‘Best chance possible’ to appeal parking ticket
New data suggests that drivers are set to receive more than 11 million penalties in private car parks this financial year (2022-23). In the first three-quarters of the year, 8.56 million vehicle keeper records were purchased by parking companies from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
According to the RAC Foundation, this figure is a proxy for the number of tickets issued as it allows firms to chase up vehicle owners for parking infringements.
Each parking fine can cost drivers up to £100, suggesting that more than £1billion will be demanded from drivers this year.
Parking companies also often receive “management fees” from landowners like supermarkets and shopping centres, by looking after their car parks for them.
Between July and December 2022, parking firms issued around 5.64 million tickets, a 24 percent rise on the 4,554,378 issued in the same period in 2021.
Shockingly, this is an average of roughly 31,000 tickets being handed out every day.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “If only the rest of the economy was booming like the private parking sector, perhaps we’d all be feeling more prosperous.
“Private parking looks set to be a billion pound-a-year business, if it isn’t already, with demands for up to £100 a time being sent out to drivers at the rate of more than one every three seconds.
“There’s widespread agreement that the Government should be setting up a regulatory framework for the industry, but it is nearly four years since the relevant law was passed.
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“These numbers surely suggest that what’s needed now is action.”
A private parking code of practice was scheduled to be launched last year, in a bid to cap parking fines and make it easier for drivers to understand their rights.
However, this was withdrawn in July 2022, after a legal challenge was mounted by parking companies, forcing the Government to shelve the plan for the time being.
It is not clear when the new code of practice, as well as an independent appeals service and a scrutiny board, will be introduced.
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Oftentimes a driver believes they have received an “unfair” parking fine from a parking company, usually on retail and supermarket car parks.
According to one expert, drivers should first make sure to check the British Parking Association (BPA) or International Parking Community (IPC) websites.
Here they will be able to check if the parking company is a member of their approved operator schemes as every company must be a member of one of these organisations.
If they are members, the usual first port of call would be to appeal through the advised process.
Brannan Coady, CEO at YourParkingSpace, advised drivers to make sure they include any evidence they are able to gather from the scheme.
This includes photos of anything relevant to the fine, correspondence, mitigating circumstances, and witness statements if possible, from anyone who can back up your story.
He continued, saying: “This will give you the best chance possible of a successful dispute.
“If your appeal is rejected we would then recommend contacting the landowner directly. They’ll often be willing to sort it from their side.”
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