“Motorists assume when they pay that it is for the parking and usually have no idea they are being hit by an extra charge”AA president Edmund King
Motorists have to fork out up to 30p in service charges each time they park, and cough up a further 10p for text alerts.
And the AA says that is sending parking costs soaring for the 200,000 people who pay by mobile every day.
If every user paid just 25p extra that would mean the firms rake in £50,000 daily.
AA president Edmund King said: “Motorists assume when they pay that it is for the parking and usually have no idea they are being hit by an extra charge. It is a rip-off.”
GRADY COPPELL/GETTY(Pic: GRADY COPPELL/GETTY )
The fees are often hidden in small print and set by local councils and private operators.
RingGo, which operates in 400 UK areas, has service fees of up to 30p alongside 10p text reminders.
PayByPhone, which is widely used at hospital car parks, has a service charge of up to 20p and 10p texts.
RingGo said many areas had ended service charges, with no extra fee in 25% of transactions. Drivers could opt out of text messages.
Rival PayByPhone said that it displayed its charges clearly, adding: “Text reminders reduce fines issued.”