Incorrect PCN


Looking for some advice really, I’ve reached out to Onto via email, but haven’t heard back yet.

I had a PCN charge from Onto a few weeks ago, I paid the £15 and was expecting to receive a speeding ticket having noticed the dreaded flash on the motorway at the start of the month.

Today I received a notice from APCOA Parking, saying I’d contravened a drop off zone at Heathrow earlier in the month.

The problem is, I haven’t been to Heathrow, in fact I’ve not been anywhere within a 100 mile radius of Heathrow in this car. The notice does include photo evidence of a Tesla, matching my vehicle reg, but it’s totally the wrong colour (mine is white, as Onto are well aware, and the photo shows a blue/grey Tesla).

I’m unsure where this appeal sits now though, and if it’s with me, APCOA parking are asking for a crime reference to prove that my reg has been cloned.


Tagging @Amy_at_Onto to point you in the right direction.

Could you get a crime number to send to APCOA? May be good to report the cloning to protect you from further issues such as this one.


Thanks, just to (hopefully) close this - I’ve had an email back from Onto who have directed me back to APCOA. I’ve managed to get through the appeal form without a crime number, as I was struggling to get this without being the registered owner of the vehicle.

Hopefully it can be resolved between Onto and APCOA and this doesn’t circle back to me again.

Onto quickly refunded me the £15 handling fee too.


Not the same, but a curious PCN charge. I got a £15 charge from Onto, but nothing from the Authority through the post. On checking with Onto they send a scan of the original. Different car in a place I hadn’t been to.

Hey @markd

Please accept my apologies for this experience.

We are merely the messenger when it comes to PCNs and we either

  1. Transfer liability into our customers name
  2. If this isn’t possible we pay it then charge our customer for the amount we’ve paid

This one does sound a bit weird however especially with the colour etc.

Let me flag this to our payments manager to investigate and provide further guidance.

We’ll reach out shortly!


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@markd ive just checked internally

Our payments and risk team picked this up yesterday as unfortunately this looks like it could be a cloned plate situation

Our internal teams are already speaking to the authorities and I’ve requested someone reach out to you ASAP to set your mind at ease

It goes without saying if this is a cloned plate situation you will not be liable for the PCN

I hope this helps

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Thanks for the update @Dan_at_Onto .

The team got back to me over email yesterday too and said this was being escalated internally. Hopefully this isn’t the start of many PCNs I’m about to receive. :crossed_fingers:



@markd it hopefully shouldn’t be the start of many PCNs as I believe the police can put a marker against the reg so when the authority who issues parking fines checks the number plate they can see there’s a cloned plate about.

Now they’re aware it shouldn’t cause issues for you, however on the off chance it did, we would look to swap the vehicle for free as a like for like replacement.

Ultimately we want you to have a stress free, enjoyable experience so if it started causing issues we’d just remove the source of the problem from you :slight_smile:

Hope this has somewhat helped!



Hello , unfortunately my wife’s Zoe(not onto car) had both plates stolen a few weeks ago seems there is a rise in number plates stolen according to the local police.

@Zoedriver unfortunately number plate theft is quite common across the whole of the UK and its the person who has bought/subscribed to the car that suffers .

I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s plates, I hope she managed to get this sorted promptly!


Unfortunately most plates are just screwed on with common pozidrive or flat blade screws.
They can be secured with tamperproof screws but rarely is this done at point of registration.

We are at the stage where the ‘plates’ would be better designed as a tamperproof stick on label, which if anyone tries to remove it just disintegrates.


@burnt_crisps2 It’s definitely an outdated way of doing it.

I know in the USA they’re trialling digital number plates.

I believe the car has a number plate on it but each number plate contains a chip which stores all of the information about the vehicle and I believe this also contains things like mileage as well which means they’re really hard to clone due to the information being specific to that car its attached to so you can spot a clone a mile off.

it has an RFID type code on it so if the police stop you they can just scan the plate and find out all about the car and its history and who should be driving it.

pretty cool!