British motorists hit with 35,000 parking tickets every day amid urgent calls for new law changes

British motorists hit with 35,000 parking tickets every day amid urgent calls for new law changes

WATCH: Experts fume at extortionate parking fees

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 15/03/2024

- 09:58

Updated: 15/03/2024

- 09:58

Parking companies blocked fairer laws from being introduced to protect motorists

New research has found that motorists around the UK were hit with more than 35,000 parking tickets a day by private companies between April and December last year.

Each ticket can costs up to £100 for parking fines with the private companies raking in thousands for infringements.

Analysis of Government data by the RAC Foundation found that 9.7 million tickets were issued to drivers by private parking companies in Britain between April and December last year.

In order for private parking businesses to issue a ticket, they have to send forms to the DVLA which then approves the decision to fine a driver.

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At least 32.2 million tickets have been issued by private companies since 2019


The DVLA will then send the parking company details of the driver via a specific form and for a fee before the penalty is sent in the post to drivers.

Public sector organisations are not charged when sending a request, but private parking companies need to pay £2.50 to retrieve information about them.

Around 185 parking management businesses requested vehicle owner records between April and December last year. ParkingEye was the most active, buying nearly 569,000 records.

However, many drivers have flagged the misleading and confusing signs, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees caused by parking operators.

The Parking (Code of Practice) Bill received Royal Assent five years ago on March 15, 2019, but the code has not yet been implemented.

The Bill set out requirements for private parking operators to follow when enforcing parking restrictions on private land and aimed to improve the use of private parking facilities for drivers.

The Code would have capped the level of parking charges that private operators could issue to mirror the local authority system for public parking more closely.

At least 32.2 million tickets have been issued by private companies in Britain since the legislation was instigated.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Since March 2019 many things have happened. The five years have seen us through four prime ministers, a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis.

“But what we’ve not seen is the implementation of the protections MPs were queuing up to support when the Parking (Code of Practice) Act made its way onto the statute book all those years ago.

“Ministers would do well to consider how their performance looks to the many millions of drivers who’ve been issued with a ticket since the law was enacted.”

The Bill was originally laid before Parliament in February 2022 and was due to come into force across Britain by the end of 2023.


Parking ticket in London

Experts have called on the Government to protect drivers from unfair parking fines


However, it was withdrawn by the Government in June 2022 following a legal challenge by parking companies, and has not been reintroduced.

Gooding added: "What’s needed is a swift dose of hurry-up treatment in this election year if those voters are not to be left feeling badly let down.”

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