Parking Costs and your Household Budget

Parking costs is what you pay for parking at the street, car parks, parking zones, or park and rides. As per a 2012 report from RAC foundation, the average UK household spends £47 every year on parking.

Parking costs in detail

Parking fees is charged either by local authorities or private operators. Parking costs vary by locality, duration of parking, timing of parking, and in some cases, the environmental-friendliness of the car.

Example 1:

Derby council provides different parking options such as on-street parking, park and ride, residents parking permit, and parking for disabled badge holders. Based on the parking location within the council, the charges start from £2.40 for up to 2 hours to £10.10 for above 5 hours. Rates for parking are lower in the evening between 6 pm to 8 pm. Parking for solo motorcycles is free. The council also offers season tickets for one, three, six and 12 months. A monthly season ticket for railway station area costs £50, and the rate for Chapel Street costs £105. People with disabled badges can get free unlimited parking in certain areas.

Example 2:

The City of Westminster offers an annual resident parking permit. The cost of this permit varies by vehicle type, engine type and whether the car is eco-friendly. The permit costs £141 for engine above 1200 CC, and it costs £100 for engine of 1200 CC and below. For a motorcycle, the cost of the permit is £50 and for eco-friendly vehicles the resident parking permit is free. The council has eight parking zones from A to H. With the resident permit you can park in any one of your designated zones. Within your zone, you can also park at paid-for parking areas in non-peak hours before 9:30 AM and after 5:30 PM.

How to save on parking costs?

You can check apps such as AA Parking and Park-Up to get information on free parking spaces and the cheapest parking options in a particular area. JustPark, an online marketplace for parking, claims to offer up to 50% savings on parking costs.

Parking costs are relatively higher at airports. For example, parking at Heathrow airport can cost £23.60 to £61.60 for 24 hours. You can save on airport parking costs by booking in advance on sites such as Holiday Extras, SkyParkSecure, Airparks and BCP. BCP also offers lower-priced parking in 13 parking locations in Central London such as Chinatown, Trafalgar Square, and Oxford Street.

Use our household budget calculator to see how parking costs relate to your overall household finances.