Parking costs vary with postcode

Parking charges vary significantly across city councils in the UK, as do the chances of getting a ticket, a survey has shown.

A survey by consumer watchdog Which? found that motorists in London face the highest cost of parking, followed by those in Manchester, Edinburgh and Leeds.

Parking prices for an hour on the street varied from £4.40 in London's West End and £2.60 in Leeds and Birmingham, to free in Coventry.

However, findings revealed that the variation in prices becomes even more pronounced in the case of council-run car parks.

Four hours in a car park in London's Soho costs £18 - the highest price among surveyed city councils - followed by Manchester at £13.20.

Bradford was the cheapest city surveyed with its council-run car parks charging £3.50 for 4 hours.

Edinburgh was the only city in the study not to offer any council-run car parks. Prices in its privately-run car parks were high at up to £2.50 for an hour or £8.90 for four hours.

And it was a "similarly muddled picture" when it came to parking tickets, Which? said.

More than eight million parking tickets are issued every year in the UK, with nearly half of those from local authorities in London.

London's Westminster handed out more tickets than any other council in the survey but more than 19,000 people (87%) won their appeal against the fine in 2008-2009, suggesting a large number of tickets were not issued correctly, the study found.

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