Friday, 24 May 2013

Parking Companies suck £millions out of the economy

A recent FOI request gives an idea of the scale of the parking industry.

The parking companies need to write to you to get you to pay up, and so they ask the DVLA for your address. Between 01/04/12 and 31/03/13 parking companies made 1,897,572 electronic requests for your data. There were also 319,739 paper requests, but not all of these were made by parking companies.

You will have to allow allow me some guesswork from now on. If anyone has references for better statistics or figures, please get in touch. Also, if you hate maths, just skip down to the next heading!

Let's assume that half of the paper requests were from parking companies. That makes 159869, giving a grand total of 2057441 requests. Each request is for one parking charge - you are not allowed to lump them together.

Now, not everybody knows that private parking tickets are largely unenforceable. Let's estimate that about 40% of people pay up; thats a total of 822976. How much money does that equate to?

The BPA suggest a maximum parking charge should be £100. Surprise surprise, most parking companies therefore make their parking charge £100. They have to give a 40% discount for early payment, making £60. However, they can also add on money for late payment. Highview parking, for instance, add on another £40 if you pay after 28 days. I have no idea how many people pay at each stage, so lets assume it's equally spread out, and that the average payment is £100. If anyone has better figures, please get in touch.

An average payment of £100 x 822976 gives us £82,297,600.

But wait! There's more. Some people pay up even before the parking company asks the DVLA for their details; they see the yellow sticker on their window, panic and cough up. Let's guess that an extra 10% of people do this, or 82,297. They paid early, so the cost to them is £60, or a total of £3,291,880.

Adding that all together, we get £85,589,480

How much?

Yes, that's right. Parking companies leach an estimated amount of £85,589,480 out of the economy each year.

This is dead money. It doesn't provide anything useful; we all got along perfectly well before these companies existed, using systems such as barrier controls and the like. Moreover, this money comes predominantly out of the pockets of the poorer members of society; pensioners, disabled people and low paid workers. This is because these are the most likely people to cave in to the demands of the parking companies.

This money is sucked from their pockets into the directors and shareholders of the parking companies, financing their yachts, cars, foreign villas and so on. When the economy is struggling, such as now, this money would be far better off back in the pockets of the people it actually belongs to. Everybody is struggling right now to make ends meet, and a huge parking bill can mean serious difficulty for some people. Not having money causes lack of consumer confidence, causing lack of spending on other things, which depresses the economy leading to depression.

More than eighty five million pounds a year is being sucked out of the economy right now by the parking companies, money the country could really use to help get us back on our feet.

It gets worse. The parking companies would really rather we all paid up. if that happened, that would take the bill to £193,049,080 - nearly two hundred million pounds a year! And the parking companies are expanding their operations, placing ANPR cameras in more and more car parks.

Would you be happy to see two hundred million pounds a year leached from the economy? Or even eighty-five million? Well, luckily most parking charges are not enforceable. If you have a ticket and want to fight it, hop over to parking cowboys, pepipoo or moneysavingexpert for free advice.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

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