The number of parking tickets handed out to hard-pressed motorists by private firms has jumped by a shocking 29 per cent in just one year.
A record 11.1 million tickets were handed out between March 2022 and March 2023, according to new data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The data shows that an average of more than 30,400 penalty charge notices were handed out every day.
It is also a dramatic increase in the number of parking tickets in the past year when just 8.6 million fines were issued.
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A parking ticket can cost drivers £100, meaning over the past year, drivers could have paid out more than £1.1billion in fines.
Motoring organisations and drivers have accused private companies of being heavy-handed and not allowing drivers to have levels of protection when it comes to fines.
The Government passed legislation in March 2019 designed to deal with private companies targeting drivers and create a “code of practice”.
The code was first unveiled in February 2022 but was withdrawn after a legal challenge from private companies five months later.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said not enough progress had been made to crack down on motorists being hammered with fines and PCNs.
He said: “In the four-and-a-half years since legislation was passed to create a single code of practice and address the worst excesses of private parking companies, as many as 36 million private parking charges may have been issued.
“The ballooning rate at which the volume of vehicle keeper requests continues to grow is a clear sign that something is seriously awry, creating distress for drivers and hassle for legitimate parking managers alike.
“While some drivers will choose to flout the rules and risk being penalised, the vast majority are simply trying to do the right thing.”
The original code of practice called for major changes including clearer signage and surface markings, a grace period and detailed information on how to pay for parking.
A new call for evidence was launched in July, with the Government looking to hear views from drivers on parking charges and debt recovery fees.
It is set to end on October 8 with experts hoping it will form the basis of a new code of practice that can be introduced in the future.
Steve Gooding added: “As the private parking minister recognised recently, most motorists do not choose to break the rules deliberately.
“Amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis it is implausible that millions of drivers would knowingly want to risk running up a charge for as much as £100.
“Of course, Government needs to get the new private parking framework right after the false start it made last year, but surely that’s a task to be measured in weeks and months, not four-and-a-half years and counting.”
An average of 30,000 parking tickets were handed out every day
The number of parking tickets handed out had not surpassed more than 8.6 million, with the DVLA data showing 4.4 million tickets handed out between March 2022 and 2023 on account of the coronavirus pandemic.