Data suggest around 8.6 million issued in 2021-22
A record number of vehicle keeper records have been bought by private companies.
The information is used to pursue drivers for penalties of up to £100 a time for supposed infringements of the rules in privately run car parks like those found at shopping centres, leisure facilities and motorway service areas.
Government data shows that the DVLA provided firms with 8,564,762 vehicle keeper records in 2021-22, the equivalent of roughly 23,000 every day.
This is more than the previous record of 8,411,897 million seen in 2019-20 which was pre-pandemic, and an increase of more than 50% compared with four years earlier.
Last month, the Government withdrew a long-awaited code of practice aimed at eradicating some of the sector’s worst actions following a legal challenge by parking companies.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“It seems telling that at the same time as the parking industry has been pressing government to water-down its long-awaited reforms more companies appear to entering the market and together they have continued to obtain records from the DVLA in ever greater numbers so they can demand more penalty payments from motorists.
“A cynic might suspect the industry continues to expand confident it can water down the final changes so much that there is little impact on its activities. We would hope that these eyewatering numbers will stiffen ministers’ resolve to stick to their guns and get their much-needed code of practice and caps on charges in place pronto.”
The parking code of practice, which was due to come into force before 2024, stated that the cap on tickets for some parking offences should be halved to £50.
The withdrawal pending a review of charges could lead to a further delay in its implementation.
A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesman said:
“We’re determined to end rip-off parking practices, and it’s very disappointing that some in the parking industry are resisting this.
“We will continue to work with industry and consumer groups to introduce our new Parking Code of Practice as quickly as possible.”
Some 177 parking management businesses requested car owner records in the year to the end of March, up from 151 during the previous 12 months.
ParkingEye was the biggest buyer in 2021-22 with 1.8 million records.
The DVLA charges private companies £2.50 per record. It says it does not make any money from the process.
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
[email protected] | 07711 776448
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: www.racfoundation.org