Many of London’s boroughs have restrictions on parking and employ a strict parking permit scheme for residents and visitors. For people who are looking to move in London – unless you are lucky enough to have properties with a driveway that can accommodate a removals van at both ends of the move – that often means applying for a temporary parking permit. To be on the safe side, we recommend sorting out the parking arrangements at the same time as appointing a removal company, and ideally about one month before you are due to move, as the notice period for obtaining a permit can be anything from three days up to three weeks, depending on the borough.
Discuss it with your removals firm
When you engage a removals company, there can be clear advantages in employing a firm that is a member of a recognised trade association, such as the British Association of Removers (BAR) or the Alliance of Independent Movers (AIM). Some removal businesses – and particularly those with experience in helping people to move in and around London – may including liaising with local authorities and organising parking permits as an integral part of their service, so always be sure to ask if this is included. If they don’t, then once you have arranged the departure and arrival times for your move, you will have to make the arrangements yourself.
Applying for a temporary parking permit
The key thing to bear in mind when looking to apply for a temporary parking permit in London is that there is no single procedure or set of rules for doing so. Each individual borough has its own parking rules and application process. Some authorities are more flexible than others, and costs also vary considerably.
Here we’ll look at some typical approaches you might find, but – and we can’t stress this enough – you should always check the local authority website for the London borough(s) in which your removal vehicle needs to park, and don’t make any assumptions. The simplest way to get information is just to search online for the phrase “parking permit” plus the name of the borough.
Some authorities offer free visitor parking permits to residents, but there may be qualifying conditions for these. In Newham, for example, people who live in a residential parking zone, and who are on either the electoral roll or council tax register, can apply for 30 free one-day visitor permits – but only if there is no vehicle registered at the property.
The more usual approach is for temporary or visitor parking permits or vouchers to be available for purchase, often directly via the local authority website. In some boroughs you can purchase various time-limited permits or vouchers, for example half-hour, three-hour or one-day permits. Always err on the side of caution when estimating the time for loading and unloading – it’s sometimes best to opt for a permit that covers the full day rather than underestimating and potentially encountering problems further down the line. Also bear in mind that many local authorities charge per parking bay, so if your move involves a large removal vehicle the costs can be proportionally higher than for smaller vans.
Applying for temporary parking permits may seem like an unnecessary inconvenience – particularly if you’re moving to London for the first time and aren’t used to restricted residential parking. However, taking a few minutes to check out the local requirements and applying for a temporary permit if required is far preferable to turning up with a removal van full of your furnishings and possessions only to find that you don’t have anywhere to park to unload them!
Here is some more useful information on Parking in London from one of our parterns, Alexanders Removals.
Updated: January 2021