Do You Know Your Parking Rights?

Parking rules - most of us THINK we know them, but do we? Let us tackle the confusion and set the record straight.

Nearly 24.7 million motorists in the UK think parking rules and regulations are confusing. Rumour has it that the rest believe they’re really confusing. Knowing your parking rights is like knowing the colour of Santa’s underpants – we all THINK we know, but it’s impossible to actually know, because the information doesn’t exist. Or rather, it didn’t exist until now.

On 25 November 2014, a new initiative was launched at the House of Commons by the British Parking Association with the sole aim of mitigating the brain ache associated with the legalities of all things parking. It’s called Know Your Parking Rights, a “one stop shop for parking rules” in the form of a website and a downloadable guide that you can print off and keep in your glove compartment. Topics covered include ‘How parking is managed‘, ‘Know your parking and traffic signs‘, and our personal favourite,How to appeal a parking ticket‘.

Here’s a taster to whet your parking whistle:

There are 4 different types of parking ticket

Penalty Charge Notice

These guys, issued by civil enforcement officers employed by local authorities, are subject to the general principles of public law. The amount varies by location and you will usually pay more for parking on a double yellow line than for overstaying your time limit.

Parking Charge Notice

Governed by contract law, these are issued by private operators, such as supermarkets, and can’t be enforced in the same way as a Penalty Charge Notice.

Fixed Penalty Notice

The black sheep of the parking ticket farmyard. Because Fixed Penalty Charges are enforced by traffic wardens or police officers rather than civil enforcement officers, they come – somewhat alarmingly – under criminal law.

Excess Charge Notice

This is essentially the same thing as a Penalty Charge Notice but is only invoked in certain circumstances.

For an in-depth explanation of how to appeal the various types of parking ticket, gird up your loins and feast your eyes on this article. And for numerous other weapons of wisdom that you should definitely have in your arsenal when it comes to fighting a corner, or a curb, or a car park, head on over to the Know Your Parking Rights homepage.

(The Santa quandary was a red herring, by the way. We have it on good authority that he goes commando.)

Liked this? You might also enjoy 6 Ways To Avoid A Parking Ticket.

In 2022 the government introduced new guidance to clamp down on extortionate parking fees and prevent private parking firms from issuing huge fines. The new Code of Practice meant:

  • Fines have been cut by up to 50% in most areas across England, Wales and Scotland
  • The new Appeals Charter will eliminate fines for motorists who make genuine errors or have mitigating circumstances
  • Additional 'rip-off' debt collection fees banned
  • Rogue operators who do not follow the Code could be banned from accessing Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data

This code remains under review for now after the government wanted more information the levels of private parking charges and additional fees. We will make sure to keep you up-to-date with any changes! 

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