Fleet News

Record number of parking tickets issued on private land

The number of tickets issued to drivers parking on private land has surged by almost a million in just 12 months to a new high, new figures suggest.

DVLA data shows that in the last financial year 5.65 million sets of vehicle keeper records were released to car parking management companies.

Analysis by the RAC Foundation analysis reveals that most of these will have been used to pursue motorists who are deemed to have infringed regulations in private car parks.

That equates to a parking penalty being issued, on average, every six seconds - the equivalent of 11 per minute, 645 per hour and 15,486 per day.

The 5.65 million compares with 4.71 million records released to parking firms in the previous financial year. Just a decade ago (in 2007/08) 499,000 sets of records were released.

The charges levied by firms for contraventions such as overstaying are often as much as £100, suggesting that parking firms could be demanding £565 million from drivers on an annual basis.

Financial year

Number of vehicle keeper records obtained from the DVLA by parking management companies


5.65 million


4.71 million


3.67 million


3.06 million


2.43 million


1.89 million


1.57 million


1.17 million


1.03 million








26.64 million

In 2017-18, a total of 119 parking companies received data from the DVLA, ten more than in the previous financial years.

The top five purchasers of data in 2017-18 were:

1.ParkingEye Ltd – 1,768,233 records (1,530,259 in 2016-17)

2.Euro Car Parks – 406,323 records (306,857)

3.Smart Parking Ltd – 390,860 records (329,157)

4.Athena ANPR Ltd – 318,486 records (246,743)

5.Ranger Services Ltd for Highview Parking Ltd – 274,591 records (271,917)

Clamping on private land was banned (in all but exceptional circumstances) in 2012 by the Protection of Freedoms Act. The Act also allowed for private parking companies to pursue the registered keepers of vehicles rather than having to prove who the driver was at the time of the ’offence’.

All private parking firms wanting to access the vehicle-keeper data held by the DVLA need to be members of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) and abide by the ATA’s code of practice. There are currently two ATAs: the British Parking Association and the International Parking Community.

Both ATAs have established independent appeals services to which drivers can take their cases questioning the validity of tickets if initial appeals to member firms themselves fail.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Each year we publish this analysis and each year we are not only astonished by the numbers involved, but also by the fact that those numbers keep rocketing up.

“The true volume of tickets being issued might actually be significantly higher still as some firms will simply slap a demand onto a windscreen for the driver to find when they return to their vehicle.

“Pursuing so many people must be a major administrative task for the companies involved, but the questions the numbers really beg are: what’s going wrong? Are Britain’s motorists really flouting the rules on such an industrial scale?

“We strongly support Sir Greg Knight in his initiative to get some regulation in place through a private member’s bill that will establish much-needed independent scrutiny of what’s going on in the private parking world. Only then can we be reassured that the cards aren’t stacked against the motorist.”

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