The AA has launched a campaign against 'rampant ticketing' by council and private parking enforcers.
It says the launch of the Caught in a Trap campaign comes as many councils 'gear up for a bumper Christmas' of parking fines.
It is calling on the Government to restore the 'principle of deterrence' in the enforcement of parking and moving traffic offences instead of 'harvesting of fines at every opportunity'.
The AA wants first-time offenders in bus lanes and yellow box junctions to be given a warning letter instead of a fine, and says residents should no longer be charged for parking outside their homes.
It says Freedom of Information evidence shows that tourists visiting some of the UK’s top holiday destinations this summer were 'treated like lambs to the slaughter by councils who urged them to visit and then fleeced them for parking fines'.
A sample of 50 councils issued nearly 450,000 parking tickets and took more than £16m in fines.
AA president Edmund King said: 'We acknowledge and welcome the fact that some councils are offering Christmas shoppers periods of free parking.
'However, having raked in millions of pounds in parking fines during the tourist season, we fear many councils and private parking companies will do the same in the run-up to Christmas.'
In response, cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Transport spokesman, said: 'Parking charges not only help to keep the roads clear but keep pedestrians, motorists and cyclists safe and ensure people can park near their homes and local shops.
'If any motorist believes they have been fined unfairly, then they have the right to appeal against it. The fact that over 99% of bus lanes fines are not appealed clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of people who are ticketed accept that they have broken the rules.'