Stop being chased for a parking ticket

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

You shouldn’t get letters demanding payment if you’re appealing a parking ticket or have already paid. Letters like this can be harassment, so you can take steps to stop them.

Don’t be tempted to ignore a letter about a parking ticket – even if you’ve paid – because it can have serious consequences.

If you’ve been contacted by sheriff officers or enforcement officers

You should act quickly if you’ve been sent a letter from a sheriff officer or enforcement officer. A parking company can legally send sheriff officers or enforcement officers to your home if they have a court order. Read our advice on how to stop sheriff officers and other creditors taking action.

If you’ve already paid your parking ticket

You won’t have to pay the parking ticket again – you just need to prove you’ve paid. Proving you’ve paid is quick and free to do.

Contact whoever gave you the ticket and tell them how much you paid and when. Explain that they must stop sending you letters because harassment is a criminal offence under section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1990 and section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

To prove you’ve paid, send one or more of the following:

  • a bank statement with the amount and date you paid highlighted or underlined – for security, cover your account number and sort code

  • your receipt if you paid in person – for example at a post office or to a police officer for an on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice

  • a printed copy of the email confirmation – or a screenshot of the confirmation screen – if you paid online

If you’ve been ordered to pay the parking ticket to a court, include a receipt for any money you’ve paid into the Scottish courts and tribunals service.

Send your proof of payment to whoever gave you the parking ticket. For a Fixed Penalty Notice it must be the original. For all other tickets, it’s a good idea to send copies of receipts or statements instead of originals, in case they get lost in the post.

You should send the documents by recorded delivery through the post office. You’ll then be able to prove that they arrived.

If you’re already appealing your ticket

You don’t have to pay a parking ticket if you’re waiting for an answer to your appeal. If you’ve been sent letters that put pressure on you to pay, call or write to whoever is chasing you and ask them to stop. Or if you prefer, ask an adviser to contact them on your behalf.

Explain that under section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1990 and section 2 of the protection from Harassment Act 1997, they must stop sending you letters until there’s a decision on your appeal. You can also say that harassment of people in debt by creditors or their agents is a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Tell them:

  • the date you appealed

  • who you sent the appeal to

  • the parking ticket reference number

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’ve ignored a parking ticket

It’s a good idea to look into appealing your parking ticket if it was given to you within the last 21 days. If you received your ticket more than 21 days ago you probably won’t be able to appeal – but don’t ignore the ticket.

You should pay your parking ticket, if you can. If you don’t pay:

  • the cost could go up as you might be taken to court and have to pay court costs – and PCNs are increased by 50% if you don’t pay in time

  • your credit rating could be affected if you ignore a court judgement to pay

  • the court could instruct sheriff officers to take action 

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau to find out your options if you can’t afford to pay the parking ticket.