Parking tickets

Parking in any of the restricted parking areas (Parking regulations) discussed in previous sections can result in receiving a parking ticket.


Different organisations enforce parking rules, such as: local councils, the police, private companies, Transport for London, and the National Car Parks Services Ltd (NCP) in Northern Ireland (NI). If you do get a ticket, your rights vary depending on who issued it and whether you were parked on the street or in a car park.

In most parts of England, Wales and NI, and many urban areas of Scotland, most on-street parking is enforced by council-employed parking attendants, or traffic wardens employed by NCP (NI), who issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN). This type of parking enforcement is called Civil Parking Enforcement.

Enforcement for parking on the street

If you're caught breaking parking or waiting rules in an area where Civil Parking Enforcement is in force, you'll be issued with a PCN.

PCNs are usually fixed to the windscreen of the car concerned or handed to the person who appears to be in charge of it. They can also be issued by post you were caught on camera.

You'll usually have 28 days to either pay the charge or challenge it by writing (or in some cases you can submit a challenge online) to the relevant authority. If you pay within 14 days (21 days for those caught on camera), the amount is reduced by 50%.

Enforcement in council car parks

Some council car parks have parking attendants who can issue PCNs, which can be challenged in the same way as a PCN issued to a vehicle parked on the street.

In areas where Civil Parking Enforcement has not been introduced, some local authorities issue Excess Charge Notices or Standard Charge Notices in their car parks or in metered or pay-and-display bays on the street.

The right to appeal

You have the right to appeal if you think a PCN has been issued unfairly or incorrectly. See the section on Appealing a PCN for more information.


Councils in England, Wales and Scotland, and the Roads Service (NI), can tow away or clamp a vehicle in certain circumstances. You can only be clamped if a PCN has been issued and 30 or more minutes have passed. For persistent offenders, this time limit is reduced to 15 minutes. If you believe your car was unfairly clamped, you can appeal, but you'll have to pay the release fee to free your car first. You can challenge the clamping charges using the same system that deals with PCNs.

Scotland and Northern Ireland

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