This page describes the stages of the parking fine debt recovery process.

If you're struggling to pay your bills, you can also view our debt advice.

If you do not pay or challenge a penalty charge notice (PCN) within 28 days of the date it was issued, the council will get details of the registered keeper from the DVLA. The registered keeper will then be sent a notice to owner, which formally advises them of the outstanding charge and explains the grounds for appealing.

If you do not pay the fine or appeal within 28 days, the charge will increase 50% and the registered keeper will be sent a ‘charge certificate’. Once a charge certificate has been sent, you’ve lost your legal right to challenge the PCN. For Lower Level PCNs this will increase to £75 and for Higher Level PCNs this will increase to £105.

If we do not receive full payment within 14 days of the date of the charge certificate, we will register the outstanding debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at Northampton County Court. The registered keeper will then be sent an order for recovery of unpaid parking charge. At this stage, the charge will increase by a further £8.

The order for recovery informs the registered keeper of the vehicle that:

  • the PCN has been registered as a debt at the county court

  • the court fee of £8 has been added to the PCN outstanding balance

The keeper then has 21 days from the date of issue of the order for recovery to file an application with the TEC, or pay the fine in full.

When Medway Council register the debt with Northampton County Court and an order for recovery has been issued, the debt is at the debt recovery stage.

After you receive an order for recovery notice you can either:

  • pay the debt in full

  • challenge the order for recovery by sending a statutory declaration or witness statement to the TEC within 21 days

You can contact the TEC on 0300 123 1059, 01604 619 450 or by email tec@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

You must not ignore the order for recovery. Failure to act may result in the council carrying out recovery of the debt by an enforcement agency (or ‘bailiff’) at your address.

Once a case is at the order for recovery stage, the council is not obliged to respond to any representations or questions we receive. Representations are only accepted before the charge certificate is issued.

If you file an ‘in-time’ statutory declaration or witness statement with the TEC you’ll receive a revocation order from them. Their decision will be based on the ground you selected when you filed your application.

The revocation order does not cancel the original PCN. The revocation order only cancels the charge certificate and the order for recovery. Depending on the grounds you have selected the case will follow the statutory process set by the Traffic Management Act 2004.

The following are grounds for a revocation order:

  • you did not get a ‘notice to owner’

  • you made a formal challenge within 28 days of the notice to owner, but did not get a ‘notice of rejection’

  • you appealed to the independent adjudicator against the council to reject your representation, within 28 days of the notice of rejection notice but have had no response to your appeal

  • the PCN was paid in full and you have proof it has been paid

If you’re not able to complete the statutory declaration or witness statement within the time limit and you need more time, you must contact TEC immediately to inform them and follow their advice.

You can ask for more time to challenge an order for recovery if you:

  • were contacted about a PCN you did not know about

  • were contacted about a paid or cancelled PCN

  • did not get a response to your formal challenge (‘representation’) or appeal

Do this by making an ‘out of time’ challenge to the order for recovery.

Find out more about getting more time to challenge a court order.

Every day the TEC inform the council when an out of time application has been filed successfully against a case. The council then places the case on hold and makes a decision on whether to oppose or accept the application and inform the court. If the council decides to oppose the out of time application, it will file a statement of truth and the court will decide if they accept or refuse the application.

The council may oppose an out of time application if it is done simply to delay or prevent the enforcement action, and the debtor has no valid grounds for applying for the out of time application.

The council then await the outcome of the application from the TEC.

If the out of time application is accepted then a revocation order will be issued. This does not cancel the PCN.

If the out of time application is refused the enforcement will immediately resume, which usually means the case will be passed onto the enforcement agency.

If you’re still unsatisfied with the court decision you can seek legal advice and apply to have this decision reconsidered by filing an N244 application. The cost of the N244 application is £255. If you do not file an N244 application, debt recovery will automatically re-start.

If neither full payment nor a revocation order is received the council may register the debt as a warrant of control.

The warrant will then be passed to an enforcement agency, who will recover the debt on our behalf.

Further enforcement fees will be applied once the enforcement agency enforce the debt.

If you failed to pay when the fine was still at the council then you will incur higher charges. These charges will vary depending on at what stage you pay the fine.

The fees that the enforcement agency can add are set by Parliament in the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014:

Stage

Description

Fee

Compliance stage

Becomes due as soon as the case is passed onto the enforcement agency.

£75

Enforcement stage

Becomes due as soon as the enforcement agent carries out a first visit.

