Four in ten (41%) of drivers believe private companies should not be allowed to issue parking tickets, with more than half (54%) of over 65s saying this.
The Opinium survey of 2000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, a leading provider of Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance, also finds that paying for parking is a major frustration.
Two-fifths (40%) feel it’s unfair that paying by app can be the only option in some car parks. Drivers over 65 are the most likely to feel this way (53%), compared to a quarter (26%) of younger drivers, aged 18 to 34 years.
Parking machines are equally frustrating, with a third (35%) saying they could not make a parking machine work, and a quarter (26%) saying car park pay machines are not fit for purpose.
One in four (25%) drivers also think it’s wrong that there’s a charge for using parking apps, and a seventh (16%) have been unable to pay for a parking ticket using an app as there was no internet connection at the car park.
One in ten drivers (10%) have been fined even after they had paid for parking.
Around 1 in 5 drivers (22%) have received a parking ticket they felt was not fair and a quarter (25%) have challenged a parking fine. A higher proportion of men (13%) have been threatened with legal action for refusing to pay a parking fine compared to women (7%). Young drivers, aged 18 to 34, are most likely to have been threatened with legal action (18%) compared to the UK average of 10%.
Ben Wooltorton, from InsuretheGap, said, “Paying for parking can be incredibly frustrating from not having the correct change and the machine not working, to having to download a parking app and then losing the internet connection. It can feel like a mountain of obstacles, which if you’re in a rush can be horrendously stressful.
“The government is aware that this is minefield for motorists citing a “labyrinthine system of misleading and confusing signage”, particularly from private parking companies, who according to gov.uk issue about 22,000 parking tickets a day.
Motorists are still waiting for the government to publish a Private Parking Code of Practice to govern the activities of private parking companies. In the meantime, motorists need to be vigilant about adhering to parking rules, and if signs are confusing, take timed photographs to prove innocence in case it’s needed.”