How to Contest a PCN Fee in Two Minutes
In the UK, most traffic and parking fees are issued through a PCN, or Penalty Charge Notice. A PCN can be issued for parking tickets, traffic violations, and for late payment on toll or congestion zone expenses.
There are several online ways to pay a PCN, but if you were issued the fee by mistake or under extenuating circumstances, you can contest the PCN instead of paying.
DoNotPay can make disputing a PCN fast and simple.
What Is a PCN?
PCN stands for Penalty Charge Notice. It is the fee part of any traffic or parking ticket in the UK. There are many reasons you can receive a PCN, and the purpose will often determine your available options to pay the charge notice. Crossing certain bridges, using congestion zones, and parking outside of approved locations and times can all result in a PCN.
The Penalty Charge Notice will usually arrive by mail but is also logged in the system. You can track and pay a PCN–or dispute the traffic/parking ticket–even if you lose the paper by finding your PCN online.
PCNs can also be issued by mistake, where your actions were inside permitted bounds–or in extenuating circumstances where you were steadily trying to be in compliance but were prevented.
Reasons to Receive a PCN
You receive a PCN under the following circumstances:
- Parking tickets and traffic tickets from a local council
- Using the Dartford Crossing bridge without paying the toll
- Using a congestion or low-emissions area without paying the toll
- Traffic violations on red routes
How Long Do You Have to Pay a PCN?
You have 28 days to pay or dispute a PCN once it has been issued. You can potentially receive a lowered cost if you pay the fine within 14 days. In most regions, a PCN has a three-stage timeline.
|Pay within 14 days||Potential Lowered Cost|
|Pay within 28 days||Without Further Penalty|
|Pay between 28-56 days||150% cost (50% late fee)|
What Happens if You Don't Pay a PCN?
Once you receive a Penalty Charge Notice, you need to take action to either pay or dispute the charge. Simply leaving a PCN unpaid is not a good option. Further penalties will be stacked on a once-minor charge and fine.
You may find penalty points on your licence, an order to appear in court, and multiplying fines. You can even face a lowered credit rating and bailiffs taking your belongings. Leaving a fine unpaid in the UK is not a good option.
Can You Dispute a PCN?
There are three bodies you can dispute a PCN with, depending on where the charge came from.
- In most cases throughout the UK, you will file an informal challenge with the council that issued the PCN and alleged parking or traffic violation.
- If your PCN originated with the Dartford Crossing, you can dispute it with Dark Charge.
- Red route, Congestion charge, and Low-emissions zone related fees are all paid for through TfL, or Transport for London. If you use these routes even infrequently, it is wise to keep an account for tolls and keep an eye on charges to make sure they accurately represent your travel.
Reasons to Dispute a PCN
Not all traffic tickets are delivered in the letter or spirit of the law. Often, simply putting in the effort to dispute the ticket and explain your circumstances is enough to have the ticket waived. The automated system is in place to tax people who use the roads without consideration. But let's say you were ticketed for erratic driving when, really, you were dodging an obstacle and prevented a real accident by touching the land divider line.
You may notice a toll or congestion fee for a drive you did not take. You may have parked in a location where the paint was gone and signs were unclear. You may have parked correctly and been cited for parking across the line. Or you may have been charged more than 14 days after the parking incident. You can also dispute a parking ticket if your car broke down or you were prevented from returning to your car.
Disputing the PCN can make the difference in having to pay the fine–or even having the ticket appear on your record.
Contest PCN Traffic and Parking Ticket Fees in the UK With DoNotPay
DoNotPay is an automated legal service that can use your information to generate a PCN dispute letter addressed to the right people. Your council, TfL, or Dart Charge will receive the dispute letter and the process to assess and potentially waive your PCN fee will begin.
DoNotPay has handled more than 200,000 traffic and parking tickets. It's one of our first and most successful services and is now available in the UK to handle PCN traffic fees and private parking tickets.
How to Get Started
DoNotPay can help you fight your parking ticket with these simple steps:
- Log-in to DoNotPay and go to the Ticket Disputes category. Select the Parking Ticket product.
- Upload a photo of your citation.
- Provide us with some details on why you believe the citation issued is a mistake.
- That's it! You'll receive an appeal letter that contains the best argument to win your case.
It's really that simple! You can use the carefully crafted appeal letter to serve as your argument when you challenge your ticket. (Note: For UK users, we cannot mail the letter.)
Can DoNotPay Appeal Private Parking Tickets?
What about non-PCN parking tickets? In the UK, private parking lots and private parking tickets are also common. DoNotPay can also help you dispute these charges and fees for private parking both in the UK and in the US.
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What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay was founded on helping people dispute parking tickets, a process that should be easy but often faces unnecessary hassle and red tape. Since then, we've expanded to make all sorts of bureaucratic processes much easier for people throughout the US and the UK. Check out our extensive list of services and discover a few items on your to-do list that we can help you quickly check off with just a few taps on your phone.
Here are some examples:
- Parking Tickets
- Car Registration Renewal
- Insurance Claims
- Find Lost Money in Your Name
- Request City Repairs
- Airline Compensation
- Negotiate Car Lease
- Dispute Seatbelt Ticket
- File a Complaint Anywhere