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UK’s Most Expensive Parking Permits Revealed

Daily Express

Manchester and Edinburgh have been outed as the UK’s most expensive places, outside of London, to get a residents’ parking permit.   


On-street parking permits make it easier for locals to park overnight, and at weekends, in the area they live without getting a parking ticket. 


But the problem for many motorists is that there are no hard and fast rules about how much a council can charge, with fees varying wildly from authority to authority.  


Many councils also demand more cash depending on the sort of vehicle you drive – with the most polluting cars and vans falling foul of emissions-based parking charges.  

And with parking permits proving a lucrative money-spinner for many councils, a new Freedom of Information (FOI) request from leading vehicle leasing specialists Select Car Leasing has uncovered just how much some councils are demanding per year.  


The leafy north London borough of Islington tops the blacklist, with the most expensive annual permit costing £860 per year – to park on the street outside your own home.  


The most expensive parking permit available from Manchester City Council weighs in at £750 per year - for a so-called 'C2' pass in the city centre – which puts Manchester in runner-up place.  


Scotland’s capital Edinburgh is third most expensive in the UK, with the most eye-watering residents’ parking permit there costing £580 annually. 


That’s almost SIX times as expensive as the UK average permit price, which is £107. 


Meanwhile South Hams District Council – an area in south west Devon that covers idyllic locations such as Salcombe and Totnes – is the fourth most expensive place in the UK to live and park, with annual permits costing a maximum of £576.  


The remaining councils shamed in the Top 10 most expensive areas list are Stroud, Gloucestershire (£550), Bournemouth (£485), Stirling (£471), Enfield, London (£395), Haringey, London (£379), and Hackney, London (£376). 

Graham Conway, Managing Director at Select Car Leasing, commented: 


“For many residents, particularly those on low incomes, the additional cost of securing a yearly parking permit can be a significant financial burden, particularly in the midst of a cost of living crisis.  


“While councils argue that costly permits are necessary to fund local services, to maintain the travel infrastructure, and to act as a clean air initiative, the vast majority of residents see such high prices as simply a cash cow, as they’re beaten into a corner for wishing to park on the street outside their property.  


“And when you consider that some councils charge more than the cost of a Premier League season ticket, you’re left to wonder whether residents are being short-changed.  


“Ultimately, any decision by a council to increase parking permit fees in the future must be made with careful consideration of the needs and concerns of residents and the potential impact on the community.” 

It follows a recent study which revealed the London Borough of Islington had also issued the largest number of parking fines of any local authority in the UK – dishing out an average of 1,012 tickets each and every day. This number could increase even further as the London borough is planning to impose traffic restrictions on 70% of its roads.  


In Edinburgh residents are charged £580 – 56% higher than in 2013 (£209). 

This follows news of Edinburgh’s decision to introduce six new parking zones across the city – with residents who live in these areas required to pay for a permit for the use of on-street parking.  


Those caught not abiding by the new zone rules could now see themselves charged £100 as Edinburgh City Council has also increased the cost of its parking fines.  


Further analysis of Select Car Leasing’s data revealed Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (South Yorkshire) has increased the cost of its permits by 440% in the space of ten years, going from just £5 a year in 2013 to £27 annually now.  


Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (West Midlands) follows with the second-highest percentage increase in parking permits (356%). Residents are now expected to spend £114 on an annual parking permit instead of £25 in 2013.  


Alongside Islington, three other London boroughs have seen some of the biggest increases in the cost of a parking permit over the last 10 years.  


Croydon has increased permit prices by 295% to £300, Islington has hiked costs by 271% to £860, a permit in Enfield has gone up 229% to £395, and Sutton has increased permits by 200% to £150.  


From August 2023 all four of those boroughs will be within the new ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) expansion, where people are expected to pay an additional £12.50 a day to drive within the zone on top of the cost of a parking permit.  


At the other end of the scale, New Forest District Council (Hampshire) and Thurrock Council (Essex) are among the only local authorities that have reduced their parking permit rates to £0 over the last 10 years.  


To view the full study, click here 

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