MSE News

Surge in parking tickets issued by private firms

Surge in parking tickets issued by private firms

Almost seven million sets of motorists' details have been handed over to private parking firms in the last year – a rise of more than one million compared to the year before.

The latest data, from the RAC Foundation, shows 6.8 million sets of vehicle owners' details were given to private parking firms by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in 2018/19. The RAC says almost all of these will have been used to pursue motorists thought to have broken rules in privately-run car parks.

This is a 20% increase on the 5.65 million sets of records released to parking firms in the previous financial year. In 2016/17, 4.71 million records were handed over.

The RAC says parking charges can be as much as £100, and the scale of requests for owners' information to the DVLA suggests a private parking ticket could have been issued every five seconds last year.

While the RAC says the stats give a good indication of the scale of ticketing by private parking firms, the actual number of tickets issued is likely to be even higher, as in some cases tickets are issued without DVLA data being used.

See our Fight Unfair Private Parking Tickets guide for help if you get a ticket.

What should I do if I get a parking ticket?

If you get an unfair ticket after using a private car park, DON'T automatically pay it. These supposed 'fines' handed out are merely invoices, often unenforceable.

There are three very different routes to fight unfair tickets, and the best route for you is likely to depend on whether the company that issued the ticket is part of a trade body and how militant you want to be.

Only members of the two trade bodies, the British Parking Association and the International Parking Community, can ask the DVLA for details of the vehicle owners' details. See How to fight private parking tickets for full info.

If you're issued a parking ticket by the council or police, the rules are different. See our Parking Ticket Appeals guide for step-by-step help.