Parking in London can be difficult, particularly in Central London. If you plan to drive in London, plan ahead by researching car parks near your destination and, if necessary, pre-paying the London Congestion Charge.
There are car parking companies operating in London with properties throughout the city. NCP (National Car Parks) runs about 100 car parks in London. See the NCP website for more information. If you want to plan ahead, visit the Parkopedia website to search for parking spaces at your destination.
Q-Park operates 14 Central London Car Parks, which mostly have secure entrances, customer toilets, free umbrellas and free child buggy hire. You can pre-book your parking in advance and save up to 20% of the standard tariff. To find out more and pre-book parking visit www.q-park.co.uk
In London streets, parking restrictions typically apply between 8.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Saturday. Always check the signs for exact details of parking restrictions in each street. Many of London's roads operate "Pay & Display" schemes, where you'll need to purchase a ticket and display it on the dashboard or windscreen of the vehicle. Some London boroughs operate "phone parking" where you can pay for parking on your mobile phone. However, you usually need to create an account and register a credit or debit card to do this.
If your vehicle is parked in contravention of parking or traffic restrictions, you will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). And in some areas, your vehicle may be clamped. These parking fines and penalties are administered by the London borough in which the offence occurs.
Parking fines are generally between £80 and £130. If the fine is paid within 14 days of issue, a 50 percent discount applies. The fine can usually be paid online, by phone, by post, or in person. For more information contact the relevant London borough.
Parking for Disabled Drivers
The Blue Badge scheme provides a range of parking benefits for eligible disabled people. The Blue Badge scheme operates throughout the UK but in Central London the standard entitlements do not apply.
Blue Badge parking concessions do not apply in the following boroughs: City of Westminster, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Corporation of London and the London Borough of Camden (south of the Euston Road). It is essential to check restrictions in these boroughs. There are Blue Badge parking bays in these areas.
Blue Badge holders can also register to receive a 100 percent discount on the Congestion Charge - find out how to register on the Transport for London website. See the Blue Badge scheme page on the Gov.uk website for further information, including how to apply for a Blue Badge.
NCP, which runs many of Central London's commercial parking areas, offers a small number of disabled spaces in its London car parks. The spaces are charged at full rates. Check the NCP website for details.