The parking permit postcode lottery - and why Birmingham and Manchester trump London by £300

Emma Haslett
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It may be a gas guzzler, but local councilors just see dollar signs... (Source: Getty)

Living in a city and owning a car was always going to be an expensive pursuit - but it turns out the gap between what councils charge residents to park varies wildly.

A study by Churchill Car Insurance has found that while some districts charge nothing for their residents to park, in other areas, it costs several hundred pounds. There are even variations of as must as £100 between areas within a council district.

And while four London boroughs did make it into the 10 most expensive councils for parking, they were trumped by Manchester and Birmingham, which each charge a whopping £750 a year to park in their "inner zones". That's more than 12 times the £59.17 it costs the average resident to park in the UK.

Islington comes second, with a charge of £434 (unless you have an electric car, in which case parking is free), while Mole Valley Council, near Gatwick airport, makes motorists pay £350.

And the amount residents pay for multiple permits varies as well: Daventry charges £17 for the first permit, and £288 for each additional one. Hammersmith & Fulham, meanwhile, charges £60 for the first permit with a "greener vehicle" discount, and £497 for each extra permit.

"Parking permit costs vary considerably across the UK, so we'd urge motorists to factor this in when looking to purchase a new vehicle, especially if it is an additional vehicle," said Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance. No kidding...

The councils where parking costs a small fortune

RankCouncilHighest annual cost of a parking permit
=1.Birmingham City Council£750
=1.Manchester City Council£750
3.London Borough of Islington£434
4.Mole Valley Council£350
5.City of Edinburgh£280
6.Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council£275
7.London Borough of Hackney£265
8.London Borough of Lambeth£260
=9.City of Glasgow£250
=9.Sevenoaks District Council£250
=9.Forest Heath District Council£250
12.London Borough of Brent£218
13.Mendip District Council£215

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