My friend Helen recently managed to get out of paying a parking ticket imposed by her council. She felt it was unfair (it often is) and wrote a letter to explain why.
The response he received was less than helpful, so he wrote again, and then again. He eventually took it to the London Courts, which covers council parking tickets in the capital, and won. In fact, the adjudicator said that he was impressed by how calm and friendly the part of the correspondence had been from him.
Helen isn’t the only one who had a parking ticket set aside in court. Just last year, 35,000 driver complaints went to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, the adjudicators of municipal parking tickets in England and Wales, with two-thirds awarded in favor of drivers.
But it’s still a drop in the ocean when you look at the number of parking tickets issued each year.
According to Churchill Motor Insurance, UK councils issued almost 20,000 parking tickets every day last year and private companies issued around 30,000 tickets every day between April and June last year, 50% more than in the same period of 2021.
MISS MONEYSAVER shares her tips on how to challenge an unfair parking ticket (file image)
It is understandable that many tickets go unchallenged. It’s a nuisance to go through the necessary paperwork. I’m thinking about the time my parking scratch card swipe and couldn’t be seen on the dash. I should have taken that to court, but I didn’t because I was busy. I could kick myself now as I’m sure I could have made a good case if I had put in the time.
And if you really think your ticket is unfair, it’s worth challenging, insists Barrie Segal, who created the website. Appeal Now.com.
Barrie is a big believer in calling out council and private parking enforcers and insists that a large number of parking tickets are simply unfair.
“Both private companies and municipalities work on the same bases,” he says. “It’s basically bullying. They want you to think it’s too much of a drag to go up against them.
For the price of a small charitable donation, Barrie may be able to help make your case. You can contact him at an email address that she has set up for mail readers: email@example.com.
There’s also some great advice on how to challenge a parking ticket in his book Barrie Segal’s Quick Guide To Fight Your Parking Ticket, £5.99 on Amazon (tinyurl.com/fightparkingtickets), or free if you have Kindle Unlimited.
The first step is always to contact the parking ticket issuer with your counterclaim.
You can appeal against your decision for all sorts of reasons. It could be due to poorly worded or incorrect signs where you parked (my friend Adam got his ticket rescinded by Leeds City Council using this method), or because you had a medical emergency and had to park in the wrong place (this could be something as simple as needing to stop to go to the bathroom, if you have a relevant condition).
Other valid reasons for getting out of a parking ticket could be that you have broken down and are waiting for a mechanic, or that you are attending to an emergency.
If you can prove any of the above, and you would need to have photographic and/or written evidence of your argument, your parking ticket may be removed, if not by the council or parking company, then on appeal.
It’s also worth knowing that since April 2015, motorists in England have been legally granted a ten-minute grace period at the end of any parking session in a designated council car park. So check what time a ticket is issued. If it was within the grace period, you don’t have to pay.
Offering a similar grace period is currently only voluntary for private parking companies, but a new code of practice is being prepared to make it mandatory in England, Wales and Scotland.
Private parking companies currently can’t charge you more than £100, but under the new rules, which come into force later this year, this will be capped at £50 outside London and £80 in the capital.
In privately owned parking lots, tickets are not technically fines, but charges under a contract that you enter when you park. Unless you can contest this charge, it’s often better to pay early to get the half-price “deal” rather than pay the full amount.
But you can appeal if you think the charge is unfair, either to POPLA, Parking On Private Land Appeals popla.es or the IAS, Independent Appeals Service theias.org.
Just beware of fraudulent parking tickets that claim to be from private companies. Check online at Gov.uk to see if the company exists. It may even be worth taking the letter to the Citizen Services Office for review.
Do you have a question for Jasmine? Email her at AskJasmine@MoneyMagpie.com
Earn while driving to pubs in a motorhome
Dreaming of the open road? Campervan holiday website Brit Stops (britstops.com) offers to pay someone to visit and sample hundreds of pubs across the country in a campervan to help design the UK’s Ultimate Pub Trail.
In exchange, there’s a ‘daily stipend’ towards the trip, and you’ll be able to drive a fully equipped RV or receive extra money if you already have one of your own.
To qualify, you must be over 18, have a valid UK driving license and be able to drive a motorhome. Submit photos of your road trips to britstops.com/pints.
- Get a 15 percent discount on a new handy device called the FinaMill. It is a spice grinder with interchangeable capsules that allow you to switch from pepper to salt to chili or whatever spice interests you. Use it in the kitchen, on the barbecue or at the table. The discount code is ‘missmoneysaver’ and can be used on anything on the finamill.co.uk website, except the BBQ package, before July 23rd.
- Boxsaver.com is great for saving at your grocery store. Sell big brand products at a lower price than in the supermarket. It also offers free delivery on orders over £25. There’s everything from favorite brands like Batchelors, Napolina, Heinz, John West and many more, and for an exclusive 15 per cent discount, enter the code Magpie15 at checkout.
- Heinz offers families the opportunity to enjoy free ‘Dayz Out’ with coupons. There are free tickets to theme parks, bowling, go-karts and thousands of other places, with coupons on promotional packages of Heinz Beanz, Hoops, Tomato Ketchup and other products. Each voucher allows one person to enter for free. See dayzout.heinz.co.uk for more information. claim by October 31 and use by December 31.
Campervan holiday website Brit Stops (britstops.com) offers to pay someone to visit and sample hundreds of pubs (file image)
Little space? Get a tabletop barbecue
For those, like me, who only have a small outdoor space, you can still enjoy barbecuing with a tabletop model, such as The Wasabi Company’s traditional Japanese clay grill.
This retails for £98, but you can get 10 per cent off with the code DAILYMAIL at checkout (thewasabicompany.co.uk)
Or I could opt for one of those disposable grills I love for a picnic at the beach or park (if I’m at one that allows barbecues).
Some supermarkets still carry them and they’re around £5, or you can get one at Force4.co.uk for £3.95.
If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly alternative, you can get an eco-friendly one where all elements are recyclable at Souschef.co.uk for £8.99 (souschef.co.uk/products/casusgrill-disposable-eco-bbq). More expensive but better for the environment.
For those with space, grill specialists Landmann have an impressive range covering everything from basic grills to high-tech outdoor kitchens.
Better yet, they’re currently on a great sale and you can get an extra 10 per cent off all products from now until July 16 using code MAGPIE10 at landmann.co.uk/collections/all-products.
You can even get a discount on skewers for your grilled meat, fish or vegetables.
The Spice Kitchen is offering an exclusive 20 per cent discount on its bamboo and metal skewers (thewasabicompany.co.uk) when you use code DAILYMAIL20 (valid until August 31).
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them, we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.