The councils raking in up to £10m a year in parking fines

Local authorities are making an average of £850,000 a year from parking tickets, with the biggest-earning councils raking in as much as £10 million.

Councils around the country issue an average of 63 parking charges a day but in the busiest authority - London’s Borough of Newham - the figure is 10 times that, with a staggering 239,000 tickets issued a year.

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With drivers charged an average of £44.46 per offence, that sees the council earn £10.6m a year, the most of any authority in the UK.

London boroughs dominate the list of councils that make the most from parking charges but outside the capital other authorities are still making as much as £5.5m from motorists caught in the wrong spot.

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Outside London, Glasgow makes the most from parking charges. Between August 2019 and July 2020 it issued 104,938 tickets worth £5.48m. Behind it Birmingham (£3.95m) and Brighton and Hove (£2.93m) councils made the most, issuing 112,000 and 106,000 tickets respectively.

10 councils with highest parking charge earnings, excluding London

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Council PCN's issued Total revenue Average fine Location with highest number
City of Glasgow 104,938 £5,484,781.03 £52.27 Wellington Street
Birmingham City Council 112,735 £3,951,065.00 £35.05 Alum Rock Road
Brighton and Hove City Council 106,037 £2,835,025.64 £26.74 Madeira Drive
Liverpool City Council   63,831 £2,495,815.00 £39.10 Mount Pleasant Car Park
East Sussex County Council   42,531 £2,029,072.00 £47.71 High Street, Lewes
Newcastle upon Tyne City Council   59,013 £1,880,248.91 £31.86 Dean Street Multi Story
Medway Council   64,648 £1,577,274.29 £24.40 Blue Boar Lane Car Park
Bournemouth Borough Council   57,118 £1,544,610.00 £27.04 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth
Cardiff Council   49,781 £1,489,450.00 £29.92 Windsor Place, Cardiff City Centre
Oxfordshire County Council   42,525 £1,411,739.00 £33.20 St Giles, Oxford

A Freedom of Information request by ComparetheMarket found that drivers pay an average fine of £37 each time they are caught but that the actual cost of a ticket varies significantly between authorities. Medway Council charges an average of less than £25 but in the London Borough of Haringey the average ticket costs a driver £72. Gosport Borough Council and Durham County Council issued the next highest fines at £66.25, and £57.93 on average respectively.

Dan Hutson, head of motor at said: “Parking fine revenues are a cash cow for many local authorities. Up and down the country drivers are regularly being caught out by tight parking restrictions. With the third lockdown now in place, we would encourage drivers to take extra care and attention when parking up their car to ensure they avoid a parking fine.”

Top 10 London local authorities for parking charges

Council PCN's issued Total revenue Average fine Location with highest number
London Borough of Newham 239,000 £10,625,600.00 £44.46 Browning Road
London Borough of Haringey 137,415 £9,898,840.00 £72.04 High Road N17
London Borough of Ealing 157,759 £8,372,318.20 £53.07 Longfield Avenue/New Broadway
London Borough of Redbridge 132,084 £6,484,034.21 £49.09 Ilford Lane
London Borough of Enfield 131,820 £6,071,032.00 £46.06 Montagu Road/Conduit Lane
London Borough of Lambeth 121,895 £6,023,222.76 £49.41 Acre Lane
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham 117,098 £5,570,366.00 £47.57 Macfarlane Road
London Borough of Islington 132,582 £5,479,328.00 £41.33 St John Street
London Borough of Brent 105,986 £4,662,650.00 £43.99 Kingsbury Road
London Borough of Bexley 129,667 £4,361,000.00 £33.63 Bellegrove Road, Welling