Parking firms issuing some 1,200% more tickets than decade ago20 Nov 2017

Private companies gearing up for Christmas bonanza

The DVLA sold 1,429,703 vehicle-keeper records to the private parking firms in the second quarter of 2017-18. 

This was 1,177% – or almost 13 times – higher than the 111,944 records sold a decade earlier in the second quarter of 2007-8.

The information is used by parking companies to pursue vehicle owners for penalties of up to £100 for supposed-infringements of parking regulations on private land.

These latest figures suggest quarter three will be a bumper period for parking firms as it includes the run up to Christmas and the pre-New Year sales.

Given past trends the RAC Foundation believes the final figure for the number of records sold by the DVLA to private parking companies in 2017-18 will be at least 5.6 million and could easily be more than 6 million.

This compares with the 4.71 million records sold to private parking companies in the last financial year, 2016-17.

In 2007-8 the total was 499,732.

Wheel clamping on private land in England and Wales was outlawed by the Protection of Freedoms Act in October 2012.

In the second quarter of 2017-18 ParkingEye requested the largest amount of data – 466,668 vehicle keeper records, or one in three of all requests made. ParkingEye is owned by Capita PLC.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“We all like to think we will bag a bargain at this time of year, but our festive shopping could come at a very high price.

“Private parking firms are already issuing tickets at an unprecedented rate and if history is anything to go by they will be breaking yet more records in the weeks ahead.

“Drivers should be very wary of overstaying their welcome in private car parks by even a matter of moments, and they should not give these firms any other reason to come after them with demands for eyewatering sums which will spoil their Christmas.

“Private parking companies do not allow a grace period at the end of your parking time – even at Christmas. 

“Early in the new year the House of Commons is expected to debate Sir Greg Knight MP’s private members’ bill which aims to rein in the worst excesses of parking firms and set a fairer balance between the rights of drivers and the rights of landowners.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at:     

In July 2017, the RAC Foundation issued a press release based on information published by the DVLA. This information turned out to be incorrect. The false information inflated (in fact doubled) the number of records apparently sold by the DVLA to private parking companies in May 2017, thus giving a Q1 2017-18 total that was too high.

This error had been noted and corrected by the time the DVLA published data for Q2 2017-18. This press release is based on the Q2 data.

Although the May data – and hence total for Q1 – was revised downwards the story we told back in July remains the same: the DVLA continues to release data to private parking companies at a record and increasing rate.