Permit parking schemes

Local permit parking schemes

Borough and district councils administer the permit parking schemes in their area on our behalf, except as mentioned below.

In Waverley, all schemes, except those in Farnham, are administered by Guildford Borough Council. The permit schemes in Tandridge are administered by Sevenoaks District Council, and the permit schemes in Surrey Heath are administered by Woking Borough Council.

For more details or to apply for a permit, contact your borough or district council:

Introduction of a permit parking scheme

We use permit parking schemes to prioritise the available parking space for use by permit holders only. Typically, this would be where residents are finding it hard to park near their homes because there are large numbers of non-residents parking there.

Criteria for introduction of a permit scheme

Generally, the criteria for introduction of a permit scheme are:

  • There must be a need for residents to park on street. If residents have lots of off street parking, there is no point in introducing a permit scheme, as it will simply result in an empty road and may cause problems in other streets through displacement.
  • The majority of residents must be in favour of a permit scheme. We would generally want to have over 70% of residents' responses to a consultation in favour of a scheme. This is however, not an absolute requirement. It may still be appropriate to install a scheme even if less than 70% of residents were in favour, if for example, all the other nearby roads were going to go ahead with a scheme.
  • There must be a significant amount of non-resident parking. There is no point in installing a permit scheme in a location where nearly all of the vehicles currently parking there belong to residents.

How are new schemes introduced?

Depending on the size and complexity of the scheme, it may be developed through our parking review process. Some larger schemes may need external consultants, or could be undertaken in-house but separately from the general parking reviews.

Introducing a new permit scheme is not a quick or simple process. The changes to the road may only be a few new signs and lines, but there is a lot of detailed work that has to be done in the background, such as consultation with residents and stakeholders, and the legal order making procedure.

If you would like us to consider a permit scheme where you live, you can find a parking scheme request template towards the bottom of our parking reviews webpage. You should print this out and once it has been signed by at least 70% of the households in the road, return it to us.

We receive a lot of requests for permit schemes, but we can only realistically consider taking any of them forward to a consultation stage once we have seen a significant expression of interest. We also have to consider what the impact of a scheme might be on surrounding roads.

Types of scheme signs and markings

There are a couple of different of types of permit signing and marking that we can introduce. Engineers will decide which scheme is most appropriate depending on the road(s) in question.

  • Permit parking areas. These are schemes where there are no road markings, only signs which say "Permit holders only past this point", at the entry points to the area.
  • Permit parking bays with signs. These are just like normal parking bays, but the signs will say "Permit holders only". Some bays may be 'dual use', for example "Permit holders or 2 hours no return within 2 hours". This means if you have a permit you can park for an unlimited amount of time, but if you don't, you can still park for up to two hours for free.

Frequently asked questions

How does a resident permit parking scheme work?

Permit parking is intended to help residents and their guests find somewhere to park during the days and times that the scheme is in operation. During those times only vehicles displaying a valid resident permit or a valid visitor permit are allowed to park in the permit areas / permit parking bays. This makes it more likely that permit holders will be able to find somewhere to park, although it cannot guarantee a space.

When do restrictions apply?

This will vary from scheme to scheme, depending on the particular circumstances and the problems that the scheme is designed to solve. For example, during the working day, the restrictions could apply Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 6pm.

What about blue badge holders?

Blue badge holders can park in the permit areas / bays for as long as they need provided their blue badge is displayed. They can also park on yellow lines - providing they are not causing an obstruction - for up to three hours, where they will also need to show their clock card.

Who is eligible for a resident permit?

Again, it may vary from scheme to scheme but in general, it is usually people who live at an address within the scheme area and whose car is registered at that address.

How much do permits cost?

Resident permits are valid for a year at a cost of £80 for the first permit issued to a household, £100 for the second, and £130 for each subsequent permit.

Why is there a charge for permits?

This is to cover the administration and enforcement costs of the scheme. It is recognised good practice to charge for permits, because otherwise these costs are paid for by the general tax payer, who may not drive, and who receives no benefit from the scheme.

How many permits can I have?

The number of permits available to residents is decided during the consultation process. The maximum number of resident permits that can be issued to a household is usually calculated by the number of vehicles registered to the members of the household minus the number of off street parking spaces for the property.

For example, if there were 3 registered vehicles and 1 off street parking space it would mean that the members of the household could apply for up to 2 resident permits. Those residents who have adequate off street parking cannot have residents' permits, but they would still be able to buy visitor permits. There may be additional restrictions on the number of permits allowed, for example if the amount of on-street space is severely limited.

Can any type of vehicle have a permit?

Generally, passenger vehicles, motorcycles and goods vehicles less than 5 tonnes are eligible.

What do I do about visitors, workmen and deliveries?

Each household would be entitled to buy up to 150 visitors' permits per year at a cost of £2. Each permit entitles one vehicle to park in the permit areas or bays, and lasts for the whole day. They can only be used once and must be displayed on the visitor's vehicle. We often receive requests to issue a 'general' or 'transferable' visitor permit; however, we do not do this as it would put the scheme at risk of being misused.

Any vehicle can park in the permit areas / bays to make deliveries, or load and unload, but only for as long as necessary and no longer than a maximum of 20 minutes.

What do I do about carers?

Any resident who is housebound and needs regular visits from carers can apply for a carers' permit, which their carers can use to park while making their visits. Carers' permits can only be used in the resident permit parking bays. They are issued free of charge and are valid for a year.

How much does it cost to replace a permit?

If you lose your existing permit or change your vehicle you will need to pay an administration fee of £15 to replace your permit.

What if I can't find a parking space?

We do all we can to try and ensure that the scheme has enough spaces to give all permit holders a reasonable chance of finding a space. We introduce these schemes to restrict parking by non-residents which means that there should be more space available for the residents.

However, there is no way within the regulations to assign specific parking spaces on the highway to specific individuals; therefore, there is no way any highway authority could ever guarantee the availability of a parking space. If you could not find a space you would need to find an alternative legal parking space elsewhere, for example in a public car park or a non-restricted area.

What do I do if I get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?

Generally, civil enforcement officers (CEOs) employed by the borough and district council's parking team carry out enforcement of parking controls in their area. Like all motorists, residents need to park legally. If you receive a P C N you would need to follow the instructions on the back of it.

Who does what?

Surrey County Council, as the highway authority, is responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of the parking controls, parking strategy and policy.

Generally, district and borough councils manage enforcement of parking schemes and administration of P C Ns and permits on behalf of Surrey County Council.