A driver stung with a $72 ''lost ticket'' fee by Auckland Council is not the only one to pay the hefty price for a moment's carelessness.

"Jeremy" was featured in Sideswipe today, saying a night out to the movies had been ruined by the hefty fee he had to pay to leave the Civic car park in the CBD after losing his parking ticket.

His story is the same as one reported last September by the Herald on Sunday.

At the Civic, Victoria St and Downtown sites parkers were being stung $72 for a "lost-ticket fee" even if they have only parked there for a few hours.

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The fee, charged by Auckland Council, is the same as three full days' worth of parking.

Other Auckland carparks operated by private firms such as Wilson, Tournament and SkyCity charge customers the equivalent of a day's casual parking if they can't find their ticket, ranging from $28 to $75.

Watchdogs the AA and Consumer NZ slammed the lost-ticket penalties as "excessive" when approached for comment last year.

Jeremy's story below:

Jeremy parked in the Civic car park the other night, went to a movie. "Never a cheap night out," he writes. "But a good movie is almost mostly worth it. But we won't be parking there again anytime soon because I lost my parking ticket. In the past I have paid a $25 fee grudgingly in the same situation. I can understand it costing something for a parking assistant to check a camera to verify our time of arrival and issue a ticket to leave the car park.

"This time when we approached the pay station that the ticket was nowhere to be found, I pushed the lost ticket button and was told it would be $72. Cross words were exchanged and we went back up to the Event Cinema in the vain hope of finding the ticket. Didn't happen. In my opinion the fee is extortionate. Why $72? Why not twice that? Or half? There is no reason for the cost of a lost ticket fee."

Auckland Transport replied: "The rate is based on parking for three days at the maximum daily rate and serves as a deterrent to avoid customers deliberately throwing away tickets and claiming they had parked for less time. There was an issue with customers leaving their cars in buildings for several days while they went to the Gulf Islands and claiming their ticket had been lost."