Green light for RAC-backed law to tackle rip-off private parking firms

Green light for RAC-backed law to tackle rip-off private parking firms
New legislation aimed at tackling rogue private parking firms has officially become law in a major victory for motorists across the UK.

The move follows a successful RAC-backed campaign for better regulation of private car parks, which are expected to issue a record 6.5 million parking fines in 2018/2019 alone.

The law will see a new code of conduct brought in, making it easier for drivers to challenge unfair parking fines through the creation of an independent appeals service. 

It will also be harder for firms to request access to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) database, from which 3.2 million driver details were issued in the first half of the 2018/2019 financial year alone.

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The RAC welcomed the passing of the bill, which received Royal Assent last week, saying motorists across the UK would benefit from the move.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: “For too long, some unscrupulous private parking operators have made drivers' lives a misery with some questionable practices, which has sent levels of trust in the sector plummeting.”

“The code will create more consistent standards across the board, which should eliminate dubious practices and create a single, independent appeals process.”

“The RAC has long called for changes to the way the private parking sector is regulated, and this new code will undoubtedly make the lives of drivers easier.”

Private parking tickets, often called Parking Charge Notices, differ from council-issued Penalty Charge Notices and aren’t technically backed up by law.

The number of these tickets being issued has soared in recent years, from just 687,000 a decade ago to an estimated 6.5 million this year.

In November 2018, the RAC reported that the DVLA are set to earn around £16 million this year, with each driver detail request costing £2.50.

In response to these figures, the DVLA reiterated its commitment to driver privacy, saying: “[The DVLA] takes its responsibility to protect information extremely seriously and has robust safeguards in place to ensure data is used correctly. The fee is set to recover the cost of providing the information – we do not make a profit from the fee.”

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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