Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups
The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free
Insurance, FX and international movers
The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!
From our tax, investment and FX partners
Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

United Kingdom (UK) - Parking

Parking is always more difficult in large cities. In an attempt to cut down on traffic, some congestion charges have been implemented, but parking areas are still often full. London is particularly difficult with regards to parking. Throughout the United Kingdom, you will find street parking, car parks, garages, and public parking available. If there are any restrictions to parking on the street, a sign will be posted detailing the times at which parking is not allowed in the area. Your regular vehicle may have different limitations than a delivery vehicle. Fines will apply and will vary depending on the parking violation, city, and country.

Street Parking in England and Wales

In England there are either markings on the street itself or on a sign nearby. Signs often read ‘8am-6pm parking only’. Some signs will have a limitation on the time of year you can use that street parking, usually not in summer. Other areas will indicate that you can park your car anytime. You will always see no waiting and parking signs posted where there are restrictions. A double kerb sign indicates no parking/no loading. A single line on a sign is often an indication of prohibited hours. Rush hour times, from 8:00-9:30am and 4:30pm-6:30pm, are usually restricted to no parking on the street. London has restrictions from 8:30-6:30 Monday-Friday and 8:30-1:30 on Saturdays along most of the streets.

If you are able to park on the street there will be a parking meter. This meter will also indicate whether there are any times when you do not have to pay for street parking. With commercial car parks there is a white P sign indicating the park, which will also detail the official opening times and fees. In these car parks there are usually pay and display machines that take cards, cash, or other payment options. Some may be cashless machines. There is also sometimes a mobile phone payment option.

Northern Ireland Parking

In Belfast there are 1660 on-street parking spaces. If you live in or near Lisburn and Newbury there are also some controlled parking zones that require payment. Car parks allow for most of the parking in Northern Ireland cities. There are cashless ticket machines and signs indicating where to pay.

Scotland Parking

On-street parking will require you to pay into a meter. There are also garages, car parks, and park & rides with meters or pay boxes. In some of the car parks there are parking attendants. All parking will be indicated with a parking sign. It is important to pay attention to the signs and any listed restrictions. Edinburgh and Glasgow will have restrictions for on-street parking during the most congested parts of the day.

Parking permits in the United Kingdom

To find out whether a parking permit is available for your local borough or city, contact your local council. The council will provide you with an application, or you can download one from their website. You will need to renew the permit on a monthly basis. If you do not renew your permit it must be sent in, so that someone on the waiting list is able to get a parking permit. London, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Glasgow will have waiting lists for permits. Many locations throughout England will also have waiting lists, including Brighton, Worthing, Croydon, and Chichester.

If there is no waiting list it takes 3-5 days to get your permit. You will need to show proof of residency, address, vehicle, and payment card in order to get the permit. You can print off a temporary permit if there is no waiting list. If there is no waiting list in your area, you may be able to secure the parking permit for up to a year.

Disabled Parking

Disabled parking permits can also be acquired through your local council. These badges are for your car and can be renewed as long as you do not let the expiration date pass. You are required to submit proof of identity, insurance number, a signed photo, proof of residency, and the reason behind your need for the badge.

As long as you have the blue badge International Handicap Parking Permit you can use it in the UK if you are from the US. UK and US badges are reciprocal only if you have the right one.

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

Copyright © 2019 Expat Focus. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use/Privacy Policy. Comments are property of their posters.
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy