WILTSHIRE Council is raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds’ profit from parking machines that do not give change.
Over the past three years it has made £730,000 – an extra income of a quarter of a million a year.
That was more than any other local authority out of the 79 which responded to freedom of information requests made by a national newspaper.
The AA called it a “scandal” and the Taxpayers’ Alliance said it was “a disgrace”.
AA spokesman Luke Bodet said: “One thing that really irritates drivers is that they have to have the exact change.
“Some car parks provide options to pay by credit card over the phone but these leave older, maybe more vulnerable motorists open to this overcharging scandal.
“These older drivers, and the less well-off, are having to dig in to their pockets to give councils money they don’t deserve.
“This is hard to take, particularly when they are making money hand over fist by giving people parking tickets.”
Taxpayers’ Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Bosses in Wiltshire should hang their heads in shame.
“They are supposed to be serving residents – not the other way round – and these machines need to be replaced as soon as possible.”
Wiltshire says all the money goes to fund “transport initiatives” including subsidies for rural buses to serve those without cars.
A spokesman said: “We give people the option of a variety of methods to pay for tickets to use our car parks.
“If people don’t have the correct change they can pay by debit or credit card via their mobile phone at every car park we run, and to save money, monthly or annual season tickets are available.”