Penalty Charge Notices (PCN)

Challenging your PCN

Stage 1 – Informal representations to the council which issued the PCN

If you wish to appeal, you can contact the council as soon as you receive the penalty charge notice.  You should aim to do this as quickly as possible, and certainly within 14 days of receiving the PCN if you want to retain the right to pay at the discounted rate.  You will be asked to put your comments in writing.

State your case clearly and simply.  Send in any evidence to support your claims - for example: receipts, photographs, or witness statements.  We recommend that you keep copies of what you have sent in and keep the originals in a safe place.  You may wish to send them by recorded delivery.  The council will respond in writing, either accepting or rejecting your challenge.  If you have written within 14 days of receiving the PCN and the council rejects your challenge, you should be offered the chance to pay at the discounted rate.

To view further information regarding Legal Grounds for challenging a PCN, please click here.

To find out what Owner Liability means, please click here.

Stage 2 – Formal representations to the council which issued the PCN

If your informal challenge is rejected by the council and you do not pay the charge, the council will forward a 'notice to owner' to the person or company they believe is the owner of the vehicle.  At this stage, the full penalty charge will be due.

This notice is sent to the person believed to be the owner, as it is the owner of the vehicle who is liable for any PCNs issued, irrespective of who the driver was. This is known as owner liability.

If you receive a 'notice to owner', you can complete the form to make formal representations to the council.  The 'notice to owner' form itself details the legal grounds on which a formal representation may be made.  You must make your representations within 28 days of receiving the form. Again, state your case clearly and simply.  If you have evidence to support your claims, such as receipts, photographs (preferably with the date and time printed on them), and any witness statements, send these to the council, together with your form. (Send copies only – keep the originals in a safe place.)

You may still state your case even if you don’t think you meet one of the legal grounds for making a representation, as the council may decide to use its discretion and waive the PCN.

If the council cancels the PCN, you will receive a letter advising you of this.  If they decide that the PCN should not be cancelled, you will be sent a letter explaining why.  This is called a 'notice of rejection of representations'.  With this letter, you should receive a form called a 'notice of appeal', which will allow you to appeal to the independent parking adjudicator.

Stage 3 – Appealing to the independent parking adjudicator

Appeals to the independent parking adjudicator may only be made if you have first used the 'notice to owner' form to make representations to the council that issued the PCN, and you have received their 'notice of rejection of representations'.

To find out more about the adjudication process, please click here.