Penalty Charge Notices: Parking Fines

Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) and Excess Charge Notices (ECN) are issued by local Authority Parking Attendants.

What stands these notices apart from those issued by the Police and Traffic Wardens, is they are not issued  for committing an offence, but for parking somewhere that you are normally allowed to park, but have done so in a way that breaks the terms and conditions of being able to do so.

You, therefore, may not have displayed your ticket, over-stayed how long you could park or straddled your car over two parking bays.

The local authority treat these wrongdoings as civil wrongdoings. This, however, does not mean you should not take the fine serious, as legally it can be enforced using the courts.

If you received a Penalty Charge Notice, the ticket will be fixed to your windscreen. You will also be told in the notice why you have been issued the fine and you will be given 28 days to pay it.

Normally if you agree to pay the fine and do so within 14 days, it will be reduced by 50%.

However, if you don’t pay the fine within 28 days or appeal it, a “Notice to Owner” notification will be sent to the registered keeper of the car. 

If the fine is not paid within 28 days of the “Notice to Owner” being received, or challenged, the local authority can issue a “Charge for Certificate” and increase the fine by 50%.

Appealing a Notice

If you don’t accept you should have received the fine, you can challenge it. You must do this within 28 days of receiving the fine.

The first stage of the appeal process is to appeal the decision to the local authority. The Notice will have details of how you do this on it.

If your appeal is successful, you will be notified, and the Notice will be withdrawn. If your appeal is rejected, you will be told and informed what the next stages are if you want to pursue the dispute, otherwise you will have to pay the fine.

You cannot pay a Penalty Charge Notice and appeal it at the same time.

If you don’t accept the local authority’s rejection of your appeal, you can appeal that decision to the Independent Parking Adjudicator. The local authority will tell you how to do this if they reject your appeal.

What happens when you don’t pay a Penalty Charge Notice?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is a fine that local authorities can charge because of Orders that have been made by Scottish Government Ministers using powers contained in Acts of Parliament. There is, therefore, a basis in law for local authorities charging them.

They can then register the debt with the Courts (without a hearing) and use Sheriff Officers to enforce it.  This means being able to use legal enforcement procedures, such as:

You can obtain advice from your local Citizen Advice Bureau or local authority money advice service.