The driver raised the issue when he realised that the parking charges advertised on a payment machine in Friar Street were lower than those for the RingGo app.
He parked his grey Hyundai in Friar Street for 20 minutes to pick up his partner and food when he noticed the disparity.
While the car parking payment machine states that the charge to park for 20 minutes is 90p, the driver ended up paying £1.30, a 40p premium on paying using coins.
The driver said: “The parking payments in Reading by RingGo are above the displayed prices.
“So if paid in cash it’s correct but we are being ripped off in the app. I raised it with the council who said it was on me to fix it with RingGo and not them, which owns the contract and relationship.
“I parked there as I was picking up my partner from central Reading, then grabbed some food from my favourite restaurant. This is where I noticed the price difference.
“Although I now wonder if more of their parking locations are also affected.
“I use the parking a lot and always use Ringgo as I never carry cash, so I’m wondering if I’ve been overcharged a lot more than I was meant to.”
The driver’s complaint has been raised to Reading Borough Council. A spokesperson stated that there is a disparity as RingGo charges for its service and additional reminders to users that it provides.
The spokesperson said: “There is an additional 20p fee associated with each RingGo transaction.
“This additional charge varies, but is commonplace in other parts of the country which make use of parking app services and the fee pays for the provision of the RingGo service.
“In this instance, the user has additionally opted in for two separate SMS alerts – one confirming the booking and one warning him of the expiry of his parking. Ringo charges 10p for each SMS opted into by the driver.
“All additional charges – including the transaction fee and SMS messages – can be seen on screen by the user prior to booking.
“Motorists retain the option of paying by cash rather than app if that is their preference.”
The RingGo payment service for parking in Reading was introduced around December 2015-January 2016 after a decision by the council’s traffic management sub-committee.
At the time, it was made clear that the price of using the service is 20p plus VAT, which is passed onto the driver.
According to the council’s Annual Parking Service report 2021/22, the most recent one available, 57 per cent of payments processed are via the RingGo app, with 43 per cent of payments being made by cash.