Parking fines 'hit £30m a month'
More tickets are being issued this year by councils than last year and there has been a 13% rise in fines issued on a Sunday, according to data obtained by LV=.
%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%The car insurer calculated councils have handed out more than 890,000 parking fines per month in 2013 - a 4% increase on 2012 figures - and, b ased on an average amount of £42 per ticket and excluding any successful appeals, drivers are now paying over £30 million each month.
The figures, uncovered by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, found councils across the UK now hand out an average of 162 parking tickets a day, compared with 154 in 2012.
LV= said the busiest parking wardens this year have been 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 was the next busiest, issuing 271 per day.
More than 284,000 tickets were issued by parking wardens on Sundays between January and May this year - up 13% on the same period last year.
A separate survey of 2,034 drivers found the main reasons drivers were issued tickets were because they stayed too long (28%), left their car somewhere they thought they would not need a ticket (25%) or forgot to display a ticket (6%).
John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, said: "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."
LV= sent FOI requests to 434 UK city, district, borough and county councils, of which 183 said they were responsible for parking charges.
Some 61 said they collectively issued 286,160 tickets per month in 2012 and 297,784 tickets each month in 2013.
In order to make the data representative of all councils, the number of tickets issued by the 61 councils who responded was multiplied by three, so that it was equivalent to the 183 councils who are responsible for parking.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "This new research is more evidence that drivers are being ripped off by unfair and confusing municipal parking policies.
"Over-zealous enforcement is damaging local high streets and shops, as they lose business to out of town superstores and internet retailing.
"It is a clear abuse of the law that fines have became a cash cow for town hall coffers."