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Brits being stung by huge fines from private parking firms

By Tom Gibson | November 23, 2021


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Brits are being stung by parking fines from private firms after the number of tickets issued to drivers has increased by nearly two-thirds in five years.

Brits being stung by huge fines from private parking firms

The RAC Foundation has released figures that show private parking firms issued 1.95 million tickets to drivers on sites such as retail parks, leisure facilities and service areas.

That is up 64% from 97 during the same period in 2016.

Should that rate continue for the rest of the current financial year, the total could well beat the previous record high of 8.4 million set in 2019/20.

The records show 159 companies obtained records from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to chase car owners for alleged infringements in private car parks between April and June.

Depending on the severity of the parking offence, private companies are typically charging between £40 to as much as £100.

Have you recently had a parking fine? Read our advice on what to do here.

The implementation of a government-sanctioned code of practice, a single appeals service, and a system of charges and penalties that would be more in line with those levied by councils is awaiting ministerial sign-off.

Philip Boynes, chief executive of Britain's biggest parking firm, PrivateEye, told MPs on the housing, communities and local government select committee last week that the "average profit of a car parking operator was about 2.1%".

But RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said the DVLA's figures "cast doubt on the industry view shared with the committee that margins are hanging by a hairsbreadth".

"If that's the case then how come more and more appear to be joining the industry that is already on track this year to issue a near-record level of demands for parking charges?

"It is inconceivable that more than eight million drivers are setting out each year consciously deciding to flout parking rules and risk ending up with a parking charge.

"These numbers, which have risen in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, suggest we have a system that isn't working - not for the motorists who are receiving charge demands and not for the private landowners either."

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