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Private parking fines to be capped at £50

Parking fines in private car parks will be capped at £50 – down from £100 currently – in a government crackdown on “cowboy” companies.

Private car parks will have to display prices more clearly, introduce a fairer system for appeals, and give drivers a ten-minute “grace period” for lateness.

Under a new Parking Code of Practice, drivers will be given the benefit of the doubt in cases involving honest mistakes.

For example, fines will be waived when drivers accidentally key in a wrong digit when typing in their number plate on ticket machines.

Motoring associations hailed the move as “much needed” and said it would “usher in higher standards”.

Higher financial penalties of £70 and £100 will remain for more serious breaches of the rules, such as parking in Blue Badge bays.

Motorists will also get a 50 percent discount if they pay within 14 days, as they do with council-issued fines.

There will also be a 5-minute “cooling-off” period in which a motorist can change their mind about parking.

Under the measures, which ministers will unveil on Monday, excessive debt collection fees for late tickets will also be banned.

8.4 million private parking fines were issued in the year 2019-20.

Minister for Levelling Up Neil O’Brien said: “Private firms issue roughly 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a system of misleading and confusing signage, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees designed to extort money from motorists.

“[Our] new Code of Practice will set out a clear vision with the interests of safe motorists at its heart, while cracking down on the worst offenders.”

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