Parking restrictions are usually in place for safety reasons. You can be fined, clamped or towed if you park in the wrong place.
If you park in the wrong place at the wrong time, break traffic rules, or don’t pay the London congestion charge on time, you’ll usually find a parking ticket on your windscreen - or get one a week or so later in the post.
You’ll be issued with either a penalty charge notice (PCN), excess charge notice, or fixed penalty notice (FPN) by the police, local council or DVSA.
You usually have 28 days to pay and there's often a discount for paying within 14 days. If you don’t pay at all, you could get taken to court.
They’re easy to pay, either online or over the phone – ways to pay will be on your PCN.
If you parked dangerously, you could be issued with an MS10 offence code too. It’ll stay on your licence for four years and you’ll get three penalty points.
There are a few reasons your car could be clamped, but the most common are improper parking or parking on public land without road tax.
If you've been clamped, you’ll find details either left on your windscreen, or on the clamp, telling you who to contact to pay to get it removed. When you talk to the clamper, ask to see their licence and take their details. You can check these with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) on 08702 430 100.
Don’t try and remove the clamp yourself – it won’t be easy and you could be charged with criminal damage.
It's illegal for your car to be clamped or towed on private land. If it happens, tell them to remove it straightaway.
If you think your car’s been towed, you'll need to find out where it is. Londoners can call Trace on 0845 206 8602. Elsewhere, you can call the police non-emergency number 101.
You’ll usually have to pay a vehicle release fee, the penalty charge notice and storage fees. Storage fees get charged per day if your car's been at the pound overnight. Take proof of ownership and ID with you too.
*On 30 January 2019, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.