Home Money A new private parking code will be launched later this year that could save drivers thousands of fines, but critics warn it avoids real problems.

A new private parking code will be launched later this year that could save drivers thousands of fines, but critics warn it avoids real problems.

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High fines – fines imposed by private car park operators can reach up to £100
  • Drivers will have a 10-minute grace period under the new IPC code
  • The code will be published in June before coming into effect this fall.
  • RAC policy chief says it ‘conveniently avoids some of the biggest issues’

Private car park operators will have to meet higher standards and be more transparent, under a new code of practice introduced by the International Parking Community (IPC) and the British Parking Association (BPA).

Motorists will benefit from a new 10-minute grace period during which they will not be charged, as well as new standards for signage and a single set of rules for parking operators on private land.

The new rules, which come into force from October, will come into force across the private parking sector and aim to prevent drivers from being ripped off by unfair parking operators.

However, motor industry insiders say it “conveniently avoids some of the biggest problems” with unscrupulous private car park operators praying for innocent drivers.

High fines – fines imposed by private car park operators can reach up to £100

The introduction of an appeals charter will also set out “clear and unchanging parameters” for appeals against parking charges where extenuating circumstances exist, the two operators surprisingly announced on Friday.

The code will also ensure that the deterrent to abuse of Blue Badge parking spaces or selfish parking is not reduced, in order to protect “the most vulnerable in society”, the IPC said.

He added that the new code will be published in June before its implementation in October. Operators are expected to be fully compliant by the end of 2026.

Will Hurley, chief executive of the IPC, said: ‘This is a long-awaited day, the sector has been calling for a single Code of Practice for a long time and today we are proud to commit to it.

‘The Single Code will benefit all drivers who comply with it and will present clear consequences for those who choose to break the rules. The sector has listened to the automotive community and today we are acting.’

The new IPC code comes despite the Government shelving the Private Parking Code of Practice last year following a period of consultation.

Some might say it is jumping before being pushed.

Nicholas Lyes, IAM RoadSmart

A major part of the Government’s bill covered proposed caps on fines and debt recovery fees that continually annoy motorists, and which are absent from the new code of practice.

However, there has been little progress with the code after parking companies launched a legal challenge.

While the IPC code may mean some changes are coming, many of the issues raised in the Government’s code have not been addressed.

This is Money has long campaigned for private parking reform, with Rishi Sunak promising in 2019: “The Government is putting an end to the bad behavior of rogue parking operators forever.”

Meanwhile, private operators are issuing 35,000 parking tickets and the DVLA makes around £90,000 every day by selling drivers’ data so private companies can issue fines by post.

Simon Williams, head of policy at the RAC, said: “We are stunned that the BPA and IPC have suddenly announced plans to introduce their own ‘private parking code’ after doing everything they could over the last five years to prevent the creation of the Official Government Code. by an act of Parliament that comes into force.

‘Whilst there are clearly some positive elements to what the private parking industry is proposing, it conveniently avoids some of the larger issues relating to limits on fines and debt recovery rates which urgently need to be addressed to prevent them from being taken advantage of. the drivers.

‘The Government is currently working on these elements, along with a formal appeals process, and in our view they cannot come soon enough. Nothing should stand in the way of the official Code, least of all a new industrial plan that muddies the waters and risks confusing drivers.’

He added: “For the private parking industry to suddenly present itself as whiter than white with its own ‘code’ and appeals letter takes the irony to another level.”

Similarly, Nicholas Lyes, director of policy and standards at IAM RoadSmart, told This is Money: “Drivers will be wondering why it took so long for parking associations to publish the new code and, however they dress it up, this is It is mainly due to new laws around the government-led Code of Parking Practice, rather than a self-proclaimed gesture to be fairer to motorists.

“Some might say he’s jumping before he’s pushed.”

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