SCANDAL OF FEES ON RIP-OFF CAR FINES
GREEDY parking firms are hitting motorists with “processing” fees – on top of their rip off fines.
The admin charges are salt in the wound for drivers facing typical penalties of £60 to £100 for overstaying in privately-run car parks.
Euro Car Parks charges £1.50 to pay online and £ 2.50 for handling a cheque. CP Plus automatically adds a £1.50 “trans- action” fee, while Parking Eye charges drivers for credit card payments – saying it is necessary to cover its business costs.
The RAC says parking companies are buying details of more than 19,000 vehicles a day from the DVLA to chase owners who fail to pay fines.
Euro Car Parks, whose clients include hospitals, supermarkets and shopping centres, obtained 118,000 DVLA records between But Rita has been through far worse. She was in and out of hospital for four weeks after the girls’ birth due to heavy bleeding because one of the placentas was still inside her. Then, when Maiya was five months old, doctors found she was profoundly deaf. The youngster now has a cochlear implant in her right ear and a hearing aid in her left. “But if you met Maiya now, you’d never know,” says her mum. Rita, who was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at 14, suffered acute anxiety after the twins’ births. She said: ‘Now I’m patron of a charity called No Panic and I do phone counselling helping people I don’t know to deal with their anxiety attacks. “The first thing I recommend is exercise to burn off all that surplus adrenaline. And then I suggest meditation.” FOR tour dates see www. legallyblondethemusical.com. April and June. Martyn James, of the consumer complaint website Resolver, said: “If you’ve been hit by a private parking charge, it’s hard enough to swallow, without being hit by yet more charges for the ‘privilege’ of paying it off.
“It’s unfair and highlights why stronger regulation is needed.
“With automatic payment systems, it’s becoming increasingly hard for any business to argue that administration charges are justi- fied. It’s time to end this add on rip-off culture.”
The number of drivers fined up to £100 rose almost two-thirds in a year. The RAC has backed calls by Tory MP Sir Greg Knight for a statutory code that would bar any rogue firms from accessing the DLVA records database.
The British Parking Association said not all operators apply a fee – and credit card surcharges would be banned from next January.
WET WEDDING: Roxy and Ronnie hours before their pool drowning
CASH COW: Private car park