Before you appeal please note that Disabled Motoring UK is only able to advise on a PCN and how to appeal it. The charity is unable to appeal on your behalf. DMUK does not partake in any of the appeal process including the outcome of the appeal. Those decisions include both councils and private operators that support the charity’s campaign for enforcement of accessible bays as well as car parks awarded with the Disabled Parking Accreditation.

What to do when you receive a Parking Charge Notice (PCN)

The first action you need to take in appealing process is finding out on what grounds you are appealing. The first thing to look at is what contravention the company  claims you have committed. Examples of these can include:

  • overstaying the allowed time,
  • parking outside the designated bay, 
  • failing to display a Blue Badge in a disabled bay.

When contesting you need to have a reason why this contravention occurred. These can include your car was stolen, you were in the process of paying the ticket when the PCN was issued or what the notice says happened actually never did.

Obviously for all these reasons you would need to have all the evidence you can gather to prove what you say is true, for example the ticket you bought at the same time as the PCN being issued. It can be beneficial to take any photos of the car park as it may not meet the requirements it should. If there are insufficient or unclear signs they could be used as evidence as they are not making it easy for you to understand the contract you are agreeing to by parking in the car park.

If you have received a PCN for not displaying a Blue Badge it can be worthwhile making a copy of it to send in to prove you do have one. Proving you are a Blue Badge holder does not mean the operator will cancel the PCN as it was still issued correctly. 

Formal appeal to the operator

 You must appeal to the car park operator first before going to the independent appeals service. The form and procedure on how to do this can be found on the back of the ticket.  The form will also contain contact details and the address you can to send your appeal to. You need to include as much evidence as you can and state why the ticket was unfair. If you think there are mitigating circumstances to be considered in this appeal then state them.  The independent appeal services (POPLA) or (IAS) usually do not take mitigating circumstances into consideration, but the operator might.

Ensure you have enough evidence, such as photos and the original ticket, before you lodge your claim.

There's a very short time window in which a parking ticket can be challenged it is advised to check the ticket for the exact timescale the operators have allowed..

If you attempt to appeal the ticket after this time, the car park operator can ignore the claim without having to consider it.

Appealing through the Independent Appeals Service

Depending on which trade association, British Parking Association (BPA) or International Parking Committee (IPC),  the operator you are dealing with is a member of will determine who you independent appeal will go through.

If it is the BPA you will be able to go through Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) and if it is the IPC it will be the Independent Appeals Service (IAS).

The operator should send you a code to use when appealing through either of these systems.

The independent assessors will look into the appeal however they very rarely consider mitigating circumstances.  

When appealing it to be on grounds such as:

  • The vehicle was not improperly parked – This covers if the operator says you were parked somewhere you were not, you did clearly display a ticket, you did not stay the length of time they said and there was insufficient signage.
  • The parking charge exceeds the correct amount – This is if you have been asked to pay the incorrect amount or if you have already paid it.
  • The vehicle was stolen.
  • If you are not liable for the parking charge – This covers if you had sold the car before or bought the car after the contravention.

Appealing in Scotland and Northern Ireland

The main difference in Scotland to England and wales is that The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 was not adopted. The consequence of this is that as of April 2015 the IPC are the only association to offer an independent appeals service. Any car park operator who is not a member of the IPC will not have this appeals process and also will not have access to the DVLA for the registered keeper details. This then means any appeals will only be going to the operators themselves.

In Northern Ireland clamping has not been banned. It is common practice for clamping to be used in a similar manor to the ticket process we use in England and Wales. The company should hold a SIA license and have to display clear signs saying this is what they do.When it comes to Blue Badge Holders as longe as your vehicle is displaying your badge you car should not be clamped, and only in emergencies would it be towed away. There is not any independent appeals process either. This means all appeals will have to be done through the operator.