Twelve parking fines were issued at a rate of 12 a minute in the last quarter of 2017.
According to RAC analysis of Government data this was a record number of penalty charges.
Private parking firms obtained 1,576,593 vehicle keeper records between October and December 2017 from the DVLA.
That's an increase of more than a quarter (26%) in the same period of 2016 and the equivalent of 17,137 per day or 12 every minute.
The records are used to send penalty charges to the addresses of the vehicle keeper who may have to shell out up to £100.
Tomorrow MPs will debate a new bill to stop private parking companies issuing tickets unfairly.
The clamping of vehicles on private land was banned in 2012 which has led to a rise in the number of penalty charges issued.
But you can appeal against a parking ticket.
One problem is that drivers may not know the difference between a parking charge notice and a penalty charge notice.
Motorists could potentially save hundreds of pounds a year by understanding which can be challenged and by knowing their rights.
Penalty charge notices are only issued by an official body like a council or police force, granted powers by legislation passed by Parliament that cover various parking misdemeanours such as breaching the terms and conditions of parking in council-controlled car parks.
Private companies have no such powers and often try to trick drivers into thinking their notices are the same in a bid to force people to pay.
Being able to tell the difference between a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice could save you money.
Companies can do this in a variety of ways - and they usually try to make their penalty charge notices look as much like parking charge notices as possible.
But, thankfully, they are easy to dispute according to the Chronicle Live.
How to contest a parking charge notice?
Simply respond that you are refusing to pay.
DON’T say you are appealing the ticket, as this legitimises the ticket.
Also write ‘Without Prejudice’ on the letter – then no information in the letter can be used against you.
What happens next?
If the company rejects your dispute, then you can escalate to the firm’s trade member association.
You must have an official reference number from the company and their reasons for rejecting your dispute.
They will refer you to POPLA, the Independent Tribunal for Parking Fines.
Around 40% of appeals are upheld in the favour of the public.
If you wish to dispute the ticket, then you have 28 days in which to dispute after the firm that issued the ticket has rejected your appeal.
I’ve been issued a penalty charge notice - what should I do now?
If you have received a parking ticket, the person who issued it has determined that you have parked your car somewhere you’re not allowed to.
Firstly, you should work out if it’s from the council or a private company (these tend to look alike).
Once issued with a penalty charge notice you will be expected to pay a penalty charge of £130 for a serious parking offence or £40 to £80 for a less serious offence - although this can vary by council.
You can reduce your fine by paying within 14-days.
What do I do if I want to appeal my case?
If you think the council penalty charge notice has been issued wrongly you must make your reasons known as soon as you can by writing to the address on the notice or getting in touch online.
Your appeal will then be reviewed and you will be made aware of the outcome.
You have 28 days to challenge a penalty charge notice.
If you do it within 14 days and your challenge is rejected, you may only have to pay 50% of the fine.
What do I need to include?
If you’re appealing your ticket, hold on to any photographs from the scene, letters you’ve received, mitigating circumstances and any statements if possible.
This also includes:
- A valid pay and display ticket
- A letter from someone who was with you saying what happened – write ‘Witness statement’ at the top of this
- A repair note, if your car broke down
- Make sure you include:
- The date the ticket was issued
- Your address
- Your vehicle registration number
- The penalty notice number
To start your appeal online, you’ll have to enter your postcode at Gov.uk’s ‘Challenge a parking fine’ page here.
To appeal your case, you’ll need to prove your innocence.
You can appeal if the traffic signs were wrong, the council has made an error on the ticket, you’ve already paid the fine, the signs are misleading or confusing, you didn’t own the vehicle at the time or you’ve been overcharged.