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If a driver has overstayed their welcome by just a few minutes in a council-run car park in England, they shouldn’t get a parking ticket. A grace period exists which allows drivers a 10-minute window to get back to their car after their ticket has expired.
The 10-minute grace period was introduced by the Government on April 6, 2015.
Since then, drivers have been able to avoid the fines if they overstay by up to 10 minutes.
This is on the condition they parked in regulated street spaces or on car parks run by councils.
The Department of Transport advises that any Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) issued within the 10-minute grace period is illegal.
That’s unless the vehicle is parked unlawfully, like if the driver hasn’t paid the parking fee or displayed a parking ticket where required.
The Government’s statutory guidance to local authorities includes that “enforcement should be sensitive, fair and proportionate”.
It goes on to argue: “This would not be the case if a driver received a penalty charge notice (PCN) for returning to their vehicle only moments after the expiry of a period of permitted parking.”
As part of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions Regulations 2015, the rule was upheld in the legislation.
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It states: “No penalty charge is payable for the contravention where the vehicle has been left beyond the permitted parking period for a period not exceeding 10 minutes.”
The grace period only applies in England and only in regulated on-street parking bays or in a car park run by the council.
This is also only the case if the driver has parked properly, has the ticket in the correct place and expired less than 10 minutes ago.
It does not apply in council car parks in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, or in private car parks which have their own enforcement rules.
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