Drivers warned they could be fined £1,000 for a frequent mistake in the car park under a 200-year-old law

DRIVERS could be fined £1,000 if they make a simple mistake in a car park, under a 200-year-old law.

Motorists who ask for change at a parking meter have been warned they could be committing an offence.

Motorists could be fined £1,000 "beg" for small change


Motorists could be fined £1,000 for ‘begging’ for loose changePhoto credit: Getty

The Vagrancy Act 1824 prohibits rough sleeping or begging, which may include drivers asking for change in car parks if they don’t have the right coins.

Motorists could be fined £1,000 and even face the possibility of a criminal record for “begging” under the 200-year-old law.

The law was overturned in the House of Commons in early March as critics claim the “cruel and archaic” law criminalizes the homeless.

However, it may still be a while before the law is officially abolished, so drivers should beware.

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Car expert Graham Conway of van leasing company Select Car Leasing said: “There are a handful left bizarre laws in this country drivers have the potential to end up in hot water.

“This includes flying a football team flag from your vehicle and sleeping drunk in the back seat.

“But this has to be one of the strangest. Fortunately, many parking machines now offer the option of paying with an EC or credit card.

“There are also a number of mobile apps that make vehicle reimbursement easy and efficient. But everyone knows at least one parking garage that is behind the times and where you can only pay with coins.

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“In fact, I’d bet the vast majority of drivers still carry some form of loose change in their console pockets in case they get caught.”

But drivers have to be careful more than just this old law. Previous research by Select Car Leasing found that the number of “park dangerously“Criminal offenses are on the rise.

MS10 enforcement notices are issued by authorities for “registering a vehicle in a dangerous position‘, which includes blocking a sidewalk or parking in a blind corner.

The DVLA announced that 411 of these notices were issued in 2019, compared to just 57 in 2016.

Graham said: “Parking is a longstanding bogeyman for many Brits and the situation could be further complicated by a total nationwide ban on sidewalk parking.

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“But while it can be frustrating at times when spaces are tight, it’s always worth taking a few extra minutes to make sure you’re parked legally and safely.”

The Tramp Law was introduced in 1824 when large numbers of soldiers returning from the Napoleonic War were left destitute, but it has been criticized in more recent times.

Rough Sleeping and Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said: “The Vagrancy Act is obsolete and needs to be replaced and so I am pleased to announce that the Government will repeal it entirely.”

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