Parking charges may increase because of the cost of adapting parking machines to be compatible with new £1 coins, an expert has warned.
The old £1 coins ceased to be legal tender last night – although many stores, including Tesco, have said they will continue accepting the old coins.
However, the cost for businesses and local councils to switch the parking machines is likely to have cost millions of pounds, meaning that this cost is likely to be passed on to the consumer.
James Daley, managing director of consumer campaign group Fairer Finance, told The Telegraph: “Whichever organisations bear the increased cost of accepting the new £1 coins are likely to pass it on to the consumer, rather than take the hit on its bottom line.”
Across the country, the cost of adapting machines is estimated to have cost over £100million – five times more than the original figure the Royal Mint claimed, although this is not just exclusive to parking.
The British Parking Association (BPA) said the cost of replacing or converting 80,000 machines would cost £50 million, meaning that on average it costs £625 to adapt a machine. It all depends on the age of the machine as to whether the machine could receive a software update, or instead have to be replaced.
A spokesman for the BPA said: “Preparations have gone well across the parking sector and are confident that the majority of parking machines are ready to accept the new £1 coins.”
While the coins are no longer legal tender at most shops, 500 million old coins are still thought to be in circulation. The old coins can be taken to any bank Post Office and be paid into a UK bank account.