Can electric cars park for free in London?

Can electric cars park for free in London?

Over recent years, London has been at the forefront of promoting cleaner transportation solutions, increasing attempts to reduce air pollution by introducing areas such as the Ultra Low Emission Zone while simultaneously encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles.

In fact, London is leading the electric vehicle charge in the UK in many ways, with 34.7% of UK charging points being located in Greater London. Moreover, the city has introduced a range of incentives and benefits for electric car owners, including exemption from ULEZ and the Congestion Charge.

One such perk that has captured the attention of Londoners is the possibility of free parking for electric cars. However, the question of whether electric cars can park for free in London does not have a simple answer – parking regulations in London vary depending on the borough, and each borough has its own policies regarding parking fees and regulations for electric cars, meaning it’s not a widespread practice.

Whether you’re a current EV owner or contemplating the switch, this blog will get into the ins and outs of London EV parking, including where in London offers free parking and which boroughs supply subsidised charging rates.

Free parking in London for electric cars – which London boroughs offer free parking for electric cars:

The following London boroughs offer free annual residential parking permits for electric car drivers:

  • Barking and Dagenham (free resident parking permits for up to two fully electric vehicles)
  • Hammersmith and Fulham (free for fully electric vehicles)
  • Newham (Fully electric vehicles and hybrids that produce less than 50g/km can apply for a free residential parking permit)
  • Westminster
  • Hounslow (free for low/zero emission vehicles)
  • Redbridge (free EV parking for residents in controlled parking zones with fully electric vehicles)
  • Richmond upon Thames (Band A cars are free of charge)
  • Kensington and Chelsea (Fully electric or zero emissions vehicles exempt from residential parking permit charges)

Which London boroughs offer subsidised residential EV parking?

London borough Annual EV parking permit 2023/24 (low to high)
Croydon £6.50
Hackney £10.50
Barnet £16.50
Merton £20
Harrow £23.80
Brent £25
Greenwich £26
Ealing £30
Haringey £31
Tower Hamlets £33
Lambeth £39.90
Sutton £40
Havering £40
Waltham Forest £45
Camden £45.56
Islington £50-£140
Lewisham £70
Hillingdon £75
Southwark £75
Enfield £77
Bromley £80-£150
Kingston upon Thames £102
Bexley £125-£150
Wandsworth £150

*Data found from the relevant borough council website

Free parking for electric cars in non-residential parking in London:

Of course, the above figures are only for residential parking permits rather than general parking charges for electric vehicles in London. It is worth noting that many parking spaces in London are operated by private companies or parking garages that have their own fee structures, meaning free parking for electric vehicles in London may not be an option.

These private parking facilities may not offer specific incentives or discounts for electric cars, and the parking fees would be determined by the operators’ policies, such as whether it’s pay and display and how long the maximum stay is.

That being said, certain parking companies do offer subsidised parking for electric cars in London. For example, RingGo offers a 50% discount for fully electric vehicles in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, making parking 50% cheaper for electric vehicle drivers when compared to petrol/diesel owners. RingGo also offers this discounted parking rate for electric cars in six other London boroughs – including, but not limited to, Kensington and Chelsea, the City of London, Croydon, and Richmond.

Moreover, some public charging points offer free parking for EVs for the duration of the charging session, and some – although uncommon – offer free charging as well.

You can usually tell where dedicated electric car charging or parking bays are located, as they are typically marked in the bay.

While some London boroughs offer more opportunities for reduced or free parking, it’s always best practice to check the individual payment requirements before parking.

The best boroughs for electric car parking in London:

In our opinion, London boroughs such as Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea, with 100% discounts on residential EV parking and half-price RingGo parking, are the best for free electric car parking.

The worst boroughs for electric car parking in London:

With substantially higher annual residential parking permits (approximately £100) and a lack of subsidised public parking, the worst London Boroughs for electric vehicle parking are Wandsworth, Bexley, Bromley, and Kingston upon Thames.


In conclusion, while electric vehicle drivers in London benefit from certain exemptions and incentives, free parking for electric cars in London throughout the city is not a universal policy. Parking charges for electric vehicles, such as the availability of reduced fees or permits for EV owners, vary depending on the borough, and private parking facilities may not offer any specific incentives.

It is always recommended to check with the relevant authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding parking regulations and fees for electric vehicles in London.

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