£235

Sale stage

Becomes due as soon as the goods are removed or taken in control.

£110

Storage fees

Become due after the vehicle or other goods are in storage for over 24 hours (daily rate).

Fee depends on the type of goods.

Medway Council uses three enforcement agencies:

Jacobs

Website: www.jacobsenforcement.com

Email: mail@jacobsenforcement.com

Payment phone line: 0345 601 2692

Marston

Website: https://marstonholdings.co.uk/payments

Email: customercare@marstongroup.co.uk

24 hour payment line: 0333 320 1100

Phoenix

Website: www.phoenixcommercial.co.uk

Email: central@phoenixcommercial.co.uk

24 hour payment line: 01204 822 422

If you receive a letter from an enforcement agency demanding money contact the enforcement agency.

You can contact the council if any of the following applies to you:

  • you were not the keeper or owner at the time of the offence

  • you moved address after the PCN was issued

  • the letter is not in your name but was sent to your address

You need to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate any of the above claims.

If you sold the vehicle before the contravention date, contact the DVLA and ask them to send you a letter confirming the date you sold the vehicle to the keeper. Once you receive this letter, send it to the council and include the new keeper’s details. You also need to provide the insurance certificate to indicate that date you cancelled the insurance policy for the said vehicle. You may also be required to provide proof of money transfer between you and the new buyer of the vehicle.

If you left the car with someone else at the time of the contravention, you’re still liable. As the keeper of the vehicle you’re responsible for all fines incurred unless the vehicle was stolen, hired or leased to someone else. In this case you must send proof of this to the council, for example a crime reference number or a lease agreement.

If the debt is not in your name, for example the registered keeper has moved, provide proof of this, such as a Council Tax bill and or a tenancy agreement to the enforcement agency who will deal with your enquiry.

You can contact the Council with the relevant proof via post at Parking Services, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR or email at: parkingenquiries@medway.gov.uk

If the agent is at your door, either pay them, or if you have any reason to believe that you are not liable, explain your situation to the enforcement agent and seek their advice. You can also contact the enforcement agency itself and seek their advice.

The enforcement agents carry the warrant of control with them either in electronic form or hard copy. They must show this to you if you request it.

Under The Taking Control of Goods Act 2013, a certified enforcement agent with a valid warrant in your name is allowed to remove and sell goods to the value of the debt.

View the list of goods that they are not permitted to remove.

Read more on your rights when enforcement agents visit your home.

If you were not at home when the enforcement agent visited your home contact them immediately using the contact numbers provided in the correspondence left at your address. You could also seek independent legal or financial advice.

Once the warrant is passed to the enforcement agency they act on the council’s behalf to recover the debt. You must pay the debt directly to the enforcement agency. The council will not accept any payments once a warrant has been issued to an enforcement agency.

On rare occasions the council still receives money from debtors after the case was passed onto the enforcement agency, for example a postal order. Please note that this will not remove the enforcement agency fees, the council will pass the payment onto the enforcement agent who will then deduct this amount from the total outstanding amount and the enforcement agency will continue enforcing the rest of the outstanding balance.

If you pay your PCN fine directly to the council it will not cancel the enforcement agent fees. The council will have to forward your payment to the enforcement agency in line with the Taking Controls of Goods Act 2013 as they have the warrant of control. Enforcement via the enforcement agency will continue for the remainder of the outstanding debt as the direct payment to the council will not cover the enforcement fees.

The law allows the council 6 years to collect a debt linked to a PCN.

Payment arrangements if you’re in financial hardship

If you cannot pay the debt in full, contact the enforcement agency. They may extend the payment period if you send them details of your financial hardship. If you consider yourself to be vulnerable, for example you have a mental or physical health problem which makes it hard for you to deal with your debts, you should tell the enforcement agency.

The council does not have the facility to take part payments for parking cases.

For financial hardship and debt help, phone Stepchange charity on 0800 138 1111 or visit the Stepchange website.

Before you receive the charge certificate, you can contact the council. Once you’ve received the charge certificate, the council cannot deal with any queries. You’ll need to wait for the order for recovery and raise questions with the enforcement agency.

To make a complaint about enforcement agent behaviour you need to first contact the enforcement agency and submit your complaint to them.

Applying for a refund

Refunds are based on the circumstances. Your first contact is the enforcement agency. You must submit your application to them. You need to provide enough information and evidence to substantiate your claim.

The registration of a PCN as a debt at the county court is not the same as a county court judgement (CCJ). Therefore a PCN will not affect your credit rating.