Has paying for parking by phone resulted in a fine for you?

What has been your experience? Have you received a penalty notice after paying for parking by phone?


The facility to pay for parking in Isle of Wight council car parks and on-street bays was introduced back in beginning of 2012.

Keen to try out new technologies, we registered fairly soon after the introduction and have used the service a couple of times since. It has been a convenient way to pay for parking when there’s no change in the purse and the fact you can extend the parking by simply sending a text if you are taking longer than expected, is pretty neat.

Penalty notice issued after using pay-by-phone
However, one reader who got in touch with us this week telling us that she recently received a penalty notice after parking in a council car park and using the pay-by-phone service.

She says the fine was for ‘not displaying a valid ticket’.

If you’ve used this service, you’ll know that you’re not given a ticket to display in your car. Your car registration and how much you’ve paid is sent to the Blackberries of the traffic wardens instead.

What’s been your experience?
Luckily, our reader appealed against the Penalty Notice and the fine was cancelled.

Our experience of using the pay-by-phone service has been seamless and without problems, but we wondered whether others had experienced the same as our reader.

Tuesday, 5th February, 2013 9:50am


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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. It’s seamless and works OK (although the first time was a bit fraught as it takes a little while to set up!).

    The thing I object to is the 30p (or whatever it was) charge to use the service! That stopped me as soon as I realised how much extra it was going to cost me! IMO the cost should be included in the parking charge – after all it means no one has to go round collecting money from machines, or maintaining them. Let’s face it, the machines don’t charge an extra 30p for paying at them, do they?!

    • Alas I’ve had four tickets from the system…

      One was clearly the councils fault – everything correct, and they rescinded it.

      One just a couple of days ago, the same, I can see nothing wrong with the receipt I had emailed to me so I’ve asked the council to rescind it. Letter to them yesterday.

      The other two, more problematic. Once I entered the incorrect location on the app – so I paid to park but in the wrong place, the council agreed to cancel the penalty charge, but said it was a one off.

      Alas the second time I made a mistake, just before Christmas, I incorrectly selected the wrong saved registration from the app, IWC wouldn’t revoke the PCN even though I had paid the correct parking fee. A bit mean I felt.

  2. Yes, I received the same thing one Saturday morning in Newport. I paid for 3 hours and was given a PCN after 1 hour of parking. I wrote a letter appealing it and they apologised for the inconvenience and cancelled the PCN.

    A week ago I paid by phone and the parking attendant who was near my car at the time spoke and said ‘Oh! I see you’ve just paid by phone!’. As you’ve mentioned they get a message with the time of payment, duration and registration number.

    I use Pay by Phone all the time when I park in Council car parks. I had one issue in Cowes where the meter on the street was visible with the location number but I had parked in the adjacent car park. I keyed in the wrong number and got a PCN for not displaying a valid ticket. I still appealed against the PCN as I had paid for parking but keyed in the wrong location. Again they cancelled the charge and then a week later they removed the misleading notice.

    Even with these two experiences, I’d say it’s been a good option when you don’t have money in your pocket – which is a frequent occurrence for me!

  3. Meursault

    5.Feb.2013 11:47am

    I have our two cars registered on the pay-by-phone service and recently received a penalty although I had paid for parking. I was in a rush and specifically remember being held up as I had to switch the registration to the appropriate car.

    On challenging the fine IWC said although I had paid it was the wrong registration and that I had to pay the fine – at this point it had gone up to the full amount. I persisted in saying the system was at fault not me – but they said it was not possible (apparently complicated automated IT systems don’t fail?!).

    At this point they reduced the fine back to £25. Although I wanted to challenge it out of principle in the end I paid up to save the hassle of more forms to fill out etc.

    But what really annoyed me was, even if it was human error (which I am sure it was not) I had complied with spirit of the rules in every sense, but on a technicality they saw the opportunity to fleece me for of £25.

    As a result (and their systems will show) I have not used the system since and have rarely paid to park (it is not as convenient but you can find somewhere free in most Island towns). So a pyrrhic victory to the jobsworth at IWC – in that they have already lost more in revenue from me than the fine itself.

    • This is a good example of who the council should be serving. Rather than serving the interests of themselves they should be serving us. You’ve attempted to make a payment, unfortunately there was a mistake made by either party and someone on the council who uses more than their lizard brain should decide in good faith that this was the case and revoke the charge.

      This is a good example of why there is discontent with our local authority within the IW community.

  4. If the IW council wants to see our high streets thriving again instead of empty shops they should do like North Yorkshire County Council. You can pick up a time clock disc from the shops ( advertisement on back to pay printing costs) – shoppers / tourists set their time of arrival of parking – on the streets and the car parks – and allowed two hours free parking. We could then support our local shops. I for one never feed the council meters. Election looming come on one party pick it up – I think it would be a winner.

  5. prewitt parrot

    6.Feb.2013 8:19am

    Trouble is are Councils far more likely to rescind obvious mistakes if you haven’t had previous problems with the Council?

  6. If it’s a genuine mistake on your part where you have paid, or where there is a genuine misunderstanding NEVER pay the fine. Appeal it with the Council first, and if they don’t accept your appeal, appeal that to th Parking Ombudsman (on-line). they base everything on reasonableness, and I have won an appeal with them more than once where they have had confusing signs etc. or there was a clear and understandable and justifiable mistake made. Just appealing to the ombudsman requires a huge amount of paperwork by IWC. logically that would make them reconsider, but in my experience they don’t. When I last did it they had to send me their case, which was about 80 pages long. Ask for an oral hearing (not written as this is favourable to the Council, and not a hearing in person as you have to travel up country for it). the oral hearing will take place over the phone. Like I say, i’ve always been successful on appeals that go beyond the council and are judged by a fair independent person!!!

  7. nick hulme

    3.Mar.2014 3:48pm

    I have just made the wrong car error. I’ve written an apology and will see what happens. I reckon if the council didn’t have this stupid system, I would not have been fined.
    If they don’t accept my apology, I will have a go on the basis the parking ticket is technically incorrect and therefore invalid. It states I failed to display a ‘valid ticket or voucher’ but it should say ‘or failed to show payment by other means’. Failing to display a ticket on it’s own cannot be a reason for a valid ticket to be issued, therefore the penalty notice must be void. I’m ready, but hopefully the council will see sense in that I did pay, and as it was heaving it down I had a struggle.

  8. A sad supporter

    3.Mar.2014 3:54pm

    I was handed a penalty notice in Ventnor.

    I appealed it and the penalty was rescinded.

    I wonder if the lack of signal does not update their systems fast enough in all areas.

  9. c m sinclair

    23.Aug.2014 3:00pm

    I have had 3 guests who have correctly paid by phone for Tourist Parking Permits and then received a PCN. This has ruined their stay -they then wondered if they parked around the island if they were going to get another fine and another and another…etc. What a particularly useless system. So much for looking after tourists, our bread and butter. Pathetic.

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