How Can I Challenge A Parking PCN With The Contravention Code 96?

This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Parking PCN With The Contravention Code 96?” You should remember that leaving your vehicle’s engine on while it is parked is going to lead to a £70 PCN, and ensure that you don’t forget to turn it off when getting out of your car.  This blog explains the 2 lines of defence you can adopt for challenging a PCN with the contravention code 96, depending on your situation.

How Can I Challenge A Parking PCN With The Contravention Code 96?

You can challenge a parking PCN with the contravention code 96 by using evidence to show that you did actually turn your engine off when you left your vehicle parked at the location and also had it off when you came to receive your vehicle from there. This evidence will be used in your PCN challenge on the car park company’s (or local council’s ) website or by mailing your private car park ( or local council) with a written appeal.

You must have evidence of your stays inside car parks in the form of video clips of your vehicle, which could be extracted from its parking camera but it is preferable to use an external digital camera or camcorder carried by a passenger travelling with you. This film needs to show the scenes of you entering the parking zone, properly parking your vehicle there (which includes turning the engine off) and returning to remove it within your parking time limit.

This can easily turn into a habit once you start it and it will ensure that you always have authentic evidence material for challenging a Parking PCN with the contravention code 96. You need to give an acceptable explanation of how you didn’t leave your engine on, and always remember to turn it off, when parking your vehicle anywhere.

There can hardly be any genuine mitigating circumstances for leaving the engine on except maybe some extreme danger of your vehicle or any part of it getting overheated enough to catch fire. If there is some such specific reason for which you can produce evidence material from prior to the incident, it might be acceptable by the car park (or your local council).

In many cases, PCNs are not enforceable and you may be able to win your case and avoid having to pay your fine.

You could begin the process by speaking to an online solicitor for as little as £5. 

Which Parking contravention codes can be enforced by Penalty Charge Notices?

The following are some of the Parking contravention codes can be enforced by Penalty Charge Notices:

  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a prohibited street during prescribed hours. Vehicles are not allowed to park on yellow lines during prescribed hours except those driven by a blue badge holder (a person registered as disabled). Contravention Code 1
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a restricted street within 15 meters of a junction (on double yellow lines) Contravention Code 01x
  • For a  vehicle that has been parked in violation of traffic cones in a street that has been closed off. Contravention Code 01P
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a resident’s parking zone without having a valid parking permit or a valid pay and display ticket.
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a resident’s parking zone (in the pay and display bay) following the expiry of a pay and display ticket. A pay and display ticket should be purchased for the entire duration of time you might have to park your vehicle in a particular spot. 

So if you might need to spend 20-30 minutes more you should probably choose a different parking ticket in the first place.

  • For a vehicle that has been left parked in any pay and display bay not clearly showing the parking ticket. The pay and display ticket should be properly visible to the CEO or CCTV camera watching the parking bay. A 5 minute observation period will be granted to fix the situation before issuing the PCN
  • For a vehicle that has been brought into and parked within the same parking bay within one hour or any other specified no return time limit (after leaving the parking area.)
  • For a vehicle that has not been parked entirely inside the markings of a parking bay and with one full wheel shown to be beyond the correct limits of a parking zone space.
  • For exceeding a vehicle parking ticket’s time limit by 10 minutes or more. Blue Badge or disabled parking holders are exempt from this rule
  • For being parked in a disabled person’s reserved parking space without clearly showing a blue badge
  • For a vehicle incorrectly parked in a mandatory cycle lane instead of being parked in a parking bay.
  • For a vehicle that has been left parked on any portion of or inside a school keep clear marking.
  • For a vehicle that has been left parked within a pedestrian zone. It also applies to a vehicle’s entry into a pedestrian zone, as vehicle entry is banned from these areas.
  • For vehicles that have been left parked on any portion of the footpath located adjacent to a pedestrian crossing.
  • For a vehicle that has failed to move out of a pedestrian crossing area in time or has been braked or brought to rest by a driver on a pedestrian crossing.

Why have I been charged a PCN with the contravention code 96?

Your vehicle has been detected (by a CCTV camera or Civil Enforcement Officer) with its engine on while parked. The contravention code 96 is used to enforce safety inside car parks and other parking locations by ensuring that drivers turn off their engines when they park their vehicles. 

