Parking Cowboys to be stopped by law

Multiple parking tickets on a car windscreen

The UK government has said it will support a change in legislation to raise standards among parking companies and to prevent motorists from unreasonably large charges.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government say that motorists are complaining about a range of issues with private parking companies, such as…

  • Poor signage
  • Intimidating payment letters
  • Confusing appeals processes
  • Unreasonably high charges

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “For too long drivers have suffered from unjust fines at the hands of dodgy parking firms. We need a fairer, clearer and more consistent system that brings the small minority of unscrupulous operators in line with those who are behaving appropriately.”

“That is why Government is putting the brakes on these rogue operators and backing new laws that will put a stop to aggressive behaviour and provide a simpler way for drivers to appeal fines,” said Javid.

The proposed new plans will be developed in conjunction with motorists groups such as the RAC and AA. Those private parking companies falling foul of the new system will be blocked from accessing driver information from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). Selling motorist’s information, the DVLA currently makes more than $1.4 million a month by charging £2.50 per enquiry.

Private car parking notices or tickets are different to those issued by the police or councils. They are charges for breaking a contract rather than breaking the law. Wheel clamping by private landlords, or companies operating on their behalf, was banned in England and Wales in 2012.

The RAC estimate an incredible £100 million of tickets have been issued illegally and it expects 6 million tickets to be issued by private parking companies in 2018, up from 4.7 million in 2017.

A staggering 10,000 drivers contacted Citizens Advice (operating name of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux) about parking tickets issued by private parking companies. The Citizens Advice website has some useful articles about what to do when you get a parking ticket, click here to visit the site.

The British Parking Association (BPA) chief executive, Andrew Pester, has welcomed the new bill, which is due to have it’s second reading in parliament this Friday. “A single, mandatory code of practice across the whole sector is important to ensure that unscrupulous providers don’t undermine the parking sector with bad practice,” he said.

“As the leading authority in the sector we shall continue to work closely with Government and key stakeholders to press for progress towards a positive outcome for all.”