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Where is the Most Expensive City to Park in the UK?

Every car owner and dweller will know that finding suitable parking in the centre of any UK metropolis can be a nightmare, with the charges sometimes high enough to break the bank!
Well, here at HPI Check, we’ve done some research into the UK cities with the most expensive bays and found an easy way for you to put the brakes on pricey city parking! Here’s how we did it and what we found out…
First off, we needed to pick the locations we wanted to focus the research on, we opted for: London, Manchester, Cardiff, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Sunderland.
We then needed to determine the questions we wanted to answer through our research, we decided on the following:

  • How much is parking for one hour in the location?
  • What is this cost on average for a working day? (based on a typical working day of 9-5)
  • On average, how much does the above cost when a person is parking for a week (Mon-Fri), and a month?
  • Does the above change if a person parks slightly outside of a city centre, and, if so, how much different is this?

UK City Parking: The Data
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that our research revealed London was on the top of the list for the most expensive UK city to park in, with an average hourly rate of £9.10. This is a huge contrast to the city with the cheapest average hourly rate – Sunderland, at an average of just 79p per hour.
Let’s take a look at the full list of average hourly parking rates, from the eye-wateringly expensive London to the cheap and cheerful Sunderland:

  • London – £9.10
  • Manchester – £3.18
  • Cardiff – £3.14
  • Leeds – £3.06
  • Glasgow – £2.65
  • Liverpool – £2.59
  • Sheffield – £2.14
  • Newcastle – £1.72
  • Sunderland £0.79

However, when we considered what the above costs looked like when staying for a longer period, and a working day, prices quickly went into triple figures:

  • London – £694.80
  • Leeds – £355.40
  • Cardiff – £327.40
  • Manchester – £302.20
  • Glasgow – £286.60
  • Liverpool – £238.40
  • Newcastle – £223
  • Sheffield – £178
  • Sunderland – £166.40
  • Birmingham – £14820

Parking Outside vs City Centre
So, how can you avoid paying for the expensive city centre parking?  Interestingly, we found that the amount charged for parking dropped drastically when we began looking for spaces located just outside of the city centre.
Based on the data we gathered from twenty car parks in each of our cities for an eight-hour working day, we worked out how much cheaper it would be to park just half a mile to a mile outside of the city centre.
The biggest savings can be made in Manchester, where it’s a staggering 74% cheaper to park outside of the city centre. Finding a spot between 0.6 – 0.9 miles outside of the heart of Manchester would cost you a mere £3.95 a day, compared to £15.11 in the centre. To put this into perspective, just a few extra minutes of walking each day could save you £2,678 over a 12-month period!
Next on the list for potential parking savings are Cardiff and Sunderland, where it’s 68% cheaper to park outside of the city, with yearly savings of £2,652 and £1,358.40 respectively.  Even in Glasgow, where it is only 29% cheaper to park 0.6 – 1.5 miles outside of the city, annual savings on parking amounted to £84 a month, or £1,003.20 per year!

Pick Your City Parking Spot Wisely
With potential yearly savings of over £1000 when you choose a car park located just outside of the city as opposed to one in the heart of the city centre, those extra few minutes of walking each day could save you enough money to pay for a luxury holiday every year.
That’s why it’s well worth doing some research into your city parking spots to find the cheaper places to park up. Just don’t forget to put some suitable walking shoes in your car!