As you can have no excuse or reason for leaving it on while you left to your destination, the PCN can only be challenged by stating that the contravention didnt happen and you switched the engine off. This can only be mentioned in your appeal if you have evidence to show what you are stating with the use of a video clip of your stay inside the car park (or parking location) that day.

There might be some circumstances where your vehicle is undoubtedly in danger of badly overheating or even catching fire, if you turn the engine off. Any complication to the movements of your vehicle resulting from switching your engine off could also be taken into account. But these issues need to be in your knowledge beforehand and discovered in your vehicle a week or so before this Penalty Charge Notice was served.

Insured vehicles or those which have passed a MOT test will not contain any such problems and the bad state of your vehicle could lead to further problems with the car park (or council) authorities.

Can I submit a challenge to a PCN with the contravention code 96 on the council website?

Yes, you can challenge a PCN with the contravention code 96, on the council website. You need to access the online formal representation form on the council website by entering your PCN number and your Vehicle Registration Number. 

In some cases you have to enter your PCN Number and your Contravention Code Number, which is 96 Some councils also require you to enter a Web Code mentioned on your Penalty Charge Notice to access your Penalty Charge Notice details.

You need to select a formal or informal representation option on the website depending on the kind of PCN you have received. An informal challenge is only required for a CCTV Bus Lane PCN or a Parking PCN served by a CEO which had to be delivered by post. 

So generally if your PCN has been sent by mail, you have to submit an informal representation on the council website or by email, before you can get a chance to register a formal representation. If you left the scene of the traffic violation without taking your Penalty Charge Notice or were charged by a CCTV camera, you need to register an informal representation first.

On some council websites you have to select the contravention code (mentioned on your PCN) from a list of options and then choose an acceptable reason for your appeal from another list, Here it is important to understand that this reason that is being chosen will also be the same reason you will mention in your written formal representation and you have to provide authentic evidence material for proving the grounds of your appeal as well.

It is advisable to prepare the contents of your PCN challenge by typing it into a word processor first and eliminating any reasons which cannot be supported by available evidence material or which do not conform to the established grounds for challenging the relevant contravention code. 

Once you have ensured that your explanation reinforces the evidence material you are going to upload with your formal representation, you can copy the text into the online formal representation form.

Evidence to use with your PCN challenge can be stored inside a folder on your computer by filming video clips of your road journeys in the council, which can be used to show how the traffic contravention never happened. Other evidence files in picture formats or pdf, doc formats can also be saved in separate folders for easy access.

You never know when you might be handed a PCN so it is essential to always be prepared with evidence from your vehicle’s journeys in the parking zones of the council. It will be difficult for you to suddenly come up with evidence to use with a PCN challenge within 28 days and all this information would be lost unless you actively donate some time and effort into collecting and preserving evidence material..

Can I also challenge the Parking PCN with the contravention code 96 by mail?

The second method for challenging your PCN which is available in most councils is by using the postal service. You can write your formal representation on the last page of your Notice to Owner document or in a printed downloadable form (in some cases) and send it by mail to the council’s address.

You must remember to attach evidence material with your letter in this case as it is an essential component of your formal representation. Photographs from the traffic violation scene filmed by a passenger travelling with you, insurance papers or a copy of your vehicle’s MOT test to explain your mitigating circumstances such as a problem with your vehicle which requires its engine to be kept on (at all times) can be placed inside a small transparent file or stapled to your Notice to Owner Document. 

You can mention a checklist of your evidence material at the end of your PCN challenge to ensure that no item escapes the attention of the parking officer judging your case. Another important point to remember when sending in your PCN challenge by mail is that first class mail takes 1 to 2 days to deliver your formal representation to the council and second class mail takes between 3 to 5 days. So you need to send in your appeal by the 22nd day after receiving your PCN, at the latest.

This formal representation can also first be typed into a word processing software such as MS word to remove any unclear sentences or reasons which display a lack of awareness of the contravention code, as all such grounds for a PCN challenge will be rejected. You can write down the same sentences on paper once you have matched the text of your formal representation with your available evidence material and clearly explained the cause and effect relationship between any mitigating circumstances which led to the traffic violation.

