The UK's most expensive parking permits - Select Car Leasing
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The UK's most expensive parking permits

With more than 2.3 million vehicles registered in the UK, and nearly 25% of vehicle owners not having access to driveways, on-street residential parking permits can be lucrative for councils. But which councils charge the most for on-street parking?

Here at Select Car Leasing we wanted to find out, so we sent an FOI (Freedom Of Information) request to councils across the UK to discover which authorities were charging what - with huge price differences seen between areas. 

We also learned which permits have increased in cost the most, and which have actually been reduced in price over the last 10 years. 

The figures given are for the most someone can pay for a one-year parking permit within an area controlled by the council. 

And it's important to note that many of the councils' parking permit prices are based on how polluting someone's car might be, according to CO2 emissions. 

Most Expensive Parking Permits in the UK

With a maximum price of £860, the London Borough of Islington represents the most expensive parking permit in the UK. And it's a permit that has actually increased in price by 271% in the last 10 years - up from £232 in 2013. 

Manchester City Council is second in our most expensive run-down, with a maximum permit cost of £750 in the city centre. 

The City of Edinburgh is ranked third most pricey, with a maximum permit cost of £580. That's setting residents back 56% more than they paid in 2013, when the maximum permit fee was £209.

Our remaining councils from the 10 most expensive areas are Stroud, Gloucestershire (£550), Bournemouth, (£485), Stirling (£471), Enfield, London (£395), Haringey, London (£379), Hackney, London (£376).

Biggest Increase in Parking Permit Cost Over the Last 10 Years

With recent council tax increases in many areas across the UK, it’s unsurprising the cost of parking permits has also escalated.

Some councils have chosen to hike permit fees in a far steeper fashion than inflation. In Doncaster, South Yorkshire, for example, the most expensive yearly permit is a relatively affordable £27 -  yet it's still a 440% increase from the £5 the council charged for the same permit in 2013.

With a 356% increase in price, Solihull, West Midlands, has increased parking permits from £25 in 2013 to £114 in 2023.

Four London councils have seen some of the biggest permit cost increases in 10 years; Croydon has lifted the price of a permit by 295% to £300, Islington has swollen permit prices by 271% to £860, Enfield council's permit costs have shot up 229% to £395, and permits in Sutton have soared by 200% to £150. 

From August 2023, all of these boroughs will be within London's new ULEZ expansion zone, where people are expected to pay an additional £12.50 a day to drive within the area, on top of the cost of a parking permit.

Areas with the Biggest Savings in Parking Permit Costs

There are two councils that have scrapped permit costs all together. These are the New Forest, Hampshire, which charged £25 in 2013, and Thurrock Council, Essex, which charged £23 in 2013.

Two London boroughs have permits that have decreased in price, with Brent boasting the best cost savings from £200 in 2013 to £100 in 2023. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has also chosen to decrease the cost of a permit from £200 in 2013 to £173, a saving of £27.


London's Islington has the highest charge for parking permits at £860 a year, although the council with the largest percentage increase is Doncaster, rising by 440% to £27. 

At the other end of the scale, the New Forest and Thurrock Council have scrapped permit costs altogether. 

Looking at our exclusive FOI data, the average UK parking permit costs £107 a year, with most councils charging more for cars that release higher CO2 emissions. That forms part of the government’s Carbon Reduction Policy, which puts more pressure on councils to reduce pollution. 

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024