The Fixer: parking tickets

Jess Bown

Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Dear Fixer,
When I visited my dentist the other day, he was running 30 minutes late. This wasn't a problem, except that I had only paid for an hour of parking.

And when I got back to my car 12 minutes after the time had run out, I already had a £60 parking ticket. I don't feel that it was my fault I was late back to my car.

Can I challenge the ticket and get out of the fine? And if so, how? Thanks for your help.

E Casey, London

Dear Mrs Casey,

When you get a parking ticket, formally known as a Penalty Charge Notice, you have the choice of paying within 14 days, in which case the fine is halved, or appealing the ticket.

To appeal, the first step is to write to the local council explaining why you overran the hour you paid for originally.

If you write within 14 days of receiving the notice, the early-payment discount period is usually frozen until you receive a response.

But your chances of success will be greatly increased the more evidence you can provide, so try to get a letter from your dentist confirming that he was running half an hour late, and enclose a copy.

The council will either accept your challenge and withdraw the fine, or reject it and send you a Notice to Owner form that orders you to pay the fine or make a formal appeal.

If you wish, however, you can escalate your appeal to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, as long as you do so within 28 days. Your case will then be considered by independent adjudicators.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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