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Appealing against a parking ticket when someone else was driving

This advice applies to England

You might be sent a ticket in the post if someone parked where they shouldn’t have when they were driving your car.

You should appeal if any of the reasons on this page apply to you, because you weren’t responsible for the car when it was parked. 

You might still be able to appeal if you lent your car to someone and they got a parking ticket – it depends on the type of ticket. Even if you can’t appeal, you can still ask the person who was driving to pay the ticket. 

If someone borrowed your car 

The person you lent your car to is responsible for the parking ticket if it’s a:

  • Parking Charge Notice from a landowner or parking company – issued on private land, such as a supermarket car park
  • Fixed Penalty Notice from the police (or Transport NI in Northern Ireland) - issued on red routes, white zig zags or where the police manage parking

They’re responsible even if you regularly share your car with them. 

If a Parking Charge Notice is sent to you

You should definitely appeal as the notice against you should be cancelled. Don’t be put off because it’s been sent to you and not the driver. It just means the parking company used your car’s registration number to get the registered keeper’s address from the DVLA.

You should contact the company and give them the full name and address of the person who was driving. The parking company’s contact details will be on the notice they’ve sent to you – or you can find them on their website.

Make sure you write down the name of the person you speak to and the date and time of your call – you might need to refer to the conversation later in your appeal.

If you write to the parking company, you should send the documents by recorded delivery through the post office. You’ll then be able to prove that they arrived because the delivery will be signed for.

The parking company must cancel the parking ticket against you if you've sent them the full name and address of the person who was driving. The parking notice will then be issued to the person who was driving – known as 'transfer of liability'.

You don't have to give the parking company the details of the person who was driving. You can choose to pay the ticket yourself instead. 

You only need to give their details if you want the ticket against you to be cancelled.

If a Parking Charge Notice was left on your vehicle

The person who was driving is responsible and should pay the parking ticket. If the person you lent your car to tells you about the parking ticket but refuses to pay, contact the parking company. Give them the name and address of the person who was driving. They must then cancel the parking ticket against you. It will be issued to the person who was driving – known as 'transfer of liability'.

You might be sent a parking ticket in the post if the person you lent your car to doesn’t pay the ticket – and only if the parking company has the authority to use your car registration to get your address from the DVLA.

If a Fixed Penalty Notice is sent to you

You should definitely appeal a Fixed Penalty Notice sent to you in the post. It will be sent with a letter called a ‘notice of intended prosecution’. You won’t be prosecuted if you appeal, but you could be taken to court if you ignore the ticket.

Make sure you contact the police or council that sent you the notice with the full name and address of the person who was driving. They must then cancel the ticket and send one to the person who was driving instead.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if the ticket isn’t cancelled – they can help you get legal advice.

If a Fixed Penalty Notice was given to the driver

You’re not responsible for a Fixed Penalty Notice given to someone else and you don’t have to pay the fine. The driver’s name and address will have been taken when they were given the notice and they’ll be summoned to court if they don’t pay or appeal.

You won’t be contacted about a Fixed Penalty Notice given to the driver. You’ll only know about it if the person who borrowed your car chooses to tell you.

If it’s a Penalty Charge Notice or Excess Charge Notice

Even though you weren’t driving, as the registered keeper of the vehicle you’re responsible for a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or Excess Charge Notice (ECN) from the council – issued on public land, such as a high street. You should ask the person who was driving to pay the ticket, but they might refuse.

If they won’t pay, it’s a good idea to pay the ticket if you can. You can often get a discount for paying your ticket early. You can usually get a 50% discount if you pay a PCN or ECN within 14 days.

You could be taken to court if you ignore the fine and you’ll have to pay court costs too. 

If your car was stolen or your licence plate was copied

You might have got a parking ticket in the post because your car wasn’t parked correctly after it was stolen. Or your licence plate might have been copied and used on another car – known as ‘car cloning’.

You’re not responsible for this ticket, so you should definitely appeal.

Write back to whoever contacted you about the parking offence. Their contact details will be on the notice or letter they sent you. Explain that the car was stolen or cloned when the offence happened.

You might only find out that your licence plate has been cloned when you get the ticket in the post. You should report the cloning to the police and DVLA straightaway.

You’ll have been given a crime reference number when you reported the theft or cloning to the police. Include this number in your appeal as this will prove that you weren’t driving the car when it was wrongly parked.

Once you’ve proven you weren’t driving, the notice against you must be cancelled.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if the ticket isn’t cancelled – they can help you get legal advice.

If you recently bought your car

You might have been sent a parking ticket in the post because your car’s previous owner parked where they shouldn’t have. This will happen if the ticket is posted after the previous owner told the DVLA they’d sold their car to you.

You’re not responsible for this ticket, so you should definitely appeal.

Write a short statement explaining that you weren’t the owner at the time of the parking offence. Send it to whoever contacted you about the parking ticket. Their contact details will be on the notice or letter they sent to you.

The types of evidence you could include are:

  • the date you bought the car
  • the full name and address of the previous owner – or the company that sold you the car
  • a copy of the DVLA registration certificate (V5C)
  • a copy of the receipt or invoice from when you bought the car, if you have it

As long as you’ve sent this evidence, the notice against you must be cancelled. It will then be issued to the person who was driving – known as 'transfer of liability'.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if the ticket isn’t cancelled – they can help you get legal advice.

If you recently sold your car

You might have been sent a parking ticket in the post because your car’s new owner parked where they shouldn’t have. It will have been sent to you if there was a delay in registering the car in their name.

You’re not responsible for this ticket, so you should definitely appeal.

Write a short statement explaining that you’re no longer the owner of the car.

Send the statement to whoever contacted you about the parking ticket. Their contact details will be on the notice or letter they sent to you. 

You should include:

  • the date you sold the car
  • the full name and address of the new owner – or the company that sold them your car
  • a copy of the receipt or invoice for the sale, if you have it

As long as you’ve sent this evidence, the notice against you must be cancelled. It will then be issued to the person who was driving – known as 'transfer of liability'.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if the ticket isn’t cancelled – they can help you get legal advice.

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