DRIVERS might think that a ticket machine being broken means you can park up for free – but that’s not always the case.
You could still be hit with a fine even if there’s no way to pay, but in some cases you can get the penalty cancelled.
You can be fined for not having a parking ticket if the machine is broken, but you should be able to appeal the decision.
Citizens Advice says the fine can be cancelled but only if there’s no other way to pay.
It won’t be cleared if there was another, working, machine nearby – so make sure you double check before you leave without paying.
If you do decide to park up, you should take a photo of the broken machine because you’ll need it for your appeal if you do end up getting a fine.
More than half of motorists have successfully appealed parking firms from local councils, an investigation by The Sun found.
But sometimes car parks have a sign saying not to stop there if there’s no way to pay.
If you ignore the sign and get a ticket, your appeal is highly likely to be rejected so you’ll have to pay the fine.
How much is a parking fine?
The fine varies from one council to another, but most will give you 28 days to pay before it increases.
The cost also depends on what type it is and who issued it, but penalty charge notices are usually £70 or £130 in London.
You usually have 28 days to pay. In some cases, the fine is halved if you pay within 14 days.
If you lose your ticket you should contact the fine issuer to find out how to pay, or risk having to pay more.
How can I appeal a parking fine?
The best way to avoid having to pay out is to not risk getting a fine.
If you’re unsure about parking when the machine is broken, it might be wiser just to find somewhere else to stop.
But if you do decide to park up, and end up getting a ticket, you can appeal the fine.
Remember, if you could have paid for the ticket another way your appeal is unlikely to be successful.
In that case you should think about just paying the fine as you’ll usually get a discount for settling it earlier.
If you do decide to appeal, these are the steps you should take:
- Hold off paying your parking ticket immediately if you want to appeal the charge
- Check how long you have to challenge the ticket
- Make an initial appeal to the ticket issuer by phone, post or email, including supporting evidence like photos which show the parking signs weren’t clear
- Write a further appeal if your ticket issuer has a formal complaints procedure in place. Some ticket issuers belong to independent appeal schemes which provide a free and impartial service
- Pay your parking ticket if your appeal is turned down – you could be hit with further costs if you don’t
Whatever you do, don’t just ignore the fine as you’ll end up having to pay more and could even be taken to court.
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