Transport written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to ensure that private parking enforcement companies adhere to regulations pertaining to parking regulation and debt recovery.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) may release vehicle keeper details to parking enforcement companies if they can demonstrate reasonable cause to receive it. To help ensure motorists are treated fairly when any parking charge is pursued, vehicle keeper information is disclosed only to companies that are members of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA). The ATA carries out stringent checks on companies before allowing them to join and monitors compliance of their code of practice that includes an independent appeals process. If a company fails to comply it can be suspended or expelled, during which time no data will be provided to it by the DVLA.

Beyond that, parking on private land is essentially a private contractual arrangement between the car park owner and the motorist. Any ongoing disputes over unpaid parking charges would be pursued as civil matters through the relevant courts. The Government would not be involved.

However, the Government has amended the consumer protection regulations to make it simpler and clearer for consumers to bring their own actions to seek compensation when they have been the victims of misleading or aggressive debt collection practices. The new rights come into force on 1 October 2014 and apply to all types of debt collection including parking on private land.

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