Private car parking charges will be capped at £50

Companies that breach the new code could be barred from collecting penalties from motorists in the future by having their access to DVLA data cut off. Photo: Getty

UK motorists will be better protected against ‘aggressive debt collection and unreasonable charges’ as ministers announce a cap on private parking penalties.

The maximum fine in private car parks will be reduced by 50% and capped at £50 ($67.65) – down from £100 – for most cases in England and Wales.

London is excluded under a new parking code of practice introduced by the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities.

Higher caps of £70 or £100 will remain in place for more serious offences, such as parking in Blue Badge bays, the government has said.

Private car parks will also have to display prices more clearly and introduce a fairer call-out system as well as give drivers a 10-minute grace period for being late, under the new proposals.

Companies that breach the new code could be barred from collecting fines from motorists in future by having their access to data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

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Minister for Leveling Up Neil O’Brien said: “Private companies issue around 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a system of misleading and confusing signage, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable charges designed to extort money to motorists.

“The new Code of Conduct will set out a clear vision with the interests of motorist safety at its heart, while cracking down on the worst offenders who put others at risk and prevent our emergency services from carrying out their duties. functions.”

The government has also set out other rules for private parking companies to bring them more in line with the advice, including:

  • Motorists will get a 50 per cent discount if they pay within 14 days, as they do with fixed fine notices issued by the council

  • Companies will have to introduce a 5-minute cooling-off period during which a driver can change their mind about parking

  • Plans to make it easier for motorists to challenge their ticket if genuine mitigating circumstances are present – this could include having a valid ticket but not displaying it or entering your license plate incorrectly by mistake at a parking machine

The RAC “welcomed” the new code.

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“The RAC has campaigned for years to end cutting edge practices in the private parking industry, so we welcome the new national code which will usher in higher standards and introduce a lower cap on penalty notices, an appeal system independent and an end to fraudulent debt collection charges,” said RAC Roads Policy Manager Nicholas Lyes.

“It will undoubtedly make drivers’ experience of using private car parks fairer while forcing rogue operators to clean up their acts once and for all.”

Insurance and vehicle breakdown company, the AA, said the decision will bring “much-needed improvements” to private parking rules and “protect drivers”.

Edmund King, AA President, said: “For too long those caught up in private parking companies are simply paying the fees to get rid of them. Fortunately, those days are numbered.

“Drivers need to be confident that having a unique code of conduct and a new appeal charter will give them the confidence to appeal and be properly heard. registration of the car in the machine, are now automatically cancelled.

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