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You get a Penalty Charge Notice for a car used or owned by someone else

Parking tickets issued by the council are called Penalty Charge Notices (PCN).

Sometimes, you may get a PCN when you weren't driving the vehicle, or for a vehicle which doesn't belong to you.

Read this page to find out when this might happen and whether you have to pay the penalty charge if it happens to you.

You have sold your car or bought it after the penalty notice was issued

Once you tell the DVLA that you've sold your car, they should register the vehicle in the name of the new owner and any PCNs should be issued to them. However, occasionally there may be a delay in registering the new owner, for example, if you wait before sending off your registration certificate or if you no longer have the certificate.

In this type of case, it's possible to get a PCN which should have been issued to the new owner.

It's also possible to get a PCN which was issued before you bought a car, if there's a delay in registering the vehicle in your name.

If either of these things happen, you won't be responsible for paying the penalty charge but you must write to the council and provide evidence that you weren't the owner at the time the notice was issued.  You should provide the name and address of the person you sold the vehicle to or bought it from. You could also provide proof of purchase, such as a receipt, or a copy of the DVLA registration form.

You let someone else use your car

If you let someone else use your car, you are responsible for any penalty notices the car gets. This could happen if, for example, you lend your car to someone else or leave it to be repaired.

You could ask the person in charge of the car at the time to give you the money for the penalty charge. However, if they aren’t willing to do this, the only other option might be to go to court. This might be expensive, with no guarantee that you'd win your case.

You hired a car

When you hire a car, you usually sign to say that the driver and not the hire company is responsible for any parking penalties as part of the hire agreement.

This is known as a statement of liability in respect of penalty charges.

If you didn't sign an agreement, or it didn't contain a statement like this, you won't be responsible for the penalty charge.

Your car was stolen

If your car got a Penalty Charge Notice while it was being driven without your permission or stolen, you shouldn't have to pay the charge. If you get a PCN because of this, you can appeal to the council. You should provide a police crime report or proof of an insurance claim as evidence.

You were driving a vehicle owned by your employer

If you were driving a vehicle owned by your employer and got a Penalty Charge Notice, you will  be responsible for paying it if you're the registered vehicle keeper. If your employer is the registered keeper of the vehicle, they will be responsible for the penalty charge. However, even if you're not the registered keeper, you may still have to pay the charge if your employment contract says so. In this situation, you should check your contract to see what it says.

You were driving a courtesy car

If you were driving a courtesy car, for example while your car is being repaired, you won't be responsible for paying the penalty charge. The garage is responsible for paying the charge, but they may try and get it back from you.

Your car has been cloned

Car cloning happens where your number plates are stolen and used on a similar car, or where a criminal buys replica number plates over the internet without proof of identity.

You may only find out your car has been cloned when you get a Penalty Charge Notice for which you know you weren’t responsible.

If this happens, report the car cloning to the police and the DVLA straight away. You should appeal against paying the charge. It's always best to try and show that you could not have been responsible for the offence, because neither your or your car were in the area when the offence was committed.

Next steps

How to appeal against a penalty charge notice from the council - first steps

Reasons for disputing a Penalty Charge Notice

Before you take someone to court

If you need more help

Other useful information

You can get information about registering your vehicle with the DVLA from the Vehicle and Driver Licensing Agency (DVLA) at: www.dft.gov.uk.

Citizens Advice

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