A Penalty Charge Notice can be charged for minor to major traffic to parking contravention by vehicle owners. Through this blog post, we aim to learn whether one should pay a PCN in Harrogate or challenge. We will also discuss the different ways to pay a PCN as well as how to challenge one if you believe you are not liable to pay one.

Should You Pay Or Challenge Harrogate PCN?

According to the Traffic Management Act 2004, a vehicle’s registered owner is bound to pay the Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local council in the case of a parking or traffic contravention. 

If you are in Harrogate Council, this payment can be made online by accessing the council’s portal and adding one’s Vehicle Registration Number and PCN number. You can also make this payment by calling the automated telephone line of the council at 01423 556174.

However, if you believe that you’ve been fined in error and should not be held liable to pay the fine, you can challenge the PCN by appealing against the fine. This can also be done online; however, if one intends to challenge a PCN, they should not pay the fine until the appeal process is complete and a decision is made against their appeal.

There are three stages to the appeal process. This includes the following:

  • objection/challenge a PCN
  • representation
  • appeal

If your appeal is made within 14 days of being issued a PCN, the Harrogate council authorities will put your payment on hold while your appeal is in process. 

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. 

How Do You Appeal Against A Harrogate PCN? 

You can appeal and re-appeal against a PCN at different stages of the PCN process and until you pay the fine.

In the first stage when the PCN is handed over to the driver or posted on the car windscreen, you have 14 days to avail a 50% discount if you pay the PCN and 28 days to pay the fine in full. You can make an “informal challenge” against the PCN by not paying the fine and contacting the council office that issued the PCN. This contact should ideally be made after 24 hours of being issued a PCN and within the 28-day limit for payment of the fine. You may be required to provide evidence in support of your challenge.

If the council accepts your claim, the PCN will be waived off and you will not have to make any payment. However, if the council rejects your challenge, a new PCN will be issued with another 14-day discount offered. This time, you will be issued a “notice to owner” (NTO). If you wish to pursue your appeal, you can do so by issuing a “formal representation” in response to the NTO. 

If the formal representation is rejected by the council, the NTO recipient will be informed to appear before an independent adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal as the process goes into the next stage. 

You can appeal to the independent adjudicator as a last attempt to challenge the PCN. If your appeal is accepted, the PCN is waived off and the matter is dismissed. However, if your appeal is rejected, there is no more room to appeal and you will have to make the payment within the next 28 days.

How Do You Write A Penalty Appeal Letter?

Your penalty appeal letter should mainly contain your (the vehicle owner’s) full name, the registration number of your car and your PCN number.

It should mention the case in point, the reason why you were charged and why you believe that the charge is in error. You must include relevant evidence to support your claim in the letter.

Below is a template that you can use or customise to meet your needs:


[name and address of the vehicle owner]


[council name and address]

Parking Ticket Number: [xxxxxxxxxx]

Vehicle Registration Number: [xxxxxxxxxx]

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to request you to reconsider the above Penalty Charge Notice and review the evidence that I share in support of my appeal 

I received a parking ticket [ticket number] on [date] for the reason of [official reason mentioned in the PCN]. However, I believe that the fine was issued in error and I would like to submit an appeal through this letter.

The signage [mention road/street] was not clear due to which I was unable to determine the parking restrictions or if there were any parking restrictions applied in the area. I was also in a hurry at the time due to a medical emergency at home for which I had to rush during peak traffic hours.

I have enclosed recent visuals from the area that show the unclear signage and hope that my request will be reviewed in good faith.  

Anticipating your kind consideration.

Yours faithfully,


[printed name]


Do You Have To Pay A PCN?

Unless you’ve been fined in error and you have evidence to support an appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice, you will have to pay a PCN.

If you avoid paying a PCN and do not challenge it as well, you may have to deal with legal action as part of the response taken by the council authorities for an unpaid PCN.  

What Happens If You Don’t Pay A PCN?

If you do not pay your PCN within 28 days, you will be issued a charge certificate after which you will have 14 days to clear your dues. If you fail to do so, an additional amount of 50 per cent will be added to your PCN charges.

How a PCN payment works is that once a penalty charge notice is issued by council authorities, you will have 28 days to make the payment. In case the amount is paid within 14 days, you may even get a 50 per cent discount on the fine.

If your PCN is more than 60 days old, you have been issued an  ‘Order for Recovery of Unpaid Penalty Charge Notice’ more than 21 days ago or you’ve been issued a bailiff’s letter, you will not be able to make an online payment to clear your PCN charges. In this case, you may have to pay through cheque, postal order or in person at the council post office.

How Much Is A Penalty Charge In Harrogate?

Depending on the nature of the penalty charge, you may be fined £50 or £70 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Below are some examples:

  • If a vehicle remains parked for a longer time than the amount paid for, (according to the display ticket) the penalty charge in Harrogate will be £50. This is considered to be a less serious contravention.
  • If a vehicle is parked in an area where it shouldn’t be; such as in a disabled bay for blue badge owners, without a disabled parking permit displayed on the windscreen, the charge will be £70. This is a serious contravention with a higher penalty charge.

However, if you pay the PCN within 14 days of being issued a notice, the charges will reduce by 50% to £25 and £35 respectively.

Can You Avoid Paying A PCN?

No, you cannot avoid paying a PCN; unless you have been fined in error and intend to challenge the fine before the due date. In case you appeal against a PCN and your claim is rejected, you will then have to pay the charges.

PCN payments are mandatory and deliberately caused dues can be responded to with legal action by the authorities. 

How Do You Pay A PCN?

You can pay your Parking Charge Notice (PCN) or parking fine in one of the following ways:

  • cash
  • cheque 
  • credit card 
  • debit card 
  • postal order

In case of payment through cheque, you are advised to write your PCN number on the reverse side of the cheque. In the case of postal orders, cash should not be sent through the post. 

In case you choose to make an online payment through the Harrogate Council Website, you will need to use a debit card or credit card to make the payment.


The discussion in this article makes it clear that your individual circumstances will determine whether you should pay a PCN or challenge it. If you don’t have evidence to support your challenge, you may end up paying the fine while having proof to support your challenge of the PCN can help you avoid paying one if you have been fined in error.

FAQs: Should I Pay Or Challenge Harrogate PCN?

How can I email Harrogate Borough Council?

You can email Harrogate Borough Council at customerservices@harrogate.gov.uk

How do you pay for parking in Harrogate?

You can pay for parking in Harrogate by using AppyParking. You will need to create a profile, and add the details of a payment card and your vehicle registration number to make payments.

Where can you park with a blue badge in Harrogate?

If you have a blue badge permit, you can park anywhere free of charge in Harrogate Council. 

Where can I park for free in Harrogate?

You can park on Duchy Road and Kent Road for free on-street parking in Harrogate.

What time is parking free in Harrogate?

Parking is free in Harrogate from 6 pm to 8 am; while the first 20 minutes are free parking between 8 am and 6 pm.


Pay or challenge a parking fine – Harrogate Borough Council

Parking fines and enforcement | North Yorkshire County Council

PCN Appeal Process

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