"I remember coming to Germany and finding that the local parking fine for no ticket was less than that for 1 hour of parking in Shaftsbury Avenue, London..."
There's a psychological effect at work here. When the initial charges for parking are high and the fines are punitive, you end up resenting getting caught.
Where the initial charges and fines for not paying them are reasonable, you are more likely to accept the responsibility yourself and say "My fault, I mustn't do that again".
Ditto with speeding fines. Affordable fines without threats to your driving licence in the form of points don't create resentment, and you are more likely to accept responsibility yourself. It becomes a matter of pride rather than what you can get away with.
"So far, I have been "lucky", in over 30 years of driving, I have never had a parking fine."
There we go. Something you can be proud of.