Money Wellness
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calendar icon15 Mar 2024

UK drivers issued 35,000 tickets a day; how to appeal a fine

Did you know you can appeal car parking fines? Tickets can be given by private parking operators to drivers for overstaying in car parks at supermarkets, shopping centres, business parks, motorway services and restaurant locations, with fines amounting to as much as £100.

RAC, the motoring research charity has analysed Government data and found that 9.7million tickets were issued to drivers by private parking firms in Britain between April and December 2023.

That's almost 35,300 every day.

Why are so many fines being given?

To access a driver's information private parking firms that are members of accredited bodies can request details from the DVLA’s database when they give a vehicle's registration number taken on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras on site at car parks they manage. 

Parking rules change from car park to car park, including rules about the appeal process.

Parking payment methods are also inconsistent. Between payment meters and mobile apps that mean you need to have good phone signal in order to pay, it’s no wonder people end up with unexpected fines.

Which? found that 78% of it’s member who’d been given a fine from a private parking firm felt the charge was unfair. 28% of these didn’t realise they had to pay for parking because of unclear signage.

But 40% of those who thought a fine was unfair didn’t contest it.

Some didn't have confidence they'd win the appeal, while others paid the discounted fee (usually 40% off the total fine) that's offered if you pay within a certain timeframe.

Overall, this means drivers might choose to pay out for a unfair fine, which can be an unexpected cost.

How do I appeal a fine?

If you want to appeal a parking fine, you should check that the parking company is a member of an accredited trade association (either the IPC or BPA).

You can then appeal to the company about your ticket.

To give yourself the best chance of victory with an appeal, you’ll need all the evidence that you can pull together on why the fine was applied incorrectly. Present this explanation in careful detail, along with supporting photographs and, if needed, statements from others.

Which? has a template you can use, here.

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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