Private parking industry set to become billion-pound business as ticketing reaches record highs

The number of tickets given out by firms has hit another high resulting in private parking set to become a billion-pound a year industry.

DVLA data reveals that drivers are set to gain more than 11 million penalties in private car parks this financial year, 2022-23.

The companies have already purchased 8,564,762 vehicle keeper records from the DVLA in the year’s first three quarters.

This figure is a proxy for the number of tickets issued as it allows the firms to chase up vehicle keepers for supposed parking infringements on private land.

£100 can be the cost of each ticket indicating that more than £1 billion will be demanded from drivers this year.

To look after their car parks, firms also often receive management fees from landowners such as supermarkets, shopping centres and leisure facilities.

Parking firms issued around 5.64 million tickets between July and December 2022, a 24% increase from the 4,554,378 tickets issued during the same time period in 2021.

That is an average of roughly 31,000 every day.

Following a legal challenge by parking corporations, the Government withdrew a long-awaited code of practice intended to banish some of the worst practices in the sector in July 2022.

It is not clear when the code – plus an independent appeals service and a scrutiny board – will now be introduced.

The changes to the parking framework are being made under powers granted by the Parking (Code of Practice) Act which became law in March 2019.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“If only the rest of the economy was booming like the private parking sector, perhaps we’d all be feeling more prosperous.

“Private parking looks set to be a billion pound-a-year business, if it isn’t already, with demands for up to £100 a time being sent out to drivers at the rate of more than one every three seconds.

“There’s widespread agreement that the Government should be setting up a regulatory framework for the industry, but it is nearly four years since the relevant law was passed.

“These numbers surely suggest that what’s needed now is action.”

Some 181 parking management businesses have so far requested vehicle keeper records from the DVLA in 2022-23, paying £2.50 a time.

ParkingEye was the most active, buying 1.1 million records.

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