An airport valet parking firm has apologised to a motorist who found himself fined for illegally parking his car in a bus stop while he was away.
Graeme Philpot left his BMW with Drivefly when flying from Luton Airport on 30 August, returning on 9 September.
He later received a £70 penalty charge notice for being “stopped on a restricted bus stop” on 7 September.
Drivefly said its driver, who stopped the car because he was “hungry”, was at fault and would be disciplined.
The firm said Mr Philpot would be compensated fully and this type of incident had never happened in the past and would not in the future.
Mr Philpot, who lives in Buckingham, said he collected his car at 00:30 BST on 9 September.
About a week later he received a parking ticket from Luton Borough Council together with photographic evidence of his car parked in Chapel Street, Luton, at 17:45 BST on 7 September.
He said he did not check the mileage on collection but added that he “knew something wasn’t right” because “all the pre-set radio stations had been changed”.
Bedfordshire Police said it was investigating the “unauthorised taking of a vehicle between 15:00 BST on 30 August and 00:30 BST on 9 September”.
Naushad Hameed, operations director of Drivefly, said its driver had stopped in the bus stop to buy some food.
“The driver was hungry and without telling anybody stopped and bought some food. He had no authorisation to do this. Our drivers have no authority to use client’s cars in this way,” he said.
“We have apologised. We have told the client he will get a full refund, we will pay the fine and give him a discount for future use of our service.”