Councils still raking it in on rip-off parking fees
By Kyle Linsay
Friday, April 10, 2015 - 11:20
Pay and display
Drivers rage: ‘If your machines won’t give change, at least make the charges round figures’
Some local councils are still raking in tens of thousands of pound every year by continuing to use parking ticket machines and meters that don’t give change.
It’s an issue that annoys drivers up and down the country, despite there being viable alternatives available to car park operators, a national car leasing company says.
According to Flexed.co.uk, some motorists are accusing their local authorities of deliberately setting parking fees to awkward amounts per hour, making it all the more likely that they pull in more money than has actually been paid for.
“When you stand back and think about it, it’s a proper rip-off,” says Flexed.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall. “It’s maddening when they charge an odd figure like 60p for an hour’s parking, knowing full well that most drivers will probably only have a pound coin. Those extra 40p charges soon add up.”
And they do – according to a report last year, local authorities raise up to £10 million annually by not giving change from parking machines. According to the Daily Mail, Wiltshire Council came out top, overcharging to the tune of £723,000 in 2013.
“It’s truly irritating for drivers and a real source of frustration. One of our staff has got to the point where he researches council car parks on the internet before he drives anywhere, and puts aside the right change, just in case. It’s crazy, you shouldn’t have to do that.” continued Mr Hall.
“Many people think there’s a war on motorists conducted by governments and local councils,” says Hall. “And the fact that so many authorities are ripping off drivers like this makes them believe it to be true.”