Penalty Charge Notice (pcn issued at the scene)

A Penalty Charge notice either handed to the driver or placed on the windscreen of a vehicle. The owner is usually, but not always, liable for the penalty, whoever was driving.

Exceptions include if the car was taken without your consent, if it was hired out under an agreement or if you have sold the vehicle.

Your next steps:

Either: Pay the penalty charge

  • Payment details are on the Penalty Charge Notice. You should pay the penalty charge within 28 days beginning with the date when the PCN was issued.
  • If the authority RECEIVES payment within the first 14 days you only have to pay half the penalty.
  • If you do not pay within 14 days, your right to pay at the reduced rate ends.

If the authority does not receive payment of the reduced penalty within 14 days or the full penalty within 28 days the next stage in the formal process is for the enforcement authority to send a Notice To Owner (NTO).


Make an informal challenge (representation ) against a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)

Some people write to the enforcing authority challenging the Penalty Charge Notice before the Notice to Owner is issued. Local authorities should consider an informal challenge (or representation) and will notify you whether they accept or reject it.

An informal challenge is basically a letter or email from you telling the enforcing authority why you think that they should cancel the PCN. You can give any reason even compassionate reasons as to why you think the local authority should cancel the PCN.

Local authorities will consider what you say and if they accept your reasons they will cancel the penalty charge notice. If they do not accept your reasons they will usually re-offer the 50% discount for a further 14 days if your informal challenge is received within the 14 days discount period.

So you really have nothing to loose by writing In within 14 days. You may wish to check that the particular local authority will reissue the discount but most will.

When making an informal challenge, you should:

  • explain your reasons fully and carefully;
  • send clear copies of any relevant documents, keeping the originals;
  • make sure the local authority RECEIVES your representations within 14 days if you want them to preserve the discount whilst considering your representations. See note above.)


Next: Notice To Owner (NTO)