British Parking Association (BPA) revises its Code of Practice


The British Parking Association (BPA) have updated their Code of Practice, which means any driver who enters incorrect number plate details will now be exempt from parking fines.

If you enter a wrong number or letter when keying in your number plate details, you’ll no longer have to pay the fine as the new code will forgive drivers who enter one incorrect character. If you receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) after making such a mistake, the BPA now says that private parking operators must cancel the fine at the first stage of appeal.

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Motorists who enter incorrect reg plate details to be exempt from parking fines. © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

However, if a driver enters more than one character wrongly, this is classed by the BPA as a major keying error and in this instance, private parking operators can deal with the case “appropriately at the first appeal stage, especially if it can be proven that the motorist has paid” for their parking.

Private parking operators have the option to sign up the the BPA, which is a non-profit organisation. Any operator signing up with the BPA must follow their Code of Practice.

A law was passed in March 2019 which allowed the UK Government to introduce its own Parking Code of Practice. This will entail all private parking operators in the UK having to legally follow their code. This code is currently being written and the BPA are involved in the process along with other organisations.

The Government’s new code will also require all private parking operators provide a 10-minute grace period to drivers who return back late to their vehicle. Currently, this is only compulsory with council-run car parks. Extra measures will also be put in place to deal with aggressive and intimidating debt collection practices carried out by some private parking companies, as they will all have to adhere to a single set of compulsory rules.

Any firm who breaks these rules will risk losing their power to gain driver’ details from the DVLA, therefore making it almost impossible for them to implement the fines they hand out.



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