Author Topic: The 50% discount - guidance for those giving advice on council PCNs - when to advise to pay the discount.  (Read 378 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

cp8759

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4876
  • Karma: +113/-4
    • View Profile
The general rules on the 50% discount:

Very consistently, all councils in England & Wales reoffer the discount:

1) For roadside PCNs, at long as the PCN is challenged within 14 days of the date of issue,
2) For the notice to owner, as long as the NTO is challenged within 14 days of the date of issue,

There are virtually no circumstances where anyone should be advised to pay the discount upon receipt of a roadside PCN. Regardless of the contravention, everyone should have a shot at making representations. No matter how clear-cut the case might be, the council might mess up the response or miss a statutory or common law deadline.

The only notable exceptions to the above are:

1) Nottingham City Council, which has form for not reoffering the discount and advice on whether to make representations or pay the discount must be given on a case by case basis, and
2) Birmingham City Council CAZ PCNs only, where there are grounds to challenge the PCN but the motorist should be made aware that making representations means foregoing the discount,

Guidance for all PCNs except Nottingham City Council and Birmingham City Council CAZ PCNs:

In all other cases, motorist should always be advised to challenge everything, even if only to buy time. Sometimes all senior experts are busy but making informal representations against a roadside PCN can buy several weeks if not a couple of months. If a motorist appears to have a hopeless case, it's always worth mentioning the strategy of last resort, as most adjudicators accept that failing to open a link can amount to a failure to consider.

Roadside PCNs should always be challenged, please never advise anyone to pay one of these unless there is something truly exceptional about the case.

For discount purposes postal PCNs are the same as roadside PCNs, they should always be challenged and doing so within the discount window will see the discount reoffered. If you cannot see a clear ground of appeal, whether a motorist should be advised to put in a "holding" representation within the 14 days to preserve the discount or whether the assistance of a more senior expert should be sought before representations are submitted is a judgment call you will have to make.

Notice to Owner guidance:

If an informal representation is rejected, then (Nottingham City Council excepted) always advise motorists to wait for the notice of owner and explain that as long as the notice to owner is challenged within 14 days of the date of issue, the discount will normally be reoffered even if the representation is rejected. There is always a risk that a given council might follow Nottingham's lead, but any given OP would have to be exceptionally unlucky to become a victim of such a change in policy. It is important to explain that the formal rejection will reoffer the discount, sometimes OPs get confused and expect to see the discount reoffered on the face of the NTO, which obviously cannot ever happen.

When to advise to pay the discount:

Those seeking advice should only be advised to pay the discount if:

1) All opportunities to make representations (formal and informal) have been exhausted and,
2) There are no viable grounds of appeal identified by any of the recognised experts on the site.
I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister. Notwithstanding this, I voluntarily apply the cab rank rule. I am a member of the Society of Professional McKenzie Friends, my membership number is FM193.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


H C Andersen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
  • Karma: +22/-7
    • View Profile
This doesn't touch on the issues of hired and leased vehicles which arise regularly.

If the OP is not the registered keeper then the advice should be amended IMO to reflect this significant difference.

cp8759

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4876
  • Karma: +113/-4
    • View Profile
This doesn't touch on the issues of hired and leased vehicles which arise regularly.

If the OP is not the registered keeper then the advice should be amended IMO to reflect this significant difference.
Write us a draft and I'll amend. Obviously the draft has to be around contacting the lease company or finding out what the lease company's policy is. We not going to have any of this "oh if it's leased just give up and pay" nonsense.
I practice law in the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, London Tribunals, the First-tier tribunal for Scotland, and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for Northern Ireland, but I am not a solicitor nor a barrister. Notwithstanding this, I voluntarily apply the cab rank rule. I am a member of the Society of Professional McKenzie Friends, my membership number is FM193.

Quote from: 'Gumph' date='Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 10:23'
cp8759 is, indeed, a Wizard of the First Order

H C Andersen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
  • Karma: +22/-7
    • View Profile
An initial draft:

Parking PCNs
1. PCN Served on vehicle or driver
Establishing the registered keeper
Given authorities' inclination to not cancel at the informal stage, identifying the  registered keeper at the earliest stage is essential because a NTO can only be challenged within 14 days if it's received in a timely manner and all preceding advice to not pay the discount at the informal stage is predicated on the OP being able to Act upon a NTO within 14 days.
Posters should therefore be asked to confirm the registered keeper and their DVLA details. Subsequent advice should be tailored accordingly. The following are suggested:

OP is keeper but address is not current: to notify the authority formally of their address for service when submitting informal reps;
OP is not keeper: to notify the registered keeper of the PCN and to give and take advice as to how they wish to proceed;
If the vehicle is hired this raises numerous permutations:

   Hired to the OP under a 'hiring agreement': to provide details of the         hirer;
   Vehicle is hired to the OP's employer who provides the vehicle as part         of the OP's salary: to establish the hirer's and employer's normal                 practice in these matters and making clear to the OP that liability         cannot be transferred to them;
   Vehicle is used by but not allocated to OP(e.g. works vehicle whether         liveried or not etc.): to establish with the OP the employment dynamic.

2. PCN issued by post
As OPs invariably redact the keeper's details in the first instance, to establish the identity of the addressee and their relationship with the OP, then to consider whether any of the above applies and advise accordingly.