Council parking

10-minute council parking ‘grace period’ begins

10-minute council parking ‘grace period’ begins

10-minute council parking ‘grace period’ begins

From 6 April 2015 drivers who park in regulated street spaces or car parks run by councils and overstay by up to 10 minutes will avoid a swingeing penalty charge.

The AA has long argued that a £40 penalty charge for a brief overstay of a few minutes is particularly unfair and disproportionate.  Whilst some councils are sympathetic when drivers challenge and give reasons for an overstay, it still does not go far enough – so having an official grace period at least gives drivers a small degree of leeway.

  • AA hails end of the ‘one-minute’ £40 parking ticket
  • 10-minute council parking ‘grace period’ begins
  • AA urges drivers to keep their payment tickets/texts as proof

New government regulation and Department of Transport statutory guidance* say that any Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) issued before expiry of the 10-minute grace period would be illegal, unless the vehicle itself is parked unlawfully, such as when the motorist has not paid any required parking fee or displayed a parking ticket where required.

The AA highlights four key points:

  1. Keep your parking tickets - if you are sent a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) through the post days later, the ticket provides the evidence you need to support a ’10-minute rule’ appeal.
  2. You can still appeal - regardless of the 10-minute grace period, you may still challenge the council if the ticket is unjust or if there were genuine mitigating circumstances, such as a breakdown.
  3. Consider where you park - the 10-minute rule does not apply to yellow lines, but does apply to short stay free parking, such as ‘park up to two hours, no return in two’. You won't have a ticket as evidence though.
  4. Know how to recognise council parking - the ’10-minute rule’ does not apply to privately and commercially-run car parks which are not operated under a local authority Parking Place Regulation. Notice boards at council-run car parks will refer to Penalty charges while those at privately operated car parks will refer to a Parking Charge Notice.

there has been very little ‘grace’ in council parking enforcement, only a culture of milking cash out of residents and visitors

Edmund King, AA president

Realities of modern life

“At last, we are beginning to see local authority parking enforcement that reflects the realities of modern life. It is a shame and an indictment of local authority attitudes towards drivers that central government has had to step in to enforce this ‘grace period’,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.

Deterrent to bad behaviour

“There wouldn’t have been a need for central government to interfere if all local authorities had exercised the discretionary approach to parking enforcement of old. For years, there has been very little ‘grace’ in council parking enforcement, only a culture of milking cash out of residents and visitors who rely on their cars at every opportunity. Parking tickets were supposed to be a deterrent to bad behaviour, not a fines harvest.”


(7 April 2015)

* The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General (Amendment) Regulations 2015

Traffic Management Act 2004 - The Secretary of State's Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities on the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions – March 2015