Britain sees 29% increase in parking tickets from private firms

Parking ticket being left on car windscreen

Have you had a parking ticket lately?

If so, you’re not alone as parking ticket numbers are skyrocketing. According to a recent analysis of DVLA data conducted by PA Media and the RAC Foundation, fines issued by private firms have increased by 29% in one year.

The findings show a record 11.1 million tickets were issued in the 12 months leading up to the end of March 2023 – something that will concern UK drivers being hit with heavy fines.

Cost of living concern

In comparison, drivers were handed a total of 8.6 million fines from private companies the previous year. The rise to 11.1 million is concerning given the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The new findings show an average of more than 30,400 parking tickets were issued each day over the 12-month period.

Each ticket can be up to £100, meaning the total annual cost to drivers could exceed £1.1 billion at the current rate.

Is the private parking framework to blame?

The recent spike in parking tickets begs the question: are more Brits choosing to flout the rules? Or are they trying to do the right thing but unknowingly breaking them?

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding suggests the problem lies with the private parking code of practice.

“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,” he said.

Private parking businesses have been accused of using misleading and confusing signs, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees.

A long-awaited code of practice aimed at reducing parking infringements was due to be introduced after legislation was passed in Parliament in March 2019.

The code was originally laid before Parliament in February 2022 but was withdrawn by the Government five months later following a legal challenge by parking companies.

Gooding added, “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.”

While we await impending changes to the private parking framework, get updated on the 2030 petrol and diesel car ban delay.


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