UK drivers to be given 10-minute ‘grace period’ in private car parks before they get a ticket

It will be gradually implemented this year.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 28th June 2024

As part of new legislation that was originally scheduled to debut in 2023, British drivers are set to be given a 10-minute ‘grace period’ before receiving a ticket in private car parks.

Anyone who just missed their cut-off in the past 12 months is about to be fuming but it’s good news all round, we’re sure you can agree.

Picture the scene: rushing back to your car in a race against the clock with a load of shopping from all the way over the other side of town and just praying you get there before the cut-off. We’re sure many of you have been there.

Well, thanks to a review to the code of conduct by the British Parking Association (BPA) and the International Parking Community (IPC), people who have run over their parking period by just a few minutes should no longer have to worry about a fine.

As per an update from the BPA, the aim of this new measure is to “raise standards and deliver greater transparency and consistency for the benefit of motorists.” Private companies have long been accused of using misleading and confusing signs, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees.


So what does the new code actually state? Well, first off, it mandates the aforementioned “10-minute grace period for motorists” parking on private land, which is the most important detail of all.

Furthermore, a new appeals charter has been introduced, meaning that there are now clear parameters for motorists to contest a parking charge; there will also be clear signage to help people navigate parking on private land, and that cap on penalties will still remain at £100 or £60 if paid within 14 days.


The new legislation also hopes to ensure “the protection of the most vulnerable in society, with no decrease to the deterrent for abuse of Blue Badge bays or those who choose to park selfishly, putting their own convenience above the needs or rights of others.”

Both independent bodies have asked for the changes to begin implementing the new guidance from 1 October onwards, with all existing private parking operators required to update by December 2026 at the very latest.

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A raft of changes were initially due to be brought in towards the end of 2023, including the grace period for car parks and fines, and would have also seen the cap for most parking tickets halved to just £50.


However, the AA via Sky News claims that the new policy could still see drivers ripped off because it omits “desperately needed” measures for limits on penalties.

According to the RAC Foundation, at least 9.7 million tickets were issued to drivers by private parking companies in Britain between April and December last year, with an estimated 35,000 fines dished out by operators every day.

The BPA’s Chief Executive, Andrew Pester, said: “We’re delighted to release a single sector Code across our private parking sector. This is a key milestone as we work closely with Government, consumer bodies and others to deliver fairer and more consistent parking standards for motorists. We will continue to push for a positive outcome for all.”

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Featured Images — Caspar Rae (via Unsplash)