Parking fines and penalty charge notices

Find out what a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is and what to do if you get one.

About PCNs

A penalty charge notice (PCN) is a fine given to a driver who has committed a parking, waiting or moving traffic offence.

Parking offences include:

  • parking outside a designated parking bay
  • parking without paying the meter
  • parking in a Blue Badge parking bay without a Blue Badge

PCNs are also issued for moving traffic offences, for example, driving into a bus lane.

Moving traffic offences

Reading Borough Council is planning to use new powers to improve safety and tackle congestion by enforcing moving traffic offences.

Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act (2004), gives Local Authorities outside London the power to take action against specific moving traffic offences. These powers enable the Council to expand the work it already does enforcing against unlawful and dangerous parking, and misuse of bus lanes. The Council’s Parking Services Team will carry out this enforcement work, as part of their current duties.

Reading Borough Council is planning to acquire these powers, subject to consultation, and wants to hear the views of local residents, businesses and interested parties.

Have your say in the consultation

Moving traffic enforcement FAQs

A PCN is usually a notice stuck to your car window or a letter received through the post.

What to do if you get a PCN

You can accept the PCN and pay it, or you can challenge it. If you ignore it, it will end up costing you more.

Find out more about your rights if you get a PCN.

You can view the evidence on your case here.

Pay a PCN

Pay it online if you do not want to challenge it. If you pay within 14 or 21 days of the date of your PCN, you will get a 50% discount. The amount of days is dependent on which contravention you got your PCN for.

Call 0343 357 1177 if you have lost your PCN number.

Challenge a PCN

Challenge it online or write to:

Reading Borough Council
PO BOX 3011

When submitting your challenge, you must provide copies of any supporting evidence. You will also need to fully explain your reason for challenging it.

Please note any Freedom of Information requests contained within a challenge or representation, may not be logged until the submission is read. This can be up to 56 days later. Any FOI’s requiring immediate attention should be raised using the Freedom of Information request form. For more information please see the FOI pages.


If you have challenged a PCN and do not agree with the decision, you can make an appeal to the independent adjudicator or Traffic Penalty Tribunal. You must do this within 28 days of the date of the Notice of Rejection being served.

You can find more information about your options and how to appeal on the:

Charge certificate and further recovery action

If we do not receive payment or correspondence from you during the 28 day period after the PCN issue date, we may issue a Notice to Owner, followed by a Charge Certificate and Order for Recovery.

The charge certificate increases the fee by 50% and provides a 21 day period for payment. If no payment is made within 21 days, we may register the charge as a debt and you may receive contact from our enforcement agents.

For more information about the process, see the Charge Certificates and Order for Recovery page on the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website.

Last updated on 15/05/2023