Motorists face residents’ parking permits lottery as prices can wildly vary

11th June 2015


Drivers are facing a postcode lottery when it comes to leaving their cars outside their own homes, as the cost of residential parking permits varies hugely across the UK.

While some councils charge nothing for a permit others charge up to a massive £750 per year according to an analysis from Churchill Car Insurance.

The research found that the issue is exacerbated by the findings that 62% of local councils now issue parking permits to residents, whilst the remaining 38% do not.

Of those that do issue permits, almost one in three, at 29%, have a range of charges and just 15% offer free annual parking permits.

Birmingham City Council and Manchester City Council, have the highest parking permit charges amongst councils analysed, billing residents up to £750 annually – more than 12 times the average cost across Britain of £59.17.

Surprisingly, the capital only appears four times in the top rankings of councils charging for residents’ parking permits, with the London Borough of Islington the only borough appearing in the top five.

In comparison, of those councils that charge for parking permits, South Ayrshire Council is the cheapest at just 50p per year.

Responding councils that charge the highest annual parking permit cost

Rank Top 10 councils UK Highest annual parking permit cost
1 Birmingham City Council £750.00
1 Manchester City Council £750.00
3 London Borough of Islington £434.00
4 Mole Valley Council £350.00
5 City of Edinburgh £280.00
6 Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council £275.00
7 London Borough of Hackney £265.00
8 London Borough of Lambeth £260.00
9 City of Glasgow £250.00
9 Sevenoaks District Council £250.00
9 Forest Heath District Council £250.00
12 London Borough of Brent £218.00
13 Mendip District Council £215.00

Source: Churchill Car Insurance, 2015

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, has urged motorists to take parking controls and permits into account when looking to purchase a new vehicle, especially if it is an additional one.

He noted also that some councils do not charge for replacement permits if one is lost or stolen, such as Dundee City Council. Others charge, for instance Derbyshire Dales charges £60 for replacements.

Barrett said: “Zone tariffs are another variable factor when looking at charges, for instance Birmingham City Council is £16 for a permit covering parking zones outside of the city centre and £750 for a permit covering the inner zone of the city centre.

“Emissions tariffs also play a part in the cost of parking permits; in the London Borough of Islington permits for electric cars are free whereas for cars over 2751cc permits cost £434.”

The study also showed that prices too can increase exponentially for multiple permits; Daventry District Council charges £17 for the first permit, and £288 for each additional permit. The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham charge £60 for the first permit with a ‘greener vehicle’ discount, but would charge £497 for a second permit.

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