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UK drivers stung by £30 million in parking fines every month

Press release: 20/09/2013

  • British motorists pay out over £30 million each month in parking fines
  • 900,000 parking tickets are issued by councils every month - an increase of 4% from 2012
  • The number of parking tickets issued on a Sunday has increased by 13% - more than any other day
  • Alum Rock Road in Birmingham, Cliffe Road in Bradford and Clapham Park Road in Lambeth are some of the roads where most parking tickets are issued on Sundays

Motorists have been hit with even more parking tickets this year compared to last, paying out millions in fines in the process.

According to FOI data, obtained by LV= car insurance, councils have handed out over 890,000 [1] a month this year – up 4% on 2012 figures. Based on an average amount of £42 per ticket and excluding any successful appeals, drivers are now paying out over £30 million [2] in parking fines every month.

Councils across the UK now hand out an average of 162 parking tickets a day, compared to 154 in 2012. So far this year, the busiest parking wardens [3] were in the City of Westminster handing out an average of 1,269 parking fines every day. Outside of London, Birmingham City Council came next handing out 339 a day and Bristol City Council the next busiest issuing 271 per day. At the other end of the scale, motorists in the Moray Council [4] area received the fewest parking tickets averaging less than one ticket a day - 113 in just six months.

While there has been a general increase across all council areas, there has been a significant spike in the number of tickets being issued on Sundays. Over 284,000 tickets were issued by parking wardens on Sundays between January and May this year – up 13% [5] on the same period last year. In Birmingham, Alum Rock Road was where the most tickets were issued on a Sunday, in East Bradford, Cliffe Road received the most tickets on a Sunday, as did Clapham Park Road in Lambeth and Montserrat Road and Bedford Hill in Wandsworth [6].

One of the issues exacerbating the problem is that parking rules differ in each council area and can be confusing for drivers. In a survey among 2,000 motorists, four in 10 (40%) presume the same parking rules apply everywhere. For example, one in five (20%) drivers believe you can park anywhere on a bank holiday but in fact the rules differ from council to council. Likewise, 23% believe it is legal and free to park on a single yellow line anywhere on a Sunday, yet this is only the case in around 20% [7] of council areas.

In the London Borough of Sutton you can park anywhere [8] on a single yellow line on a Sunday or bank holiday but five miles up the road in Croydon the parking rules differ from road to road. Of those drivers who were ticketed over the past five years, one in four (27%) were unaware they were parking illegally as they presumed it was legal to park on a single yellow line anywhere.

According to drivers who have had parking tickets, the main reasons they got tickets are staying too long [9] (28%), leaving their car somewhere they thought they would not need a ticket [10] (25%) or forgetting to display a ticket (6%).

A common complaint among motorists is that signs explaining the parking restrictions are often difficult to locate (11%), difficult to understand (9%) and the road markings are often confusing (8%).

Parking rules vary in each council area and it is easy to get caught out when you don't know the restrictions. Getting a ticket can be very expensive and often take months to reverse. Parking on a Sunday is becoming increasingly difficult and it's easy to get caught out if you don't know the local rules. If in doubt, check the sign explaining the parking restrictions and if you are still unsure try to park somewhere else.

John O'Roarke, Managing Director of LV= car insurance


LV= issued Freedom of Information requests to 434 UK city, district, borough and county councils. Of these 143 responded with at least one piece of data. 289 are either yet to respond, said that they didn't keep the data, or that they were not responsible for parking in their area. The FOI request asked: How many parking tickets has the council given out in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays? The number of parking tickets issued on a single yellow line on a Sunday in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The road name (per council area) where most parking tickets are issued on a Sunday, and on a single yellow line on a Sunday and the number of CEOs working (on average) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Additional research conducted among 2,034 GB adults aged 18+ was conducted in September 2013 by ICM. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at

About LV=

LV= employs 5,700 people and serves over five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.


  1. According to the FOI responses, 183 councils say they are responsible for parking charges. Of these, 61 said they had collectively issued 286,160 tickets a month in 2012 and 297,784 tickets each month in 2013 (a 4% increase). In order to make this representative of all councils the number of tickets issued by the 61 councils who responded was multiplied by three, so that it is equivalent to the 183 councils who are responsible for parking. 286,160 x 3 = 858,480 in 2012 and 297,784 x 3 = 893,353 in 2013. This means that there were 893,353 parking tickets issued by councils per month between January-May in 2013. This compares to 858,480 per month in 2012 and represents a 4% rise.
  2. According to ICM, drivers pay £42 per parking fine on average and 20% of motorists will challenge a parking ticket successfully. 0.20 x 893,353 = 178,671. 893,353 – 178,671 = 714,682. According to FOI data, 893,353 tickets were handed out by councils per month in 2013 and it is estimated that 80% of these were paid by drivers. £42 x 714,682 = £30,016,644.
  3. Otherwise known as Civil Enforcement Officers or CEOs.
  4. Moray Council handed out 113 parking tickets at off-street car parks during January- June 2013.
  5. According to FOI data, there were 252,000 parking tickets issued on Sundays in 2012 during Jan-May and 284,739 issued on Sundays over the same period in 2013. This is representative of all 183 councils. 100 divided by 252,000 x 284,739 = 13%.
  6. Councils were asked to name the road where most parking tickets are issued on a Sunday in their area.
  7. 130 councils responded to this question, 26 of which said it was legal to park on a single yellow line on a Sunday in their area (except loading bays).
  8. Not including loading bays.
  9. According to ICM, 14% of drivers who have received parking tickets got one as they outstayed the free parking time allowed and 14% received one because they bought a ticket but stayed longer than the time allowed on their ticket.
  10. According to ICM, 18% of drivers who have received parking tickets got one as they mistakenly thought they could park there without a ticket and 7% got one as they weren’t sure if they could park there without a ticket and risked it.