If you don’t want to use the underground to get into central London, you can choose to drive into the centre of the city instead. As long as you are comfortable with slow moving traffic and crowded roads, you will be absolutely fine.
Most Londoners choose to commute by tube, which means that although car parking comes at a premium in London, you are fairly likely to be able to find yourself a parking space. Remember, you’ll also have to consider the congestion charge if you travel in the charging zone between 7am-6pm Mon-Fri. This charge is £11.50.
Hourly rates of parking spaces make finding the cheapest place to park in central London no easy feat. But this guide will help you to pay less for your parking when you visit central London.
Cheapest Place To Park In Central London
There are several different styles of car parking in London- there is on street parking, off street parking, and private car parks. Each type of parking is priced differently, and some is more expensive than others.
Is there free parking in London?
The answer is, yes! Sometimes you can park for free in central London when you use on-street parking spaces. There are some residential streets in outer London that have no parking restrictions at all. Check out the Find Free Parking website to help find somewhere to park without spending any money at all.
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On Street Parking In London
In London residents will often pay an annual fee to park their cars on the street outside their homes (not many Londoners have the luxury of a garage!) These zones are called Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs).
However, there are also certain times of the day, and times of the week where non-residents who do not hold a permit are allowed to park there. For free! In this case, CPZs are perhaps the cheapest place to park in central London.
The downside of Controlled Parking Zones is that there are time restrictions- which change often. Usually, parking for non-residents is allowed for a few hours during the evening, with all day parking available on a Sunday.
Check in advance to see when non-residents are allowed to park in the CPZ nearest to your destination, and see if you can park for free! Use the appyway app and check out their kerbside maps to plan your journey.
How Much Is A Parking Ticket In London?
You don’t want to undo all of your hard working finding the cheapest place to park in central London by getting a parking ticket. A parking ticket can cost between £80- £130. Definitely something to avoid!
Avoid getting a parking ticket when using on street parking by reading all signs carefully and checking the times in which you are able to park in the area.
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How Much Does It Cost To Park In Central London?
The price of parking in central London varies massively between areas. As you can expect, in popular areas such as Hyde Park or Soho, you might pay up to £4.90 per hour for a parking space. However, there are ways around this to bring the cost down.
Off Street Parking In London
Central London offers several different off street car parks. These car parks are all operated by the City Of London council. Their website has a comprehensive list of the off street parking car parks that operate in Central London.
They are good value, and you can often book your car parking in advance. You are usually charged by the hour, but some car parks also offer season tickets which you could use to make a saving if you regularly commute into central London by car.
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Private Car Parks
NCP (National Car Parks) is the biggest private car park operator in the UK, and they have over 100 car parks in central London. NCP offers a 24/7 service and offers discounted prices at the weekend on central London car parks when you pre-book.
NCP currently has cark parks in London which charge a maximum of £5 for up to 24 hours of parking- a real bargain compared to other parking options! Take a look at their website to view a map of their car parks in central London.
You could also use a website like Parkopedia to find out how many spaces a car park might have available, and the cost of parking there.
Park In Someone’s Drive or Garage
Another private parking option is to park in someone’s drive or garage- with their permission! Many homeowners advertise their parking spaces on a website called JustPark. This can sometimes be even cheaper than using an NCP car park.
If you’re going to a concert or football match, this could be a great idea as the spaces advertised are likely to be in residential areas.
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Park and Ride London
Many of the cheapest car parks in London are located out of zone 1- at tube stations. They are usually cheaper than other private car park providers and you won’t pay that hefty £11.50 congestion charge. The journey into central London is likely to be quick- and you’ll also avoid that heavy central London traffic.
NCP also manage the tube station car parks on behalf of TFL (Transport For London). Again, you can search their website to find tube station car parks near to your destination. They are marked as ‘LUL’ on the website.
Most tube station car parks charge around £4–7 per day Mon–Fri, £2–£3 Sat and £1–2 Sun. Tube station car parks are usually quite secure compared to on street parking, and are likely to have CCTV.
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So in conclusion, if you are trying to find the cheapest place to park in central London, you are best looking at free on-street parking spaces close to your location. After all- who doesn’t want to pay absolutely nothing to park their car?!
Alternatively, if you are able to get on the tube for a couple of stops, you might be best parking at a (non-zone 1) tube station and then getting the underground for the final leg of your journey. You’re likely to pay less AND you’ll avoid the congestion charge.
For more hints and tips about how to save money in London, follow along on Instagram @thriftylondoner.