Mobile Menu
parking on the streets of london

Parking restrictions in London, UK: A guide for people moving to the city

If you’re moving to London, one of the first things you’ll need to get to grips with are the most economical, and convenient, ways to get around the city.

If you are a driver, then buses, parking restrictions, the red routes, the Congestion Charge, Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and the new ULEZ Ultra Low Emission Zone are all going to be important for you to understand.

If you are not a driver, then trains, buses, tubes, riverboats could be viable options for you, as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes! Have a read of our recent blog article on Navigating London .

So let’s get started with driving in London – the need to know facts

There are a number of different zones and rules in place, so it’s important to do your research before you arrive.

Congestion Charge Zone

The Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) is a central area of London where drivers have to pay a charge to enter.

The zone is in place from 7am to 6pm on weekdays, and the charge is currently £15 per day. There are a number of exemptions to the Congestion Charge, including residents of the zone, electric vehicles, and vehicles with disabilities.

The easiest way to pay for this is via Auto Pay. You will be billed automatically for the number of charging days your vehicle travels within the Congestion Charge zone, and if it doesn’t meet the requirements of the LEZ (Low Emission Zone) and the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). If you have a business with a group of vehicles travelling in and out of zones, you can set up a Fleet Auto Pay arrangement.

Check a postcode that you are travelling to in London to see if you need to pay the Congestion Zone Charge.

You can also pay for the ULEZ charge by phone, or by text message, as well as in a number of retail outlets, including PayPoint and Post Office stores.


The Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) has been successful in reducing air pollution in London. Since it was introduced, levels of harmful pollutants have fallen by up to 20%. The LEZ is also helping to improve public health and reduce the number of people who suffer from respiratory problems.

The LEZ has been in place since 2008, and the ULEZ was introduced in 2019. The ULEZ covers a larger area than the LEZ, and it is also stricter, with lower emissions standards.

What is the difference between LEZ and ULEZ?

The main difference between the LEZ and the ULEZ zones in London is the types of vehicles they affect.
The LEZ is designed to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses, lorries, and vans.
The ULEZ, on the other hand, is designed to reduce emissions from all types of vehicles, including cars and motorcycles.

Ultra Low Emission Zone

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is an area of central London where drivers of older, more polluting vehicles have to pay a charge to enter.

The zone is in place 24/7, and the charge is currently £12.50 per day. There are a number of exemptions to the ULEZ charge, including electric vehicles, vehicles with disabilities, and petrol vehicles that meet certain emissions standards.

Controlled Parking Zones

Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) are areas of London where parking is restricted to residents or visitors who purchase a permit.

CPZs are in place from 8.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays, and from 8.30am to 1.30pm on Saturdays.

There are a number of different types of CPZs, with different restrictions in place. For example, some CPZs only allow residents to park, while others allow visitors to park for a limited period of time.

There are a few ways to find out the type of Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) outside your property in London:

Check the CPZ signs. There should be signs at the entrance and exit of each CPZ that indicate the type of zone and the restrictions that apply.

Use the Transport for London (TfL) website. TfL has a map of all of the CPZs in London, which you can use to find the type of CPZ outside your property.

Check with the local Borough Council

Different types of CPZs in London

Resident permit zones: These zones are only open to residents who have a permit.

Visitor permit zones: These zones allow residents to purchase permits for visitors.

Pay and display zones: These zones allow anyone to park, but they have to pay a fee.

Free parking zones: These zones allow anyone to park for free, but they may have time restrictions.

Once you know the type of CPZ outside your property, you can check the restrictions that apply. For example, some CPZs only allow residents to park during certain hours, while others allow visitor parking for a limited period of time.

Yellow lines

Yellow lines are used to restrict parking on many roads in London.

There are two types of yellow lines: single yellow lines and double yellow lines. Single yellow lines indicate that parking is restricted at certain times of day, while double yellow lines indicate that parking is prohibited at all times.

Red routes

Red routes are major roads in London where traffic flow is prioritised. Red routes are marked with red lines, and parking is prohibited at all times.

Resident permit zones

Resident permit zones are areas of London where parking is restricted to residents who have a permit. Resident permits can be purchased from your local council.

Disabled parking

Disabled parking bays are available throughout London. To use a disabled parking bay, you must have a valid disabled parking badge.

Here is a list of local London Borough Council’s websites:

Camden Council: https://www.camden.gov.uk/
City of London Corporation: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/
Hackney Council: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/
Hammersmith and Fulham Council: https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/
Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/
Kensington and Chelsea Council: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/
Lambeth Council: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/
Lewisham Council: https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/
Southwark Council: https://www.southwark.gov.uk/
Tower Hamlets Council: https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
Westminster City Council: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/

How to load and unload during a house move

Loading and Unloading Restrictions

At Jonesmoves, we are seasoned-pros at knowing where we can and can’t unload for house moves in London! We are equally well aware of the Congestion Charge Zone and the ULEZ, so you can be assured we have this covered and all our vehicles are set up to move across London without any hiccups.

In most areas of London, you’re allowed to load and unload for up to 40 minutes on single yellow lines. However, you’re not allowed to load and unload on double yellow lines or red routes. If you are moving to or from a property with restricted parking in London, you will need to apply for a temporary permit.

Our top tips for parking in London

Always check the signs before you park.

Be aware of the different types of parking zones and the restrictions that apply.

Pay for parking in advance.

Don’t overstay your welcome.

Book Jonesmoves for an efficient and stress-free move!

Relocating to London’s bustling city or a fresh neighbourhood within it can feel like a formidable undertaking. However, when you opt for Jonesmoves, a reputable local removals company, you open the door to a wealth of experience and efficiency in managing your move.

Our extensive knowledge of the city’s intricate transportation networks, parking regulations, and logistical intricacies can significantly reduce the stress associated with the moving process.

This, in turn, allows you to channel your energy into settling comfortably into your new abode and fully immersing yourself in the exciting journey of uncovering London’s hidden treasures.

Whether you require a Man and Van Service to transport a handful of boxes or a complete fleet of removal vehicles, Jonesmoves is here to meet your needs. No task is too grand or too modest for our dedicated team.
To find out how we can help assist you with your London move, call us on 07902 074132. For an immediate quote, please click here.

Feature image source: Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik