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Parking Permit Pains

New research by Churchill Car Insurance reveals a parking windfall for local councils as the number of streets requiring a parking permit rises.

Parking Permit Pains

August, 2019

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A nice little earner

A nice little earner

Charging motorists to park their cars on the street near their homes has become a real money-spinner for local authorities, with analysis by Churchill revealing that UK councils have earned more than £242 million from parking permit sales over the past three years. The study also found that the number of UK roads that require a parking permit has risen in recent years – growing from 42,187 in 2016, to 44,693 in 2018 – an increase of over 2,500.

Regional differences

Regional differences

This earning opportunity clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed by council executives around the country, with local authorities in all regions expanding the network of streets where a paid-for permit is required.

Regions 2016 2018 Change, 2016-2018
South East 6,417 6,713 4.6%
London 6,574 6.604 0.5%
Yorkshire and The Humber 5,790 6,129 5.8%
East of England 5,548 5,971 7.6%
North West 3,723 4,089 9.8%
East Midlands 3,249 3,773 16.1%
South West 2,634 2,814 6.8%
Scotland 2,542 2,684 5.6%
Wales 2,344 2,400 2.4%
North East 2,304 2,396 4.0%
West Midlands 1,060 1,120 5.7%
Total 42,187 44,693 5.9%

As the table shows, residents in the East Midlands have been hit the hardest, with a whopping 16% increase in permit-only roads. Yet it seems some motorists are finally getting fed up with the extra cost of parking, because the number of permit applications has fallen sharply in the past two years, from around 2 million applications in 2016, down to just 1.4 million in 2018.

Typical parking costs

Typical parking costs

The cost of a residential parking permit varies from place to place, with some councils basing costs on cars’ carbon emissions. In Lambeth, for example, a permit for a low-emission car producing less than 100 CO2g/km costs just £35.84 a year, while a permit for a car producing more than 225 CO2g/km costs £306.17. And in Norwich, the cost of a parking permit depends on the car’s length, ranging from £24.60 to £52.80 per year.

Parking options

Parking options

As our roads become ever more crowded, a growing number of motorists are struggling to find parking close to their home, whether that requires a permit or not. So if you can’t park where you’d like to, try to find a space in a well-lit, populated area. Never leave valuables on show inside your vehicle, and always double lock your car, even if you’re leaving it for just a few minutes.

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