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Cost of parking fines across the UK

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Whether you parked on double yellow lines for two minutes while you popped into the shop, or unwittingly left your car on private land, receiving a parking fine is sure to take the shine off your day.

There are more than 70 reasons why you might get a parking ticket, so there’s a good chance you’ll encounter one at some point in your driving lifetime. 

There are three main types of parking fine in the UK:

You usually have 28 days to pay a fine, but this can vary depending on who issued it and why. If you receive a parking fine, always check the date you need to pay it by. 

If you’re not planning to challenge a parking ticket, then paying it early will often mean a reduced fine.

The cost of parking fines

The cost of parking fines can vary depending on where you live in the UK, especially when it comes to tickets given by private landowners – which can be as much as £100.

With the majority of parking fines issued by local authorities, each council has a different approach to handing out tickets, with some more stringent than others.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive place in the UK to receive a parking ticket. Fines issued by the City of London typically cost £130 or £80  depending on the offence.

According to government data, parking fines given out by councils outside of London tend to be at a lower rate .

The level of fine you receive will depend on the seriousness of the parking offence. 

 

The cost of different parking offences

Higher level parking fines – These are more expensive, and tend to be for contraventions such as parking in a loading bay, leaving a vehicle unattended on double yellow lines or parking in a resident spot.

Lower level parking fines – These are issued for less serious parking offences such as not displaying a ticket, and continuing to park after the time you paid for has expired.

How to avoid parking tickets 

There are a number of simple things you can do to avoid a parking fine:

  • never stop at a bus stop unless queuing in standing traffic 
  • always comply with road markings and signs 
  • don’t leave your vehicle unattended on double yellow lines 
  • avoid parking in resident spots 
  • always park inside the lines of a designated bay or space 
  • don’t take up two parking spots 
  • park with your vehicle wholly on the road, don’t encroach on the pavement 

Challenging a parking fine

If you feel you’ve been wrongly issued a parking ticket, you can appeal. 

Appeals made on certain grounds have a high success rate for getting parking fines revoked, but you need to supply evidence to prove your claim.

Reasons for challenging a parking fine:

  • a sign was covered 
  • the ticket machine wasn’t working 
  • you were parked correctly and returned in time 
  • your car broke down 
  • you had a medical emergency 

If you believe you’ve been wrongly issued a parking ticket by a local authority, you’re well within your rights to challenge it.

  • You normally have 28 days to challenge a fine. In some cases, if you challenge the fine within 14 days and your challenge is rejected, you may only need to pay half of the fine.
  • Explain your reasons in detail. Add photographs, images of poor signage and any documents which support your claim. 
  • Notice of rejection. If your claim is unsuccessful you will receive a notice of rejection, which gives you the option to either pay your fine or take your appeal further to an independent tribunal. 
 
There are more than 70 reasons why you might get a parking ticket, so there’s a good chance you’ll encounter one at some point in your driving lifetime.

Challenging a private parking fine 

When challenging a private parking fine, the steps you take are slightly different.
  1. Contact the issuer to discuss the best way to challenge the fine. 
  2. Check the ticket or the issuer’s website to see if they are part of an accredited trade association.
  3. If the issuer is a member of the British Parking Association, appeal to the POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals).
  4. If they’re a member of the International Parking Community, appeal to the IAS (Independent Appeals Service). 

How parking fines affect your insurance

Standard parking fines don’t affect your insurance. Only parking offences that result in points being added to your driving licence will have an impact on your insurance costs.
 
These tend to be in very serious cases, such as when a fixed penalty notice is given for leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position.
 
Nonetheless, the cost of parking fines can be significant for both your wallet and your stress levels. 
 
To ensure you’re not at risk of getting a parking fine, take a look at our car parking guide or find out about self-parking cars. 
 
And make sure you have comprehensive car insurance in place.