New Surge In Cowboy Parking Firms

Fri 26th Nov 2021

Motoring organisations are worried that 2021 could be record year for parking fines after seeing a jump in the number of private parking companies accessing DVLA records.

According to analysis by the RAC Foundation there has been a 64 per cent increase in parking firms requesting access to the vehicle-keeper records provided by the DVLA since 2016. Worryingly, these requests were made in April, May and June of this year, when many motorists were still either working from home, or creeping slowly out of lockdown.

The data which is collected from this companies is used to issue drivers with penalty tickets for parking on private land in areas such as shopping centres and in the second quarter of this year companies accessed 1.95 million sets of information. With some tickets charging up to £100 there are worries that if 8.4m record high of 2019/20 is broken then the parking firms will be raking in record profits. 

Last week Philip Boynes, chief executive of the UK’s biggest parking firm, PrivateEye, moaned in Parliament that his company’s profits are only 2.1%, but the RAC are concerned with the number of requests made to the DVLA.

“If that’s the case then how come more and more appear to be joining the industry that is already on track this year to issue a near-record level of demands for parking charges?” Said RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding.

“It is inconceivable that more than eight million drivers are setting out each year consciously deciding to flout parking rules and risk ending up with a parking charge.

“These numbers, which have risen in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, suggest we have a system that isn’t working – not for the motorists who are receiving charge demands and not for the private landowners either.

“That needs to change, starting with the establishment of a single, clear set of rules and an independent appeals service such that motorists know exactly where they stand and any sharp practice by operators is swiftly identified and rooted out.”