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How to:… find parking in London

25th Apr 16, 6:12 pm

Life’s too short for circling and hoping to get lucky on a parking space (not to mention the stress of landing a parking ticket). Here are 10 creative answers to that age old issue of parking in London. The key – as always – is a) a little bit of planning and b) knowing where to look.

  1. Leave the car behind! Perhaps a cheeky answer to the issue, but one of the best things about London is its underground network, so if you have time to plan ahead, aim to park close to a tube station on a line with a direct link to the place you are going. Here is a list of tube station car parks (run by NCP) or combine with one of the solutions below. Save the time you would have spent sitting in central London traffic as well as Congestion Charges.
  1. Free parking: it sounds too good to be true but Appy Parking‘s app with location services shows you the side streets nearby where there may be a free space free. It also shows paid, electric and motorcycle bays as well as car parks and there is a direct link to Streetview so that you know exactly where to find the space.

appy parking logo

  1. Your Parking Space is a great resource not just for London but numerous cities and key locations UK wide. A marketplace of private parking possibilities that can be pre-booked by day, week or month. Some are instant-book, for others send an enquiry. And say ya-boo to traffic wardens.
  1. For West End Shows and Theatre Parking, Q Parks offer a ‘Theatreland Parking Scheme’ with 50% off car parking for up to 24 hours. At the theatre, ask the kiosk staff to validate your paper ticket. Participating car parks are Chinatown, Leicester Square, Marble Arch / Park Lane, Oxford Street, Pimlico, Soho and Trafalgar Square.
  1. Just Park  have joined the dots to connect those who need parking with those who have it going spare. Homeowners, churches, schools, hotels, pubs and commercial car parks offer their empty spaces, and drivers pre-book using a smart online calendar. 70% cheaper than on-street parking.
  1. Council websites – are surprisingly helpful on the matter. If you know the local council in charge of the area you plan to park in, most council websites list the public car parks in their borough. For example, The City of London website lists 8 car parks no more than a mile from the square mile.
  1. Yellow lines – parking on a yellow line (single or double) sometimes-just-sometimes works nicely but is a risky strategy unless you are 100% sure of the rules. Here it is Rule 238 of the Highway code – as clear as mud. In short, check the local signs and unless you’re confident that it’s clear you have parked correctly, and at the right time, drive on.
  1. Ringo Parking –  is taking the UK by storm with its ultra-convenient (award-winning) app and online portal. No more struggling for change and cutting a meeting short to beat it back to the meter before the parking attendant. Instead set up an online account beforehand for easy cashless parking at thousands of UK locations. On the day find a spot with a location number and the Ringo symbol and you’re done with a few clicks from your phone. Plus you can extend the session without having to go back to the car.
  1. Park-up.com shows every car park and on-street parking location in Camden, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, the City, the Royal Parks and Islington as well as boroughs that border the congestion charge zone. It allows you to compare the cost of parking between different streets, and has information on motorcycle parking and disabled bays. App available.
  1. Parkopedia eeks out those cute nifty spaces that perhaps that the masses might miss. A leisure centre or superstore for example that has opened its parking beyond immediate customers. Plus a mobile app with location services to hunt down the nearest spot for you while you’re on the move.

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Another in our ‘Secrets to success’ series.

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