Local authorities in Wales recorded a £8.7 million profit from car parking fees and fixed penalty notices in 2012/13, according to a new report by the RAC Foundation.
Of Wales' 22 county councils, just five recorded a deficit on their parking activities, while 11 local authorities saw their profits rise on the previous financial year.
Stephen Glaister, RAC Foundation director, explained that the local authorities had each submitted the data to the Welsh Government and therefore councils could not dispute the calculations.
"Most people, including drivers, recognise the need for parking enforcement," he said. "You only have to look at the chaos caused in Aberystwyth back in 2011 when the restrictions were removed.
"But in many areas of the UK trust between motorists and councils is in short supply. Transparency over parking policy would go a long way to rebuilding the relationship."
Councils in Wales rake in around £30.4 million through parking charges and fines, of which £21.7 million is spent on running costs.
Cardiff Council saw a £2% rise in profits as the local authority returned a surplus of £2.6 million. Swansea was the next highest performing council with a £1.3 million profit generated through parking.
Merthyr Tydfil (148%) and Vale of Glamorgan (93%) saw the biggest percentage increases in profits on parking charges.
Local funding cuts have resulted in extended pressure on councils, many of whom have turned to other sources of revenue to fund local services.
Copyright Press Association 2014