The spiralling cost of parking outside your house: Resident parking permit prices up 51% in five years - and the most expensive aren't in London

  • Average permit price is £64 a year, but some pay 10 times that amount 
  • Residents in Birmingham face the steepest annual permit charge
  • Most expensive parking permit is £785 a year in the second city
  • Manchester and Edinburgh councils also charge more than the priciest London borough of Islington

UK councils have increased the cost of resident parking permits by an average of 51 per cent since 2011, according to new research revealed on Monday.

An investigation by car insurance firm Esure revealed the figures along with details that more than half of local authorities have expanded the number of parking zones which require payment in the past two years.

And it's not Londoners who are being charged the most by councils - a resident permit in part of Birmingham costs a staggering £785, which is £245 more expensive than the steepest London price. 

Permit price hike: The cost of a resident parking permit has increased 51 per cent, according to insurer Esure with some drivers having to fork out more than 10 times the national average

Esure's study found that the average cost of an annual permit is £64.

However, as the table of the top 10 most expensive permit prices shows below, some motorists are having to pay more than 10 times that amount.

Despite the revelation - and accusations that councils are cashing in -  the Local Government Association insisted they are 'on the side of motorists' and have to balance the requirements of residents and commuters.

Of the 222 local councils that responded to Esure's Freedom of Information request, Birmingham City Council was found to have some of the most expensive permits followed by Manchester City Council (£750), City of Edinburgh Council (£600). 

These are imposed on limited parts of the city centres of each. 

Birmingham's charge covers the Inner Zone area, outside of the city centre permit charges drop to £16 for the first per household.

The priciest permit in Manchester is for Zone 3, C2 in the city centre while Edinburgh's most epxneisve is in Zones 1 to 4 for cars emitting 226g/km CO2 and more.

Not only is Birmingham's most expensive Inner Zone resident permit the steepest in the country, you can only use it at limited times

The most expensive London Borough is Islington (£545). It grades its permits on CO2 emissions but hit the headlines last year when it then added an extra £96 diesel surcharge on top for all diesel cars, despite these tending to have the lowest C02 emissions.  

Figures released by councils also showed they received more than £44 million from residential permits in 2014/15 alone.


1. Birmingham City Council: £785

2. Manchester City Council: £750

3. City of Edinburgh Council: £600

4. London Borough of Islington: £545

5. Mid Devon District Council: £425

6. Purbeck District Council: £372

7. Mole Valley Council, Surrey: £350

8. London Borough of Croydon: £305

9. London Borough of Brent: £302

10. Huntingdonshire District Council: £300 

Jon Wilshire, chief underwriting officer at Esure, said: 'Some motorists are paying hundreds of pounds simply to park their car near their home.

'And to make things worse even with a residential parking permit many drivers still find it difficult to find a parking space.

'Over the past two decades the number of vehicles on the road in Britain increased by 10 million but the space available for parking in residential areas has not increased.'

Councils have also been heavily criticised for running all-day restrictions, or imposing them for lengthy parts of the day, when critics say a couple of hours during the middle of the day is enough to stop most commuters. 

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said many drivers see the charges as a 'stealth tax on people who have no choice other than to pay'.

He added: 'The law is crystal clear - on-street parking charges should be set to manage congestion, not to raise revenue.'

The Local Government Association said councils are 'on the side of motorists' but admitted struggling to balancing the requirements of commuters and residents 

The LGA's transport spokesman, Peter Box, said: 'Councils are on the side of motorists but this survey highlights the difficulties they face in balancing the requirements of commuters and residents.

'Councils often introduce restrictions at residents' request and consult widely on them, but in some places there simply is not enough road space or parking space to accommodate demand.' 

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: 'This Government is standing up for local shops and residents and stopping drivers being treated as cash cows.

'We have introduced new measures that mean taxpayers will be able to see how much their council is charging, how much they are making and how that money is being used.

'It's part of wider efforts to put residents back in the driving seat so they can see first-hand how well their council is performing.'