The number of parking fines issued by private firms has rocketed by a whopping 24% in the past year.
More than 8.4 million parking fines have been handed out – some 1.6 million more than last year.
Tickets can cost drivers up to £100 a time.
And they’re being handed out to Brits at a rate of one every four seconds.
The figures for the 2019/2020 financial year have been issued in new research by the RAC Foundation.
Private parking companies obtain records from the DVLA licensing agency and chase motorists for alleged infringements.
They can take place in private car parks at shopping centres, leisure facilities and motorway service stations, for instance.
Council fines vs private fines
Fines issued by councils contain the words Penalty Charge Notice.
Ones issued by private firms, however, feature the words Parking Charge Notice.
The latter should be viewed as an invoice, says Martin Lewis, and aren’t always enforceable.
The DVLA charges the firms £2.50 to access each record of a driver alleged to have broken parking rules.
The foundation’s Steve Gooding said: “Anyone who received a private parking ticket last year would have been in plentiful company.”
He added: “Yet again the number of keeper addresses released by the DVLA to private parking companies has shot up, this time by almost a quarter.”
Gooding added: “To put the numbers in context, if every one of the 8.4 million releases came with a ticket to the next Glastonbury festival, Michael Eavis would have to re-run the event over 60 times to fit everyone in.”
New code of conduct needed
Last year, a new law came into effect that aims to bring rogue parking firms into line.
However, the creation of a new code of conduct has not yet happened.
“The code is just one part of the new framework that needs to be put in place, including a single appeals body and independent scrutiny of the private parking trade associations and their members,” Gooding said.
Sick of all the selfish folk who feel they can park their car where it’s conveinient for them but an obstructuon to others.
Ten years ago, the number of parking fines issued by private firms was just over one million.
“Don’t park illegally”
However, far from being outraged by the fines, many Brits are actually on the side of the parking wardens.
“Anybody who parks incorrectly deserves a fine, be it outside a marked bay, on a corner, in a private bay or not paying or overstaying,” said one.
“Simple answer – don’t park illegally!” another said.
They wouldn’t hand any out, if people parked sensibly. But I suppose that is too much to ask.
— Jim T (@Veritas11001896) July 6, 2020
One even called for fines to be increased.
“Good. Sick of all the selfish folk who feel they can park their car where it’s conveinient for them but an obstructuon to others. I just wish the fine amount would be increased,” said another.