You need to just describe the events as they happened at the traffic violation scene but your explanation should not convey a lack of awareness of the contravention code on your PCN or suggest that you didn’t know about turning your engine off while parking your vehicle. This requires evidence to explain how you did turn your engine off, if that was the case, and left your vehicle parked correctly.

Can I further challenge a Parking PCN with the London Tribunals if my appeal is dismissed by my local council (inside London)?

If you have received a Parking PCN from a council of a local London Authority or by Transport for London, you can dispute your Notice of Rejection of Representations (from the Council) with the London Tribunals. 

Your Notice of Rejection of Representations has a form attached to it which needs to be completed.and posted to the London Tribunals. What you will write on the form will be the text of your appeal to the Notice of Rejection served by your council and needs to be carefully composed by mentioning your mitigating circumstances which led to the traffic violation or by stating how you think the traffic restriction was never breached. 

The contents of your appeal to the London Tribunals need to be based around evidence material as the London Tribunals is rejudging a case decided by your local council and will be provided by strong evidence from them to contest the trial.

Regardless of whichever council (local London Authority)you have recieved a Parking PCN from, you need to send the completed form to the following address (and ensure that you allow upto 2 days for first class mail to deliver your challenge and upto 5 days for second class mail) :

London Tribunals,

PO Box 10598,



If you would prefer a quicker way to send in your challenge to the London Tribunals you can visit the London Tribunals Website. You can also choose to dispute the “Notice of Rejection” from your council with the London Tribunals online by clicking on the “Access the Appellants Portal” button on this webpage. 

All you will be required to do is simply enter your Vehicle Registration Number, PCN number, and the reference number or code from your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” letter. Evidence to be uploaded here can be different from the evidence material you have used to support the formal representation sent to your local council but the evidence needs to be properly matched with the case you have argued in your appeal to the London Tribunals.

 For your PCN with the contravention code 96, you need to clearly show the London Tribunals that you did not leave your vehicle parked with its engine on. You might have some special circumstances to explain your situation too such as a serious danger of igniting fuel inside your vehicle or other hazard related to switching off your engine. But generally most normal (and insured) vehicles would not have a problem with switching the ignition off while parking it.

So, you could only be convicted of negligence if you left your vehicle with its engine on and this means that the only way to challenge your PCN with the contravention code 96 is to mention that the traffic violation never happened.

 Either way, solid evidence relating to your traffic violation has to be ready to send to the London Tribunals which refutes the case put forward by your council.

 The London Tribunals is an independent adjudicating authority and it impartially considers the case put forward by your council and your version of the events at the traffic violation scene. So if you have some crucial evidence that shows something new which escaped the knowledge of the council or the CCTV camera monitoring the traffic violation scene, the London Tribunals will consider these details to be true.

Can I further dispute a Parking PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if my local council (outside London) has dismissed my challenge?

A Parking PCN served from a local authority outside London can further be disputed with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal is responsible for addressing challenges to Notices of Rejections of Representations from councils in England (outside London) and in Wales.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal website requires you to enter details given on your Notice of Rejection of Representations, after opening this webpage. Once you have entered these details, you can click on “Next” to access the Traffic Penalty Tribunal PCN challenge portal. Before you can access this challenge portal, you need to click on “Start Your Appeal Here” on this webpage and “Submit and Appeal To The Traffic Penalty Tribunal Now” on this webpage. If you access the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s main webpage, you need to first select the kind of PCN for which you have received a Notice of Rejection from your council. 

In this case with the PCN contravention code 96, your Penalty Charge Notice is a Parking PCN. After this you will be redirected to the webpage where you have to select England (outside London). Once you click on England (outside London), you will be led to this webpage where you need to click on “Submit Your Appeal To The Traffic Penalty Tribunal Now”

You can watch this instructional video here to learn about your challenge process.  The Traffic Penalty Tribunal requires you to create an email address unless you already have one to dispute your council’s Notice of Rejection of Representations on its website. It is important for you to submit your challenge on the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Website within 28 days of being sent your Notice of Rejection to your Parking PCN.


This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Parking PCN With The Contravention Code 96?” You need to use evidence in the form of a video clip to clearly show that you switched off your engine before leaving your vehicle parked at its designated parking spot. A PCN with the contravention code 96 can be easily challenged successfully if you can simply match the video with the grounds of your appeal to compose a strong PCN challenge that refutes the evidence put forward by the car park (or your local council).