A Guide to Free Parking for Electric Vehicles in London Written by Beth Howell Updated on 24 May 2023 ✔ Each borough has its own rules when it comes to EV parking✔ Barking and Dagenham, Houslow, and Westminster offer free EV parking✔ Most boroughs offer an annual rate of £25 to £75 for EV ownersOne of the main things that puts people off getting an electric vehicle is the access (or lack of) to charging points. A home electric car charger installation costs around £1,000, and not everyone can install one.To tackle this issue, some London boroughs provide charging spots for EV owners, to reward them for lowering their emissions. There are now more EV charging points in the UK than petrol stations (Zap Map, 2023).Want to discover which areas of London offer free parking for electrical vehicle owners? Read on to find out everything you need to know. And if the free parking tips the scale and tempts you to get yourself an EV, remember you can always see how much an electric car charging point costs. Just fill in this form to check it out for yourself. Get free EV charging point quotes Answer a few quick questions, and our trusted installers will send you bespoke EV charging point quotes – for free. Compare now What’s on this page? 01 Is parking free for electric cars in London? 02 Are electric cars exempt from the Congestion Charge? 03 Do you have to pay for parking when charging your electric car? Is parking free for electric cars in London?Unfortunately, there’s no one rule for EV parking in London – each borough has its own set of rules in place. Overall, most boroughs don’t offer free parking for electric vehicles, but provide heavily subsidised fees instead. The discount amount varies substantially – some boroughs charge an annual fee of £25 for EV owners, whilst others hover around the £75 mark. Either way, you’ll still be able to save a huge amount on parking if you have an electric vehicle in most London boroughs.Moving forward, London and other cities will need to account for the inevitable rise of EV owners. 47% of Brits have purchased low-carbon tech in the past 12 months, according to our National Home Energy Survey – and EVs are a huge part of this green future.Check out the table below, outlining which London boroughs offer free parking for EV owners. BoroughAnnual parking permit for EVsTop band annual parking permit for high-polluting carsBarking and Dagenham Free£140Barnet£16.50£200.50Bexley£125-£150£150Brent£25£303Bromley£80-£150£150Camden£45.56£648.20Croydon£6.50£300Ealing£30£140Enfield£77£395Greenwich£26£111.28Hackney£10.50£376Hammersmith and FulhamFree£119Haringey£31£379Harrow£23.80£114.40Havering£40£40Hillingdon£75£75HounslowFree£146.50Islington£50 – £140 (depending on battery size)£860Kensington and ChelseaFree£247Kingston upon Thames£102£102Lambeth£39.90£340.73Lewisham£70£300Merton£20£330NewhamFree£200RedbridgeFree£22.50Richmond upon ThamesFree£124Southwark£75£300Sutton£40£150Waltham Forest£45£185Tower Hamlets£33£442Wandsworth£150£210 (£187 if you pay online)WestminsterFree£166Data found from each borough’s council websiteBest boroughs for EV parkingBarking and Dagenham – Offers free annual parking permits for up to two vehicles if they emit 0-50g/km of CO2. If you apply for additional parking permits for a third, fourth, or fifth vehicle, you’ll have to pay £45 a year for each one, which is still incredibly cheap compared to the price of £140 for the most polluting vehiclesHammersmith and Fulham – Offers free parking for any fully electric vehicles. To qualify for the lower emission vehicle permit, the vehicle must not produce more than 100g/km of CO2, and also be Euro-5 compliant.Hounslow – Offers free annual parking permits for up to five vehicles if they emit 0-50g/km of CO2. Kensington and Chelsea – Offers free parking for fully electric cars, or any other zero-emissions vehicleNewham – From January 6, 2021 parking permit charges per household became subject to an additional emissions-based charge. Newham now offers free annual parking permits for up to two vehicles if they emit 0-50g/km of CO2Redbridge – Offers free parking for fully electric vehicles, as long as the owners can provide a copy of your V5 certificateRichmond Upon Thames – Offers free annual parking permits for vehicles that emit 0-50g/km of CO2Westminster – Offers free annual parking permits for any ‘eco-vehicle’, including electric, gas, hybrid, fuel cell, and solar-fueled cars. As well as this, Westminster also implements a 50% surcharge to all pre-2015 diesel vehicles paying to park Worst boroughs for EV parkingBexley – According to the Bexley council website, this borough rates its parking permit prices by zone/area of the borough, rather than how polluting the vehicle is. Parking is free for motorcycles and motorcyclists can use any bay, but there doesn’t seem to be any similar discount for low-emission vehiclesBromley – This borough’s parking fee system is also based on zones, rather than emissions. So, although some areas offer free parking, they’re not exclusively for EVsIslington – Although EVs are eligible for the cheapest parking permits in the borough, they still come as pricy as £140 – substantially more than permits available in other boroughsKingston Upon Thames – This borough offers a flat rate for annual parking permits – not taking zones or emissions into account. There are, however, certain areas that allow vehicles to park for free for up to 30 minutes, but these aren’t exclusively for EVs Are electric cars exempt from the Congestion Charge?Currently, vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2, and have a minimum 20-mile zero-emission capable range, will qualify for the 100% cleaner-vehicle discount.From 25 October 2021, the cleaner-vehicle discount will only be eligible for electric vehicle owners, and will run up until 25 December 2025. From this date, all vehicle owners – unless in receipt of another discount or exemption – will need to pay to enter the Congestion Charge zone.You can find more information in our helpful guide: Do Electric Vehicles Pay The Congestion Charge? Do you have to pay for parking when charging your electric car?Again, there are no set rules when it comes to paying to park whilst your car is charging. Generally, you’ll find that if your workplace has charging points, it’ll be free to park up while your car recharges. The same also tends to apply for public charge points at supermarkets or car parks – however, each place is likely to have its own set of rules, so it’s best to double check by examining the charge point or any signs in the area before you get comfy. If you charge your car on a residential street without a parking permit, it’s likely you’ll need to pay for the parking spot too. There should be road signs around to let you know.You should also note that some parking spots allow you to stay free of charge for as long as it takes you to recharge your battery, whilst others have allocated time limits. Did You Know? On most modern networks, you can use mobile apps to find charge points near you. Some older public charge points require an RFID card (similar to a contactless debit card) to start charging, which can be ordered online. For app-enabled charge points, you should be able to pay for your charge in-app.What’s the verdict?Driving in London isn’t for everyone: it’s busy, fast-paced, and a little cramped. But at least with an electric vehicle, you’ll be part of the small percentage able to get a parking spot on a residential street. If you don’t have many charging points near your home, it might be a better option for you to invest in a home charging point. You’ll save time and money in the long run! Plus, you’ll barely need to lift a finger whilst finding the best charging point for your home – we can do the hard work for you. Simply fill out a few details on this form, and our providers will be in touch shortly with a free quote. Written by: Beth Howell Content Manager Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.