50% rise in car parking fines issued

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car parking fines and tickets rise by 50%
Drivers across the UK have suffered from a 50% increase in the number of parking fines and tickets issued by private companies.

According to new analysis of data released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), a record 2.7 million tickets were issued between April and June this year.

This is an increase from 1.8 million in the same period in 2021. The data has revealed that almost 30,000 drivers are issued with parking tickets every day.

That is an average of nearly 30,000 every day and is up from a total of 1.8 million during the same period last year.

Earlier this year, the Private Parking Code of Practice, designed to end some of the worst practices in the private parking sector and protect drivers, was set been withdrawn from the Government.

The code, which was initially announced in February, and was part of a government plan to cap private parking fines to £50 – down from £100. However, with this set to end following a consultation period – the rise is parking fines could continue into 2023.

Currently, the £100 limit remains in place.

When this was announced in June, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The new private parking code of practice was designed specifically to make things fairer for drivers and end some of the worst practices in the sector. It’s deeply disappointing that the code has been temporarily withdrawn which now almost certainly means yet more delays in it being introduced. Drivers have a right to feel infuriated.

“The fact that parking companies take issue with the capping of charge notices and debt recovery fees shows precisely why both the code and the cap are needed.

“For too long, some companies have been allowed to prey mercilessly on drivers who might make an honest mistake and then have to face both over-zealous enforcement and threatening debt recovery letters. The Government must stand up to these companies and get the code over the line, so we finally have fair and transparent enforcement in the private parking sector.”

The DVLA figures show the number of records obtained from the agency by companies chasing car owners for alleged infringements in private car parks has drastically increased.

Also, the data showed that 176 independent and self employed parking management firms requested vehicle owner records between April and June. This is up from 151 during the same period in 2021.

Fines can be issued in places such as tourist destinations, shopping areas, city centres, and event spaces.

Misleading signs leading to car parking fines

However, many of the management companies for these areas have been criticised for providing misleading and confusing signage at their car parks

They have further been accused for then using aggressive debt collection tactics and unfair fees. Some Debt Collection Agencies like the notorious DCBL offer car parking fines collection as a service.

If the withdrawal of the code of practice goes ahead, then the issue will continue for the foreseeable future.

Following the release of the DVLA data, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:

“These figures clearly demonstrate why a new code of practice is so desperately needed, alongside a single independent appeals system. We also need the Government to stand firm on introducing a £50 charge cap and a ban on unjustified debt recovery fees. It is totally unacceptable for the private parking industry to continue dragging its feet, which means too many motorists continue to be unfairly issued parking charge notices.”

Many charities are concerned at the rise especially with the cost of living and inflation soaring. Some have called for an urgent government review of the situation before it spirals out of control.

It is not the first time that car parking fines have come under scrutiny over the years.

 

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