There's nothing worse than returning to your car to find a yellow penalty charge notice on the windscreen. According to motor insurer Admiral, last year alone, local authorities collected £328 million in parking fines.
But you don't have to give away your hard-earned cash to the authorities without a murmur.
Of course, if you've broken the rules, the best thing to do is just pay up as the fine is halved if you pay within 14 days. But if you believe the ticket is unfair you can appeal.
Gather some evidence at the scene – photos of your car and the road markings, plus witness statements. Then write to the council within 14 days with your evidence. Over 60% of appeals are successful, so you've nothing to lose.
If the council rejects your claim, it will then go through a formal appeals process and on to an independent tribunal.
However, if the tribunal doesn't find in your favour the fine will increase, so only challenge it if you have a case.
There is a school of thought that believes if you ignore the fine completely the council will write it off. This has been known to happen, but be warned: if you don't pay up within 30 days the penalty will increase and you'll be stung for an even higher amount.
Watch Moneywise TV on how to appeal a parking ticket