New figures show that during the last quarter of 2017, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) passed on record numbers of driver details to private parking firms. In data released by the company itself, it was found that a total of 1,576,593 records were released between October and December 2017 – the highest quarterly total yet announced.
In total, 4.3 million sets of personal details were handed to parking firms in this financial year. The RAC Foundation suggested that figures would rise even higher in 2017-2018, with the DVLA on track to sell nearly 6 million records during that time.
Of that data sold, a staggering 1,530,259 instances of data were sold to just one company – Parking Eye. Other high-hitters were Smart Parking and Euro Car Parks, which purchased over 300,000 instances of driver data each.
With the projected figures for the financial year 2017-18, the DVLA could be set to make around £15 million from selling the data, which it charges parking firms £2.50 each time to access. Penalties issued by private parking firms have soared in number, increasing more than 20 times in the last decade.
Motoring groups have claimed ticketing has reached 'epidemic proportions' and suggestions that operators are using legal but dubious methods to entrap motorists. Drivers complain of poorly signposted regulations, confusing payment machines, and inconsistent appeals processes.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The fact that ticketing has reached such epidemic proportions demonstrates exactly why legislation is needed."