Number of private parking tickets soars again
In the first quarter of the current tax year, private parking companies requested nearly 1.48 million sets of driver records from the DVLA.
These records allow private parking firms to pursue drivers for charges and penalties for infringements in shopping centres, leisure centres and motorway service area car parks.
According to the RAC Foundation, this is a 14% rise on the 1.3 million sets of records bought in the same quarter of 2017/18.
It said if the rate of data requests continues, then the DVLA is on course to share a total of nearly 6.5 million sets of records by the end of 2018/19, up from the 5.65 million in the previous tax year.
The biggest buyers of data in the first quarter of 2018/19 were:
- ParkingEye – 388,061 sets of vehicle keeper records
- Euro Car Parks – 125,322
- Smart Parking – 114,217
In order to access DVLA data, parking firms need to be members of one of two accredited trade associations – the BPA or the IPC. Both have individual codes of practice and an independent appeals service.
But Sir Greg Knight MP has a private members’ bill before Parliament aiming to introduce a single, government-sanctioned code of practice that all parking firms will have to adhere to if they want to request DVLA information. The bill is due to be heard in the House of Commons in November.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Motorists might well be asking what is going on when the number of records being sought by private parking companies has shot up yet again.
“Numbers like these suggest that something, somewhere, is going wrong.
“Drivers will be pleased that Sir Greg Knight’s bill has cleared another parliamentary hurdle in the hope that it won’t be too long before some much-needed regulatory oversight is brought to bear on the industry.”
Related: See YourMoney.com’s Private parking complaints soar: how to fight charges for more information.