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On-street parking: comparison of prices in Controlled Parking Zones around the world

PicodiDecember 15, 2021

Most likely, no city in the world would be able to provide free parking for everyone. In places with high demand but a small number of parking spaces, city authorities introduce limited and controlled parking zones.

Picodi.com analysts checked how much it costs to park a car in 48 capitals and large cities around the world, and what the discounts are for residents of these zones.

In this comparison, we took a closer look at the cost of one hour of on-street parking on a working day in areas with controlled parking zones, and annual permits dedicated to residents of these areas. For the maximum amount of the residents permits we took the price for the average emission car in the UK which is 170 g / km.

Cost of one hour of parking

Among the cities included in this study, the capital of the United Kingdom is the most expensive. One hour of parking in Greater London can cost up to €9.9. In Amsterdam, you pay 7.5 € for parking in the very centre, and in the Norwegian capital, Oslo—€7.5 as well.

The hourly rate may vary depending on the demand for parking spaces in a given location. Usually, the further away from the centre, the lower the rate. London is one of the cities where the price differs depending on Borough, street and CO2 emissions. One hour costs from £0 to £8.40 or from €0 to €9.99.

The cheapest city in the ranking is the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, where an hour of parking in the controlled parking zones was priced at just €0.18.

Paid parking in cities around the world

Cost of resident parking permit

People living in controlled parking zones can park without time limits and at more favourable rates, provided they live in the city permanently and pay taxes there.

In 5 of the 48 cities included in this list, residents can leave their car on the street with a parking meter for free if they park near their place of residence e.g. Lisbon, Buenos Aires and Mexico City.

London drivers registered in the controlled parking zone can purchase a resident parking permit for the price that varies between £0 and £236 per year (from €0 to €269), entitling them to park on the street near their residence.

A similar resident permit in Dublin costs from €50 to €400 depending on the zone, in Berlin—10.2 € (regardless of the zone), and the most expensive—in Stockholm (from €357to €1,309), Riga (from €300 to €1,020) and in Amsterdam (€32 to €567).

In 6 out of the 48 examined cities, residents of streets with parking meters do not have any residents’ discount. They have to buy a parking space in the garage, look for a free parking space outside the controlled parking zones or purchase a parking permit under the general terms and conditions. These cities include New York, Kiev, Minsk and Tbilisi.

It is worth mentioning that controlled parking zones rarely cover the entire city. For example, in Warsaw, only 8% of the city’s area is a zone, in Vienna—25%, in Prague—21%, and in Berlin—5%. The only exception is Paris, where the entire city is a zone.

Controlled parking zones in the United Kingdom

We also checked how prices differ in the biggest cities in the UK.

Paid parking in the biggest cities in the UK

For one hour of parking you have to pay the most in London—£8.40 in Greater London. The second city with the most expensive parking is Edinburgh where you have to pay up to £5.30.

On the other hand, people living in Manchester have to pay the most for the residents permit—from £500 to £750 per year. Edinburgh took second place – up to £296 and Glasgow came third with the price of £285 per year. The cheapest annual payment is available in Bradford, Nottingham, Liverpool and Sunderland where the permit is completely free.

Methodology and data sources

This study considers the rates for parking in controlled parking zones on weekdays for a full hour, and the prices of residents’ permits entitling them to unlimited parking in paid zones near their place of residence excluding any discounts, for example, for electric or low-emission car owners, people with disabilities etc. For the maximum amount of the residents permits we took the price for the average emission car in the UK which is 170 g / km.

The prices come from the websites of city councils or units managing controlled parking zones. The list of cities and institutions is available at this link.

The size of the zones in relation to the area of ​​cities was calculated using the Google Earth mapping tool.

The currencies were converted at the average exchange rate from November 2021, according to Google Finance.

Public use

The infographics and statistical data presented in the report can be freely used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, indicating the author of the study (Picodi.com) with a link to this subpage. If you have any questions, please contact us: research@picodi.com.