Drivers across Britain are now better protected against dodgy private parking firms after the passing of a new law.
The Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on March 15 and brings in a series of measures to toughen regulation of the private parking sector.
It makes it easier to challenge unfair parking tickets and requires private parking operators to follow a single Code of Practice that will ensure drivers are treated fairly.
The code of practice will ensure the rules used by private parking companies is consistent, transparent and easier to understand.
If private parking firms break it they could be barred from asking for motorists’ information from the DVLA, essentially stopping them from being able to enforce tickets.
The new law also introduces a single independent appeals service to make it easier for drivers to challenge tickets they think are unfair or unjustified.
Read more: How to appeal a parking ticket
Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: “Millions of us use private car parks every day, but for far too many drivers slapped with unjust fines this largely unregulated industry feels like the Wild West.
“Too often, I hear of awful treatment at the hands of dodgy parking firms, from problems paying for parking to intimidating demands for payment and baffling appeals processes.
“From today, we’re able to cut out the rogue operators by creating a single code of practice and giving drivers greater protection through a new appeals service.”
At the moment, there are two parking trade associations, each with their own set of rules but there is no single code of practice all operators must follow. The new code of practice will be drawn up this year in consultation with parking firms and motoring groups such as the AA and RAC.
Fair outcome for motorists
Andrew Pester, the British Parking Association’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted that Sir Greg Knight’s Parking (Code of Practice) Bill has achieved Royal Assent.
“This framework will enable greater consistency and consumer confidence. We will continue to work to help develop a single code of practice that provides a fair outcome for motorists, landowners and parking operators alike.”
Nicholas Lyes, the head of roads policy at the RAC, said: “Motorists will warmly welcome this new Act. For too long, some unscrupulous private parking operators have made drivers’ lives a misery with some questionable practices which has sent levels of trust in the sector plummeting.
“The code will create more consistent standards across the board which should eliminate dubious practices and create a single, independent appeals process. The RAC has long called for changes to the way the private parking sector is regulated and this new code will undoubtedly make the lives of drivers easier.”