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Drivers face 6.5m private parking fines

MOTORISTS could be hit with 6.5million fines from private parking firms this year — a tenfold increase in a decade.

There were 1.48million requests by parking management firms for vehicle owner’s details in the first quarter of this financial year, the RAC Foundation said.

This is a 14 per cent rise year-on-year. If it continues at this rate it would see 6.44million tickets of up to £100 each issued this year, up from 5.65milion the year before, the motoring research charity said. Ten years ago the figure stood at just 687,000.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: ‘Motorists might well be asking what is going on when the number of records being sought by private parking companies has shot up yet again.

‘Numbers like these suggest that something, somewhere, is going wrong.’

Former Tory minister Sir Greg Knight has introduced a parking code of practice bill which is currently going through the Commons and reaches the report stage in November

Mr Gooding said drivers would hope ‘it won’t be too long before some much-needed regulatory oversight is brought to bear on the industry’.

The biggest purchaser of data in the first quarter was ParkingEye Ltd, which requested 388,000 records.

In July, Capita PLC agreed to sell the firm to Macquarie for £235million. This is more than quadruple the £58million Capita paid for ParkingEye in 2013.

The DVLA charges private firms £2.50 per record, meaning it could collect more than £16million this year.

The agency said its charges are set to recover the cost of providing the information and it does not make money from the process.