Private parking firms must offer 10-minute grace period under new proposals

New Government proposals could see private parking firms forced to offer drivers a 10-minute grace period when they overstay their ticket

Private parking firms could be forced to offer drivers who overstay the time on their ticket a 10-minute grace period before fining them.

New Government proposals put forward by Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, will see all private car parks in England, Scotland and Wales forced to wait 10 minutes after the time on a parking ticket has run out before issuing a late fine.

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All council-owned car parks in England have been required to offer a 10-minute grace period since 2015, but the practice is currently voluntary for private car park operators.

If adopted, the proposals will form part of the Parking Code of Practice, which was announced earlier this year as a measure to crack down on unscrupulous private parking firms that operate in an unfair manner.

The Code – which received Royal Assent in March 2019 and is still being written – will also see extra measure put in place to deal with intimidating and aggressive debt collection practices by private parking firms, all of whom will have to follow a single set of mandatory rules.

Companies that break these rules will risk losing their ability to request drivers’ details from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), making it virtually impossible for them to enforce the fines they issue.

Jenrick commented: “For too long, rogue parking firms have operated in an unregulated industry, handing out unjust fines, putting drivers through baffling appeals processes and issuing tickets to motorists who were only seconds late back to their cars.

“That’s why we’ve appointed the British Standards Institution to work with consumer groups and industry to write the first ever compulsory Code of Practice for private parking firms.

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“The new Code will restore common sense to the way parking fines are handed out, encourage people back on to our high-streets and crack down on dodgy operators who use aggressive tactics to harass drivers.”

What do you make of these new proposals? Let us know in the comments below… 

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