Drivers face ‘price hikes’ for car parking before Christmas

Drivers face ‘price hikes’ for car parking before Christmas


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Significant financial constraints are being blamed for councils around the UK increasing their car parking prices by as much as 33 percent. Despite the cost of living crisis hammering drivers, additional motoring costs are causing some to reevaluate their habits. 

New data has found that many councils are struggling to keep car parking fees down during the cost of living crisis. 

Over the past two months, at least 16 councils have either proposed, approved or made live price increases at their town centre car parking spots. 

The moves have generally been driven by the need for councils to combat inflation costs and fight against further budget cuts. 

Price rises vary across the country with many councils either agreeing to increase prices by 20p, or in some more extreme cases, £4. 

According to, Norwich City Council raised its parking fees at its St Andrew’s multi-storey from £6 to £10, if staying for over five hours – representing a staggering 66 percent increase. 

Bath and North East Somerset Council also introduced increased fees at all of its short- and long-stay parking with price rises varying between 10p and £2.10, up 14 percent.

Some councils have also agreed to introduce price increases during the evening, putting further pressure on town centres which are already struggling to survive. 

Harrison Woods, CEO of, warned drivers of the high prices they may see in the coming weeks. 

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He said: “Councils are currently faced with such tight budgets, and the recent Autumn Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, will not have allayed their fears with it looking like they will be getting a real-terms cut when compared to inflation rates which currently stand at 11 percent.  

“I expect many more councils to hike their prices over the coming months as they try to claw back their deficits. 

“Although the rises may seem minimal at first glance, it is another rise the public is being forced to face, especially when every penny counts right now.” 

Town centre shopping levels have been struggling to return to pre-pandemic numbers with experts warning Christmas footfall could remain almost a fifth below 2019 figures.

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During the pandemic, many councils either froze or reduced the cost of their parking and this latest move will potentially deter more shoppers from returning to the struggling high streets.

Mr Woods added that high streets have been under pressure for a long time, and the forecasts don’t look promising for businesses.

“We should be supporting small businesses and enticing people back to our town centres. Unfortunately, these rises could prove to be counter-productive,” he said.

An online parking portal, which allows drivers to register their driveways for rent, has seen over 4,200 drivers signing up for their service in the past three months.

With late-night shopping and sales events already underway, more drivers will be looking to make last-minute purchases before Christmas.

Mr Woods claimed there is more likely to be a space available either in or very close to shopper’s town centres, with the high level of registrations.

He concluded, saying: “More and more shoppers are looking for different ways to save money right now and, with things as tight as they are, pre-booking a spot via the site could help save some valuable cash. 

“If renters are able to offer cheaper alternatives to council parking then the public is booking them up.”

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