18th May, 2022
We’ve all worried about the dreaded yellow ticket at some point - especially when relying on common privately controlled parking spots.
The good news is that the government is clamping down on the amount private car park operators can charge, as new laws stopping them from issuing parking tickets above £50 (in most circumstances) are rolled out this year.
The move is aimed at eliminating unfair fines and setting clearer rules to protect drivers from unnecessary costs.
Moving forward, the cost of private parking tickets have been cut by half, motorists are granted small grace periods and operators are to display their pricing policies and T&Cs more clearly.
The new rules will bring private parking more in line with council rules. Though this isn’t an immediate change, as operators have until the end of 2023 to fall into line.
Minister for Levelling Up Neil O’Brien said: “Private firms issue roughly 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a system of misleading and confusing signage, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees designed to extort money from motorists.
“Our new Code of Practice will set out a clear vision with the interests of safe motorists at its heart, while cracking down on the worst offenders.”
There will be consequences for operators that fail to comply, including a ban from accessing DVLA data, which would prevent them from contacting people. They could also be barred from collecting charges from motorists at all.
Under the ‘Parking (Code of Practice) Act’ parking firms must clearly display their pricing and T&Cs and give drivers 10-minutes leeway before issuing late charges, while motorists that leave a car park within five minutes of entering won’t be liable for a charge.
Plus, the cap on fines is set to be reduced from £100 to £50, but there will be exceptions where motorists have abused Blue Badge bays or trespassed on private land.
Like council charges, motorists will also be offered a 50% discount if they pay their fine within 14 days and debt collection fees for late tickets will be banned.
A new appeals process will also be created to make it easier for disputed tickets to be cancelled if drivers have a legitimate reason for overstaying, such as their vehicle breaking down or if they have made a genuine error, such as incorrectly keying in a digit in their number plate.
Here at One Call Insurance, we welcome these changes and look forward to a much fairer process in which motorists are not taken for granted when it comes to private parking penalisation.
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