Little-known rule means you can evade parking tickets

Seeing a parking ticket slapped on the front of the windshield is enough to make any car driver wince, but there may be a way to get away with the fine.

The extended parking period means motorists have a crucial 10 minutes of time to get away with the hefty fee.

Penalty notice and parking fee notice are different and subject to different laws


Penalty notice and parking fee notice are different and subject to different lawsCredit: Getty

It doesn’t seem like much, but this rule means that those who reply a few minutes past the deadline will have a legitimate foothold.

What is the parking grace period?

The policy was introduced by the government in 2015 and stipulates that all council car parks in the UK have a 10-minute leniency for drivers past the time limit for parking tickets.

This means you could be fined if you return to your car within 10 minutes after your ticket expires.

As a result, the Department of Transport notes that any PCN provided within the 10-minute grace period is illegal.

Before the extension period, whether or not to fine the driver is at the discretion of each council.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Parking tickets are supposed to be a deterrent to bad behavior, not a fine.”

But thanks to a grace period, this reckless fine has been replaced by a mandatory fairness rule that must be applied to all drivers in the UK.

When does the extension period not apply?

While this rule applies to council car parks in England, it does not apply to council car parks in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

And of course, the rule won’t apply if the driver doesn’t pay the parking fare at the start or if the vehicle is parked illegally.

Illegal parking situations can include double yellow lines, bus lanes, or parking across two bays. In these cases, the 10-minute grace period is void.

It is also important to note that the 10-minute rule does not apply when the driver is parked on private land.

When issuing a fine on private land, the notice will indicate the parking fee notice instead of the penalty fee notice.

The small difference is worth keeping an eye on as almost half of parking fee fines can be successfully appealed.

This is because they are classified as an invoice. Private companies do not have the authority to formally penalize you.

Can I claim my ticket based on this rule?

Sure. If you’ve been slapped by a PCN in the mail or got a yellow card on your windshield for being overdue by just a few minutes, you can appeal.

If you are going to appeal, make sure you don’t pay the fee before doing so, as this is considered an admission of error and will not be possible to appeal after this point.

Complaining before the board is free and you can do so by writing to them by email or letter.

Make sure you attach proof of your appeal to ensure that you get back to your vehicle within the 10-minute grace period.

The Sun tells you more about loopholes you can use to get rid of fines for a number of different situations – you can read about them here.

In less than a week, fines will increase from £130 to £160 if drivers break the red route rules – learn about the new rules here to avoid cashing out.

Fines for parking on private or council-owned land vary – but not many people know the difference – do you?

How to avoid a £1,000 fine for driving with the satnav phone trick

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