How to fight a parking fine

Every driver’s had a parking ticket at one time or another. It’s something that can’t be avoided if you drive a reasonable amount of miles per year and it’s very much an accepted consequence of driving a car on a regular basis. That said, there’s no reason not to challenge a ticket that you don’t feel was warranted. We’ll tell you how to fight a parking fine and explain the parking ticket appeal process so you can challenge tickets you feel were unfairly handed to you.
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Independent tribunal

Around 50% of all claims that make it through to the final stage of appeal at an independent tribunal are successful. This means that you’ve got a pretty good chance of finding success if you challenge a parking fine. Remember though that not all parking tickets are handed out unfairly so your first job is to access the situation before you start calling in the lawyers like a big-shot who’s been hard done by.

Photographic evidence

Your only defence is hard evidence. No one’s going to believe you unless you can make up your claim so take photos of any unclear road signs or road markings. If the issue is the positioning of your car, for example if your fined for parking outside of the designated area on a public road, take photos of the car and its position in the road. Always take more photos than you think you’ll need. You’re not a crime scene photographer so you won’t know exactly what’s needed, so snap away.

Proof of mitigating circumstances

The other proof that could help you fight an unfair parking fine could be a doctor’s note if you were ill, proof that your car was broken down and could not be moved or information proving that you were dealing with an emergency.

Don’t pay the fine

Remember that you can’t appeal if you’ve paid the fine, so keep your money in your wallet. If you’re going to complain, there are three types of appeal you can raise: an informal appeal, a formal appeal or an appeal through an independent adjudicator. You have nothing to lose by making an informal appeal within 2 weeks of getting the fine as you’ll still be eligible for the reduced rate.


The body that you make the appeal to depends on the area of the country in which the ticket was issued. For England and Wales, you’ll need to speak to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal service (trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk), although Londoners have their own body called the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (patas.gov.uk). In Scotland, get in touch with The Scottish Parking Appeals Service. For those in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Traffic Penalty Tribunal handle appeals (courtsni.gov.uk).

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