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Crack Down on Private Parking Operators

The latest major crackdown on rogue private companies is soon set to benefit millions of UK drivers, motorists will now start enjoying fairer, clearer appeals and reduced fines thanks to a new system created.

New rules were announced in February 2022, and they have been implemented to protect private and motor trade drivers from exorbitant and unfair penalty charges by following a new Code of Practice which will help keep private parking companies on their toes.  

The UK government has now slashed parking fines by up to 50% in less serious scenarios, potentially saving drivers millions every year.

Other proposals to this new system include a grace period of at least 10 minutes before a late payment penalty, a maximum limit on parking fines, and a strict requirement for all parking firms to display their terms and conditions and pricing clearly.  

Parking fines in Wales and England outside the confines of London will be cut to £70 or £50 from £100, dependent on the seriousness of the offence.

Private parking companies that violate this new code of practice can be banned from collecting fines from drivers. At present, some of the private parking operators sneakily hide behind aggressive and deceptive legal language when going after motorists, hopefully, we will all see the end this behaviour with higher standards being set.

Parking firms that break these rules will not be able to go after motorists demanding fines, as they will be barred from accessing DVLA (Driver and vehicle licensing agency) data.

Additionally, it will become easier for any disputed claims to be settled by a simple and new appeals process which is currently being engineered.

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These measures will come as a relief to many motor trade professionals; like Window screen Technicians who help motorists at the roadside and worry about huge fines for parking.

Some of the other measures proposed around the new framework include, putting together a single ‘Appeals Charter and Service’ that motorists can count on in the event that they are fined unfairly.

In the Appeals Charter, drivers could see their fines cancelled after appeal if:

• They genuinely made an error like entering a digit of their car’s number plate incorrectly.
• They have a valid reason for overstaying in a parking lot, such as a car breaking down and refusing to start.
• They have a valid permit, blue badge, or ticket but didn’t display it correctly.

Some of the other new reforms found in the new code include:

• Drivers shall enjoy a 50% discount on their fines if they clear them within 14 days
• The new parking charges shall coincide with the local authority system for all car parks that are publicly accessible and shall be capped at £50. However, the current £100 fine shall be maintained in certain instances like trespassing and parking on private land or abuse of blue badge areas.
• Private parking companies shall be prohibited from adding additional charges on fines which is currently as much as £70
• A mandatory 5-minute period in which drivers are allowed to change their mind on whether they shall park after reviewing the terms and conditions shall be allowed.
• Parking firms shall clearly display their contact details and information on how to appeal a charge.

These new rules have been well received by both the motor trade and motor insurance companies.