£70 Extra For Late Payment Parking Fines?

Tue 31st Aug 2021

Parking fine proposals which are being looked at by the Government could included an additional penalty for anyone who pays the fine late.

A ‘debt recovery charge’ is expected to be added to an all-new code of conduct for parking, with the fee thought to be in the region of £70. The new code of conduct has been under review since 2018, with the aim of protecting the public from some of the cowboy parking firms who appear from nowhere, clamp your car and demand payment of exorbitant sums of money.

But according to The Times, the new rules could see parking companies allowed to employ debt collection agencies to recover any fees owed, with an additional surcharge added on top.

But motoring groups have argued that these measures could openly encourage firms to aggressively pursue payment, something which the code of conduct was set up to stamp out.

“By allowing parking companies to levy this spurious charge, it will open the door for dubious unlicensed debt collectors and low-rent solicitors to pursue thousands more cases to court — the exact opposite of what is intended,” said David Carrod, chairman of the British Motorists Protection Association.

An element of the code is expected to see parking fines capped at a certain amount, with £50 outside of London (reduced to £25 if paid within two weeks) and £80 in London. But non payment of fines could see the parking companies look to recover some of that lost revenue, with very little regulation of the agencies employed to collect those monies.

“We are hugely concerned about proposals to allow a £70 debt recovery charge to be levied at drivers,” an RAC spokesman said. “There does not seem to be any justification and rationale for this figure, and we’d urge [the Government] to scrap it or go back to the drawing board.

“Drivers will want to know that this is not another attempt to extract revenue which could end up back in the pockets of parking operators that in many cases work closely with their own debt recovery agencies.”