Parking Cowboy Code Withdrawn

Thu 30th Jun 2022

The government has turned its back on a code of practice which would have made car parking firms stick to a fair and independent process of fining motorists.

The Private Parking Code of Practice gave drivers more power to challenge unfair parking fines and also looked to cut initial charges in half, with a maximum fee of £50 proposed. The code would have also seen a ban on unscrupulous debt collectors harassing motorists to recover the fines.

But following a legal challenge from the parking firms, the government has temporarily withdrawn the code of practice, angering campaigners who say the new rules would have encouraged millions of motorists to return to the high street.  The new rules have now been parked, with the firms allowed to continue charging extortionate amounts of more than £100 for parking their car incorrectly.

“The new private parking code of practice was designed specifically to make things fairer for drivers and end some of the worst practices in the sector,” said Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC.

“It's deeply disappointing that the code has been temporarily withdrawn which now almost certainly means yet more delays in it being introduced. Drivers have a right to feel infuriated.

“The fact that parking companies take issue with the capping of charge notices and debt recovery fees shows precisely why both the code and the cap are needed. 

“For too long, some companies have been allowed to prey mercilessly on drivers who might make an honest mistake and then have to face both over-zealous enforcement and threatening debt recovery letters. 

“The Government must stand up to these companies and get the code over the line so we finally have fair and transparent enforcement in the private parking sector.”