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More than 11 million parking tickets issued on private land last year, new figures reveal

In the last financial year, drivers in the UK received a staggering number of over 11 million parking tickets on private land, according to official figures released.

This averages as more than 30,000 tickets being issued every day, highlighting the significant scale of the issue.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reported that it sold 11,052,986 vehicle keeper records to car park management companies during the 2022-23 period. This marks a substantial 29% increase compared to the previous year's figure of 8,567,204.

These vehicle keeper records are utilised by car park management companies to send out parking charge notices (PCNs), commonly referred to as "tickets", to drivers and vehicle owners who are perceived to have violated parking regulations on private land.

The growth in the number of parking tickets being issued can be traced back to 2012 when wheel clamping on private land was essentially banned. Since then, there has been a surge in the use of alternative enforcement methods by parking management firms.

However, there has been ongoing concern expressed by the public and political entities regarding the operations of certain firms within the parking industry. To address these concerns, the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, aimed at establishing a single code of practice for parking companies, alongside a single appeals service and a scrutiny board, became law in March 2019. These measures were designed to ensure fair and transparent practices within the industry, underwritten by government authorities.

Despite these efforts, the draft code of practice was withdrawn last year due to a legal challenge from parking firms. Subsequently, a new call for evidence was issued to evaluate the levels of parking charges and debt recovery fees.

The Government's intention is to swiftly reintroduce the code of practice, which will set clear guidelines for parking companies and provide a fair and accessible appeals process for motorists. This will further address the concerns surrounding the parking industry and ensure a more equitable system for drivers on private land.

RAC Foundation Director, Steve Gooding, said: “In the four-and-a-half years since legislation was passed to create a single code of practice and address the worst excesses of private parking companies, as many as 36 million private parking charges may have been issued.

“The ballooning rate at which the volume of vehicle keeper requests continues to grow is a clear sign that something is seriously awry, creating distress for drivers and hassle for legitimate parking managers alike.

“While some drivers will choose to flout the rules and risk being penalised, the vast majority are simply trying to do the right thing.

“As the private parking minister recognised recently, most motorists do not choose to break the rules deliberately.

“Amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis it is implausible that millions of drivers would knowingly want to risk running up a charge for as much as £100.

“Of course, Government needs to get the new private parking framework right after the false start it made last year, but surely that’s a task to be measured in weeks and months, not four-and-a-half years and counting.”


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