Jaw-dropping cost of UK’s parking ranked and where drivers get the best deals

The office search agency Sketch Labs has found that parking in London now costs, on average, as much as a weekly shop.

As more employees return to their offices following the COVID-19 pandemic, many are facing higher parking charges than before, with motorists in the capital facing the highest fees.

Mark Knops, CEO of Sketch Laps advised that, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to affect motorists, more schemes utilising public transport should be set up.

He explained: “The high cost of parking in London and Birmingham is a significant burden for workers and could discourage them from returning to the office altogether.

“In order to reduce the cost of parking, the government and businesses need to work together to introduce schemes to make it easier for people to walk, cycle, or take public transport to work.”

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According to Sketch Lab, the most expensive city to park in is London, where parking typically costs £6.05 per hour.

As a result, if a full-time employee uses a public car park each day, they would be charged £5,102 per year, just £241 less than the average annual food bill in the city.

Whilst residents in London are typically paid more to compensate the higher cost of living, the figures show that the average employee in the capital pays 13 percent of their wages on car parking.

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Birmingham was second highest on the list, with parking typically costing £3.25 per hour, whilst in Manchester motorists are charged on average £3.00 for every hour parked.

Nevertheless, the company noted that some cities in the UK have considerably more affordable car parking, with drivers in Coventry and Bradford often paying £2.60 per hour.

Nevertheless, Sketch Lab noted that full-time employees who using public parking are still being charged eight percent of the average salary for the area.


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Looking for ways to save thousands on their parking bills, Sketch Lab highlighted that there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of employees Googling the phrase ‘cheap city parking’.

However, Mark suggested that employers should be taking action by helping to fund parking or offering schemes that encourage employees who do not commute by car.

He added: “Businesses could also offer financial assistance to their employees to help them cover the cost of parking, or offer alternative commuting options, such as vanpooling or carpooling.”

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