Your questions answered
I lent my car to a friend and now I am being asked to pay a penalty charge for when he was driving. Do I have to pay?
Yes, in most cases the owner is usually liable whoever was driving. However, there are exceptions.
I sold my vehicle last year. I have now received a Notice to Owner or a Penalty Charge Notice for a later contravention. Do I have to pay the penalty?
You may have received the Notice to Owner or Penalty Charge Notice because the sale of the vehicle has not been notified to the DVLA.
You should respond in writing to the authority explaining the sale of the vehicle, giving the name and address of the buyer, if you know it, and supply clear copies of any documents which support this, e.g. sale note.
If you have not already done so, you should also contact the DVLA about the change in ownership. Equally, if you bought the vehicle after the date of the contravention you should take similar steps.
The enforcement authority will normally issue the Notice to Owner to the person registered as the keeper with the DVLA, who is presumed to be the owner.
My car was stolen but I keep receiving Penalty Charge Notices.
You should respond to each letter concerning a Penalty Charge Notice individually – do not assume that the authority knows that your car has been stolen. There are 34 enforcement authorities in London all of which can issue Penalty Charge Notices.
If your vehicle has been stolen and you have reported it to the police, you should have been given a crime reference number. You should write to the authority advising them of this number and explain that the vehicle has been stolen.
I have returned from holiday and have received an ‘Order for Recovery’.
f the circumstances match any of the grounds on which you can make a witness statement you may choose to do so. You should follow the instructions given on this form.
For more information, see ’witness statement’ in 'Understanding the enforcement process'
An ‘Order for Recovery’ is sent to a vehicle’s owner at a late stage in the enforcement process.
Will the penalty increase if I lose my appeal?
No. If you lose your appeal you will be given another 28 days from the date of the decision to pay the penalty before any further increase. The penalty due will normally be the full, not the reduced, penalty.
Does it cost me anything to appeal?
I have received a ‘Notice to Owner’ and this is the first time I have heard about this Penalty Charge Notice, what should I do?
The enforcement authority will then send you a notice telling you whether they accept your representations. Remember that, where the authority has issued a Penalty Charge Notice through the post rather than at the scene, there is no notice to owner.
Do not ignore the notice. If you wish to contest the penalty, you must make representations to the enforcement authority within the 28 days allowed.
What evidence should I send to the adjudicator?
You should send any evidence in your possession that may support your case to the adjudicator.
Please remember that the adjudicator does not hold any information on your Penalty Charge Notice and will decide your appeal based on the evidence provided by both yourself and the enforcement authority.
The adjudicator will not obtain evidence or contact witnesses on your behalf. For example, if you need information from the DVLA or police, you must contact them.
Examples of evidence you may wish to send to the adjudicator are:
- Receipt for sale if you no longer own the vehicle
- Delivery details if you are claiming exemption by way of loading
- Tax disc details if you claim that no Penalty Charge Notice was fixed to your vehicle
- Witness statements.
Remember to send clear copies and retain original documents. If you wish to submit in evidence photographs in electronic format or moving images, please do so on CD or DVD. Please note that we will retain it as we require a complete record of the evidence.
In view of the significant security issues associated with their use, we cannot accept evidence on a USB flash drive.
Please also note that, if you present evidence at a hearing that we cannot retain, such as on a mobile telephone, laptop or camcorder, the adjudicator may need to adjourn the hearing for you to provide the evidence in a suitable form.
If you are intending to fax photographs or images to the tribunal the quality on receipt is likely to be poor. Please send clear copies to us by post. If you are attending a personal hearing, please bring the originals with you.
The enforcement authority will send London Tribunals all the evidence it has on the Penalty Charge Notice and provide you with a copy.
Whether you choose a postal or a personal hearing, the enforcement authority must send you a copy of their evidence at least three clear days before the scheduled date.
If you are concerned that any evidence may not fully explain your case, you are entitled to request a personal hearing.
I want to appeal to the adjudicator but all of my evidence is not ready or available. What should I do?
If the date approaches and you still do not have all your evidence, you can contact London Tribunals and ask for the appeal to be rescheduled to allow you more time to gather it. View contact details.
If you have elected to have your appeal considered as a postal appeal, you can write or e-mail your request to London Tribunals. Please ensure your request reaches us at least 5 days in advance of the hearing date
If you have elected to attend a personal hearing please contact us by telephone as soon as possible.
Unless you have spoken to somebody or received written or e-mail confirmation that your hearing has been rescheduled, please do not assume that you will automatically be granted an adjournment.
You can bring evidence to a personal hearing, but the adjudicator will decide how to deal with it.
Please remember that, for security reasons, we cannot accept evidence on a USB flash drive and any evidence you produce at a personal hearing should be in a form which will allow us to retain it.
Send in the Notice of Appeal as soon as you can and explain that your evidence will follow. Remember there is a strict time limit to return your completed form. When you receive a date for your hearing you will be told when you should send your evidence.
Can I claim my expenses if I win my appeal?
The adjudicator’s powers to award costs are limited by regulations and can only be considered where the authority’s behaviour is found by the adjudicator to have been ‘frivolous, vexatious or wholly unreasonable’.
If the adjudicator awards costs these will only relate to reasonable costs and expenses. There is no power to award compensation in respect of, for example, stress or inconvenience.
The regulation which covers the award of costs is Regulation 13 in the schedule to The Civil Enforcement of Road Traffic Contraventions (Representations and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2022.
If I lose my appeal can the enforcement authority claim costs against me?
The enforcement authority would have to apply to the adjudicator and he or she would have to decide whether you acted frivolously, vexatiously or wholly unreasonably in appealing against the Penalty Charge Notice.
The adjudicator’s powers to award costs against you are limited by the same regulations quoted above.
The adjudicator's decision can be contested by the following procedures:
A. Review under paragraph 12 of Schedule 1 to The Civil Enforcement of Road Traffic Contraventions (Representations and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2022.
There is no right of appeal from the adjudicator’s decision.
A review may only be granted in the following limited cases:
- The decision was wrongly made because of an error by our administrative staff;
- You failed to appear or be represented at a hearing for some good reason;
- There is new evidence and the existence of this could not have been reasonably known of or foreseen before the decision;
- The interests of justice require a review. You should note that an adjudicator's findings of fact are normally regarded as final and will only be overturned if they are plainly incompatible with the evidence that was before the adjudicator. The mere fact that you disagree with these findings is not a ground for review.
Please note that a review will only be granted if an adjudicator is satisfied that one or more of these applies. A review is not simply an opportunity for you to appeal again. You cannot ask for a review just because you disagree with the adjudicator's decision.
If you wish to apply for review, you should write to the Head of Support Services at the address given on your decision letter within 14 days of the decision being sent to you or handed to you at the hearing centre.
- Set out in full your grounds for asking for a review; and
- Say which of the cases one to four above you claim applies and why; and
- If you are writing outside the 14 days, explain why. The adjudicator will not accept an application out of time unless there is good reason for the delay
- Request a personal hearing of your application if you want one – if you do not, the application will be decided on the papers only.
Unless you attend a personal hearing, the decision will be posted to you.
Please note that London Tribunals will not inform the enforcement authority of your application unless it is successful - you may wish to inform the enforcement authority of the application yourself.
B. Judicial Review
If an adjudicator interprets the law incorrectly the decision can be reviewed in the High Court by a procedure called Judicial Review.
If you wish to contest a decision using this procedure, it would be wise to get legal advice first. Information on the procedure can be found on the www.gov.uk website. You must file the claim in the court promptly and normally not later than three months after the date of the decision.
How do I complain about the adjudicator?
Information on the complaints procedure can be found in the Complaints Section. Please note the chief parking and traffic adjudicator can investigate complaints about personal conduct but not complaints about judicial decisions.
I have chosen to receive a postal decision, when can I expect this to be made?
Postal cases are currently being considered by the adjudicator about 1 week after the date the case is scheduled to come into the list. This is an indication only.
How do I obtain a copy of a decision made in an appeal?
The registers of appeals and decisions are maintained for each tribunal in accordance with the regulations which govern them. The registers can be viewed by any person at the hearing centre at Angel Square during normal opening hours. The registers can also be viewed on-line.