Last reviewed 20 March 2019

The Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 15 March. The Act introduces a range of measures designed to protect motorists against bogus fines from rogue private parking firms.

According to the new law a single Code of Practice will apply. Private parking firms will need to follow the new code and this will ensure that parking enforcement is consistent, transparent and easier to understand. If a private parking firm breaks the code then it could be barred from asking for motorists’ information from the DVLA to enforce their tickets.

In addition to the implementation of the code, a new independent appeals service will also give drivers greater support to challenge unjustified parking tickets.

Announcing the passing of the new law, Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP said:

“Millions of us use private car parks every day, but for far too many drivers slapped with unjust fines this largely unregulated industry feels like the Wild West.

“Too often, I hear of awful treatment at the hands of dodgy parking firms, from problems paying for parking to intimidating demands for payment and baffling appeals processes.

“From today, we’re able to cut out the rogue operators by creating a single Code of Practice and giving drivers greater protection through a new appeals service”.

The change in the law was welcomed not only by motoring groups, such as the AA and RAC, but also by parking groups.

For instance, Andrew Pester, the British Parking Association’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted that Sir Greg Knight’s Parking (Code of Practice) Bill has achieved Royal Assent which will deliver our call for a single standard setting body, single code of practice and a single independent appeals service.

“This framework will enable greater consistency and consumer confidence. As a not-for-profit association we will continue to work closely with government and others, including consumer groups, to help develop a single Code of Practice that provides a fair outcome for motorists, landowners and parking operators alike”.

The new Code of Practice will be drafted later this year with industry stakeholders. It will provide the clarity of a single set of rules for private parking, with clearer processes of appeals.

The full text of the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 can be found online on the gov.uk website.