Parking tickets issued by the local council

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

Find out what to do if you get a parking ticket from the local council.

Who manages parking

In many areas, parking on public land is managed by the local council. Where it isn't, the police are responsible. Read more about parking tickets issued by the police.

Parking on private land is often managed by private companies that issue their own parking tickets.

Parking restrictions on public land

If you park on public land and don't follow the parking restrictions, you could have to pay a fine. The rules about fines depend on the policy of the local council where you parked. Find your local council on

Many local councils employ parking attendants to enforce parking rules. If you don't follow the rules, a parking attendant can give you a fine called a 'penalty charge notice'. This is a civil matter, not a criminal offence.

Receiving a penalty charge notice

If you've parked illegally, a parking attendant can give you a penalty charge notice. The attendant must give you the notice or fix it to your vehicle.

There's no time limit for how long after an infringement a local council can issue a penalty charge notice. 

The penalty charge notice will say that you have 28 days to pay the charge. The fine is reduced by 50% if it is paid within 14 days. 

If you accept you parked illegally, you can pay the amount the notice asks for. The notice will tell you how and when to pay. 

If you've lost the penalty charge notice, phone your local council and give them your car number plate. They should be able to tell you how to pay.

If you don't pay

If you don't appeal against the penalty charge notice and you don't pay it, the local council will send you a 'notice to owner' reminding you to pay. If you don't pay on time, the council will send you a charge certificate and the amount you must pay will go up by 50%.

You'll have to pay the local council, but you won't have committed a criminal offence.

If you don't pay on time, the local council can register the debt with the court without a court hearing. The council can then collect the charge using sheriff officers.

Appealing against a penalty charge notice

If you don't agree that you parked illegally, you can appeal against the penalty charge notice to the local council. The notice will tell you how to appeal and by when.

You might want to appeal because:

  • you weren't the owner of the vehicle when it was parked. You'll have to prove this, for example with a receipt and a copy of the DVLA registration form

  • the parking wasn't illegal - for example, because the meter time hadn't run out, your vehicle had broken down or you were legally loading or unloading your vehicle. Your evidence could include a photo of the meter, a garage receipt or a delivery note

  • someone had parked the vehicle without your consent

  • it wasn't clearly signposted that the place where the vehicle was parked was restricted

  • you’ve been sent a follow-up letter about a penalty charge notice that you never received.

What the local council will do next

The local council must consider your case and tell you if it accepts or rejects your appeal.

If the council accepts your appeal, it will cancel your penalty charge notice.

If the council rejects your appeal, it must send you a 'notice of rejection'. It should also send you details of how to make a further appeal to the General Regulatory Chamber.

Appealing against a local council decision

If you're still not happy, you can appeal against the local council's decision to the General Regulatory Chamber. You have to appeal within 28 days of receiving the notice of rejection.

Find out how to make a parking appeal on the General Regulatory Chamber website.