Advice Column: Parking Fines

Thursday 2nd November 2023

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo advice column this week we focus on parking fines.

I overstayed in a car park by just a few minutes and have been fined. I think that this is really unfair. Is it worth appealing the fine?

 It’s worth appealing if you were only 5 or 10 minutes late. You should be given a few minutes after your parking runs out – called a ‘grace period’. Accredited Trade Association (ATA) members must give you an extra 10 minutes before giving you a Parking Charge Notice – as should the council before giving you a Penalty Charge Notice. You should also be given a reasonable amount of time to leave a car park if you decide not to park.

A parking company might disagree with your appeal if they time your stay from the moment you entered the car park, rather than from when you parked. It’s still worth appealing because it’s free to informally appeal – and you have to do this before you can appeal to an independent tribunal or trade association.

Don’t pay a parking ticket that you’re appealing. Usually, paying is seen as admitting the ticket was right – so you won’t be able to appeal it once you’ve paid. If you’re worried about not paying, call whoever gave you the ticket and ask them to confirm that you shouldn’t pay if you’re appealing.

Don’t appeal or pay a ticket from a parking company that’s not an ATA member. They can’t take you to court to make you pay as they can’t get your details from the DVLA. They can only chase you for a parking ticket if you give them your address, so don’t contact them.

Look on the British Parking Association (BPA) or International Parking Community websites to check if a parking company is an ATA member. You can also call the BPA on 01444 447 300 to check if a company is an ATA member. Calls to this number usually cost up to 55p a minute from mobiles and up to 13p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines – check with your supplier if you’re not sure.).

If you get a ticket in the post from a non-ATA member, report them to Action Fraud ( on 0300 123 2040 because the company could have got your details illegally.

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The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit