticket on private land?

There are some valid reasons why you’d want to appeal a parking ticket on private land. 

This includes:

  • The signs weren’t clear or missing
  • You didn’t break the T&Cs of using the car park
  • You weren’t the driver when the ticket was issued
  • You had a valid reason for not following the T&Cs
  • You got the parking charge notice after 14 days of the alleged parking infringement

The operator must take your appeal seriously and deal with it promptly.

Do private operators need a licence to issue parking tickets?

No. Car park management companies don’t need a licence to issue parking tickets because it’s one sector that’s not regulated! Operators just need an agreement with landowners who authorise them to fine you when you break the rules.

The parking charge notice could be left on your car’s windscreen. Or it could arrive in the post! Make sure you pay particular attention to the name of the operator who issued the parking charge!

Are parking charge notices on private land enforceable?

An operator doesn’t have the right to demand you pay a parking charge notice. A court must order you to pay the charge. So, the operator must take you to court to get paid!

Not to be confused with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) which is enforceable!

What if you ignore the parking ticket and do nothing?

An operator will send letters asking you to pay the parking ticket when you ignore it and do nothing about it. Each letter may be a little more threatening than the previous one.

After this, the operator could pass your details to a debt collector when you don’t respond. Finally, the operator could take you to court. There’s never any guarantee they won’t!

It’s best not to let things get this far because it could get expensive, not to mention all the hassles of dealing with a debt collector!

Do private parking companies take you to court?

As mentioned, a private company could take you to court to get you to pay. Moreover, if you don’t pay within the 28-day deadline, there’s a 50/50 chance the operator will start legal proceedings against you.


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Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.