UK councils have increased the cost of residents’ parking permits by an average of 51 per cent since 2011, according to new research.
An investigation by car insurance firm Esure also revealed that more than half (54 per cent) of local authorities have expanded the number of parking zones which require payment in the past two years.
The study revealed the average cost of an annual permit is £64, but some motorists pay more than 10 times that amount.
The Local Government Association (LGA) insisted that councils are “on the side of motorists” and have to balance the requirements of residents and commuters.
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Birmingham City Council was found to have some permits costing £785 - the most expensive in the country.
This was followed by Manchester City Council (£750), City of Edinburgh Council (£600) and London Borough of Islington (£545).
Figures released by councils in response to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests from Esure show they received more than £44 million from residential permits in 2014/15
Jon Wilshire, chief underwriting officer at Esure, said: “Some motorists are paying hundreds of pounds simply to park their car near their home. READ MORE: Support for Remain strengthening in Scotland, new poll shows
“And to make things worse even with a residential parking permit many drivers still find it difficult to find a parking space.
“Over the past two decades the number of vehicles on the road in Britain increased by 10 million but the space available for parking in residential areas has not increased.”
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said many drivers see the charges as a “stealth tax on people who have no choice other than to pay”.
He added: “The law is crystal clear - on-street parking charges should be set to manage congestion, not to raise revenue.”
The LGA’s transport spokesman, Peter Box, said: “Councils are on the side of motorists but this survey highlights the difficulties they face in balancing the requirements of commuters and residents.
“Councils often introduce restrictions at residents’ request and consult widely on them, but in some places there simply is not enough road space or parking space to accommodate demand.”
Esure issued FoI requests to 371 UK city, district, borough and county councils. Of these, 222 responded with at least one piece of data.
This is a list of the most expensive parking permits in the UK according to Esure:
1. Birmingham City Council £785
2. Manchester City Council £750
3. City of Edinburgh Council £600
4. London Borough of Islington £545
5. Mid Devon District Council £425
6. Purbeck District Council £372
7. Mole Valley Council, Surrey £350
8. London Borough of Croydon £305
9. London Borough of Brent £302
10. Huntingdonshire District Council £300