Councils around the UK made more than £255 million from parking penalties last year, with authorities issuing the equivalent of 10 tickets every minute.
One single authority made more than £32m from parking tickets in 2021, as councils around the country handed out 5.2 million penalty charge notices (PCN) for parking infringements.
Drivers caught out in London’s Westminster were charged the most, with the authority making £32.3m - a £6.2m increase on the previous year.
Figures show, overall, parking fine numbers and values jumped in 2021, with councils issuing 400,000 more PCNs and income rising by £20m compared with 2020.
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While Westminster Council made the most money from parking charges, Manchester handed out the most penalties, issuing 341,000 tickets and pushing Westminster into second place.
However, Manchester made less than half of Westminster’s income and the £15.3m it made from PCNs put it in third place behind Kensington and Chelsea (£16.6m) in the income stakes.
Unsurprisingly, London authorities dominated the lists of councils issuing the most fines and making the most money from them.
Six of the 10 councils which issued the most tickets were in the capital, handing out between 125,000 and 274,000 each. With parking fines in London as high as £130, it accounted for more than half (56%) the value of all tickets issued in 2021 and four of the five highest-earning councils were also in the city. Behind Manchester, Islington (£13.7m) and Richmond upon Thames (£9.4m) complete the top five highest-earning councils.
Other cities where drivers were most likely to be hit with a PCN included Nottingham, Brighton & Hove and Winchester, which between them handed out 411,000 tickets for parking violations.
The data obtained from councils by insurer Churchill also revealed that the majority of authorities introduced new parking regulations during 2021. Overall, 63 per cent of councils increased the number of roads with parking restrictions and 29 per cent also implemented new resident parking permit controls in 2021. A total of 80,200 roads across Britain now have some level of restriction in place, 1,200 more than in 2020.
Nicholas Mantel, head of Churchill Motor Insurance, said: “Parking is one of the most stressful aspects of driving, especially for families, who are often stretched for time and who don’t want their car too far from their ultimate destination.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult for motorists in towns and cities across Britain to find spots to park, especially for free, as local authorities seek to reduce congestion and put ever more controls in place.
“The last thing drivers need is to come back to a fine, so it’s vital to double check the parking signs before leaving your car.”