The Consumer Lawyer

New rules concerning ‘Private Parking’

By Dean Dunham 13 February 2022

Questions about private parking tickets fill my inbox nearly every week and on many occasions, it is clear that the consumer has been treated unfairly, but the rules surrounding private parking operators do nothing to assist. However, new rules are on the way and it looks like the whole landscape surrounding private parking tickets is going to change and be weighted more in favour of the consumer. Here’s what you need to know:

What are the new rules?

There are five key new rules that private parking firms will need to follow:

  1. They must clearly display the cost of parking and any other terms.
  2. They must allow motorists to leave the car park within 5 minutes of arrival if they decide not to park.
  3. They must give drivers 10-minutes leeway before issuing late charges. Currently, firms can issue late charges as soon as parking tickets expire.
  4. The majority of parking tickets will be capped. The cap will be reduced by half from £100 to £50. Notable exceptions include circumstances such as abusing Blue Badge bays or if a motorist is trespassing on private land. Motorists will also be offered a 50% discount if they pay within 14 days.
  5. Debt collection fees for late tickets will be banned. If you don’t pay in time, private operators have been able to hike the original charge, but this will be forbidden under the new rules.

 When do the new rules come into force?

This is the bad news as private parking operators have been given until the end of 2023 to implement and follow the new rules.

What about appeals?

Anyone who has tried to appeal a private parking ticket will know how difficult this can be, many consumers tell me “it is simply a waste of time”. A new, simpler appeals process is therefore being implemented under the new rules and we are being told this will make it easier for disputed tickets to be cancelled as it will provide motorists with rights if they: have mitigating reasons for overstaying their parking time, making a genuine error (such as inputting their number plate incorrectly or failing to display a genuine and valid ticket or blue badge.

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