Parking fines set for record levels

New figures reveal 1.95 million motorists received parking fines from private firms in the first three months of the 2021-22 financial year compared with 497,678 in the first quarter of last year.

With fines capped at £100, private firms issued demands for up to £840m in 2019/20 and £195m in the first three months of this financial year alone.

RAC Foundation analysis also found the number of parking firms has grown by two-thirds in the past five years. Nearly 159 companies accessed car ownership records from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in order to issue penalties – up from 97 in 2016.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “It is inconceivable that more than eight million drivers are setting out each year consciously deciding to flout parking rules and risk ending up with a parking charge. These numbers, which have risen in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, suggest we have a system that isn’t working – not for the motorists who are receiving charge demands and not for the private landowners either.”

Under proposed new laws, there will be a government-sanctioned code of practice for the industry, a single appeals service and a system of charges and penalties that would be more in line with those imposed by councils.