UK drivers hit by soaring car-parking costs
Parking charges in the UK have soared in the past six years, with an average increase of 25 per cent across the country*, according to Direct Line Car Insurance.
Those outside the capital have suffered the biggest rise, with motorists in Hertfordshire (Berkhamsted) and in Kent (St Mary’s Bay) facing staggering increases of 90 per cent in charges since 2000.
Despite the recent price hikes outside the capital, Londoners still fork out the most for the privilege of parking their car, with the average cost for two hours in Westminster now at £7.99, closely followed by Islington at £7.32 and Heathrow at £7.01.
However, it’s not just the price of parking that’s costing drivers dearly but the cost of parking fines. In the past two years nearly one in five (17 per cent) motorists have been caught and hit with fines at a total cost of £425 million.
In fact, high parking prices are driving a quarter (24 per cent) of UK motorists to knowingly park illegally, clocking up 5.7 million fines since 2005 at an average cost of £74 per person.
But drivers are not just parking illegally to avoid the costs. Three quarters (75 per cent) of drivers say there just aren’t enough parking spaces for the 32 million drivers in the UK and this lack of space has forced a fifth (22 per cent) to park illegally and risk a parking fine.
Half of drivers (50 per cent) who admitted to trying to avoid parking costs say they do so because parking fees are so extortionate and more than one in 10 (13 per cent) admitted that they can’t afford to pay these costs so will avoid them whatever the consequences.
Motorists who do not pay parking fines can end up in court and subsequently prison.
Emma Holyer, Direct Line’s Motor Spokesperson, said:
“Parking is a bone of contention for most drivers in the UK and our research shows that because of rocketing costs and limited spaces drivers are literally forced to wittingly break the law – and consequently be hit with fines in the process.
“If you are driving into a busy place its worthwhile doing some research to find out about any park and ride schemes or any cheap car parks in advance as it could save you serious money.”
Notes to Editors:
The research was carried out on behalf of Direct Line car insurance by YouGov. A nationally representative sample of 2,468 UK adults were questioned online between 1st to 5th February 2007. Results are weighted to be representative of the UK adult population. YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council.
* Data on the increase in the price of parking in the UK since 2000 was conducted and collated by Ian Betts of Betts Consulting. The figures consist of the weighted average cost of two hours parking for towns and cities where the car parks of five years ago still exist. The figures should be regarded as an indication only.
Top 20 most expensive places to park in the UK
|Places in the UK||Price of two hours parking|
|City of London||£4.82|
|Bowness on Windermere||£3.84|
Top increases in parking charges – across the UK
Price for two hours
Price for two hours
|Berkhamsted||90.8 per cent||£0.10||£1.08|
|St Mary’s Bay||89.3 per cent||£0.17||£1.60|
|Gerrards Cross||87.8 per cent||£0.30||£2.49|
|Waltham Cross||85.1 per cent||£0.50||£3.36|
|Sedgley||83.3 per cent||£0.10||£0.60|
|Tetbury||79.4 per cent||£0.30||£1.46|
|Ware||77 per cent||£0.40||£1.74|
|Ashtead||76.4 per cent||£0.35||£1.51|
|Cranleigh||76.1 per cent||£0.41||£1.74|
|Farnham Common||74.9 per cent||£0.20||£0.80|
|Epping||74.9 per cent||£0.30||£1.20|
|Loughton||74.9 per cent||£0.30||£1.20|
|Ongar||74.9 per cent||£0.30||£1.20|
|Waltham Abbey||74.9 per cent||£0.30||£1.20|
|Hertford||72.3 per cent||£0.60||£2.17|
|Beaconsfield||71.4 per cent||£0.40||£1.40|
|Lytham||71.2 per cent||£0.42||£1.47|
|Cleveleys||69.9 per cent||£0.30||£1.00|
|Fleetwood||69.9 per cent||£0.30||£1.00|
Top 20 cheapest places to park in the UK
|Place in the UK||Price of two hours parking|
For more information, please contact:
RBS Insurance Press Office
Telephone: 0208 285 8682
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