Insider Tips for Exploring UK Cities: Uncover Parking-Friendly Advice

A lot of cities are getting more crowded, and car ownership is increasing - that means finding parking near where you are going is becoming increasingly difficult. But not all is lost! Below we list some insider tips for finding parking no matter where you’re going, or when.


Understanding City Parking Regulations

Each city and area will likely have their own regulations and rules when it comes to publicly available parking spaces. Unless you live in the city in question and are already familiar with those regulations, it can be worthwhile to familiarise yourself with the rules of the place you will be visiting. This is an easy way to minimise the chances of getting a parking ticket and can help your visit be much easier and less stressful.

Finding Convenient Parking Locations

Half the battle when travelling somewhere new is trying to find parking that is not only convenient but also affordable. When it comes to convenience, especially when visiting new cities, understanding the area around your chosen parking space can be very important – for example, is access only via a one-way system that means you must go a long way around to get in or out? Is it on a steep hill that requires some quick thinking with the handbrake? Or maybe the space has a time limit that is too short for you.Consider all elements of the location before parking to avoid any unnecessary challenges to your trip.

Utilising Off-Peak Parking Opportunities

Understanding what peak means for different locations is key to being able to utilise them during off-peak moments. For cities, weekdays around train stations would be classed as peak - the commuter crowd that drives in and needs parking nearby for most of the day. On weekends, if you’re going somewhere like Brighton and it’s a sunny summer day, you may find it harder to find parking than during a rainy weekday. It’s worth looking up if there are any events (concerts or sporting events for example) happening nearby that may impact parking availability. 

Using YourParkingSpace

YourParkingSpace provides an easy-to-use and quick way to find convenient parking that won’t break the bank. All you need to do is input the location you want to go to - you can be as vague or specific as you need, whether it’s a whole city or a very specific area in that city you want to check parking in. We’ll show you a map with all the available options in the area you’ve asked for, for the dates and times you’ve requested. That means you not only get quick access to all our available spaces in your area, you can also see a map of the whole area, making it easy and simple to make the best choice for you both in terms of cost and convenience.

Parking Garages and Multi-Storey Car Parks Pros and cons

We all know what they look like: floors and floors of cars neatly stacked one on top of the other. There are some clear pros and cons to these large car parks, so let’s break them down here.

Pros: The bigger the car park is, the better the chances that they will have available parking spaces. The big complexes are often well monitored, meaning they are safe, and most will be underground, keeping your car and yourself safe from inclement weather.

Cons: They can be quite expensive to use, and if they’re full from an event there’s a high chance of long queues to leave, meaning you can be stuck in traffic behind a seemingly endless line of cars waiting to exit the few entry and exit points.They are not always in the best spots, with other smaller parking options more conveniently located.

On-Street Findings: Strategies for Available Spaces

Quicker, more convenient and sometimes cheaper than big car parks, is the option of on-street parking. The big pro here is that it is immediately obvious whether there are any free spots, which can cut down on your endless circling of a car park. However, in popular city centres, finding available spaces near the shops and amenities can be very difficult. You can try finding a road that follows the high street perpendicular to it, and looking down the branching streets as those are less likely to be as busy while not being too far away. Or you can use YourParkingSpace to book your parking in advance, removing all the guesswork from your search.

Hidden Gems

Secret Parking Spots

The locals know cities best and are often able to unearth hidden parking that visitors would have a hard time finding. Before you set off, try looking up the city you’re visiting on a map online and take note of any smaller streets near your destination. These can often be great options for on-street parking, within an easy-to-walk distance from the centre of the action.

Local Tips

Or you can trust the locals’ knowledge. Whether that’s asking an online forum or a friend who lives in the area for some insider tips, or using a parking app like YourParkingSpace that gives you access to locals’ driveways and garages, it often pays to think like a local.

City-Specific Insight


As of the 29th August 2023, London’s ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) has been expanded across all London boroughs. There are very specific requirements for cars that enter the ULEZ areas to be able to do so without a charge. The Transport for London website claims that 9 in 10 vehicles driving in outer London already meet those requirements, but it’s worth checking what your car does, before venturing into London - any vehicle that doesn’t meet the emission standards will face a daily charge of £12.50.


Be aware of city centre restrictions in place in Edinburgh. Many key central streets, including Parking on Princess Street, are off-limits to private vehicles. The rush hours in the morning and evening can also be pretty chaotic, with many pedestrians, cyclists, buses and trams all vying for space in the streets. Where possible and convenient, try parking in Edinburgh a little further out of the city centre and walking the rest of the way - despite being a little hilly, Edinburgh isn’t a large and sprawling city at all, so you can walk to most places in a short time.


Cardiff is known for having expensive parking options, but that doesn’t mean there is no hope! If you avoid the city during major events at the Principality Stadium which hosts rugby games, you can avoid any road closures. The city itself is quite small, but if you’re planning on any day trips to nearby beaches, finding parking in Cardiff in a convenient space will be vital. Avoid the centre of the city and keep to the side streets for on-street parking with the locals.

Precautions for Your Parked Vehicle

Safety for your car while it’s parked is of course an important consideration when deciding where to park. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to avoid poorly lit areas when parking on-street, and if using an app, make sure it’s a legitimate service before making payment. Take note of any car parks or areas with cameras and favour them over ones without where possible. Don’t leave high-value items such as laptops easily visible through the windows, and if you’re parking on the street, ensure your wing mirrors are properly folded in to help minimise the chances of any accidental scratches.

Wherever you’re going, plan ahead

In summary, our advice as parking experts is to do a quick bit of research in advance, and even if you have a usual go-to location, have a back-up in mind in case your first choice is full or closed. Having a destination in your satnav ready to go, safe in the knowledge you have a dedicated space booked at the best possible price will make your journey that little bit easier!