“Inconceivable” number of drivers hit by private parking fines

“Inconceivable” number of drivers hit by private parking fines
Parking charge notices were issued in “epidemic proportions” by private firms over the Christmas period.

According to analysis of Government data by the RAC Foundation, 1.58 million vehicle keeper records were sought by parking management firms from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) between October and December.

The figures suggest that 17,137 tickets were being issued every day in the weeks leading up to Christmas – a 10% increase on 2016.

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ParkingEye Ltd was found to have requested the largest amount of data from the DVLA with more than 533,000 records obtained in the most recent quarter, at a cost of £2.50 a record.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding says the data suggests private parking firms are “looking to maximise their profits from drivers out and about doing their festive shopping".

He added: "It is inconceivable that each year millions and millions of drivers are purposefully leaving themselves open to paying such huge sums of money.”

The news comes just days before the Government is set to hear a private member’s bill which would see a code of conduct introduced to private car park firms.

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Sir Greg Knight, former Conservative minister, proposed a Parking (Code of Practice) Bill – which is due for a second reading at the House of Commons this Friday.

Mr Gooding said: "The fact that ticketing has reached such epidemic proportions demonstrates exactly why legislation is needed.

“We are delighted that ministers have decided to join Sir Greg Knight's fight to protect motorists by picking up the responsibility for developing a single new code of practice that will ensure fair treatment for all involved."

The stringent code of practice will see any firm that fails to comply being blocked from accessing motorists’ information.

Breaking the code would also see them banned from issuing parking charge notices and fines.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.