However, there is often free parking not so far away if you know where to look.
It’s worth spending a bit of time to find out where these free spaces are, sometimes you may have to walk a bit further to get to and from your car (which is good for you!) but these places do exist and when you find them, there’s no more worrying about rushing back to your car in time before the traffic warden gets you.
The same applies for shopping centres – if the shopping centre doesn’t already provide free parking, then park somewhere nearby for free and walk to the shopping centre.
In most places near where we now live, parking fees are actually very reasonable – especially when compared with the London prices we were used to, but if you don’t have to pay, why pay at all? It all adds up you know. Last time I visited London and had to park somewhere in central London, I was paying £2 for 20 minutes. £2 for 20 minutes!! … and that’s after paying the congestion charge.
So I now make it a matter of principle to always try and park for free if I can wherever I go – not always possible but that’s what I’m shooting for.
I have my secret and not so secret places in surrounding towns and cities where I know I can park for free – in Matlock and Derby I know where to park within easy walking distance of everywhere I need to get to. I have to admit I don’t yet know such places in Nottingham – maybe they don’t exist there after all but I do also know places to park in Ealing, London and if it’s possible there, then surely it is possible most places if you look hard enough.
If it’s a one off trip, then maybe this doesn’t apply, but if it’s a place you’re going to be going regularly then isn’t a little bit of scouting around to find your own secret free parking places going to be worth it in the end?
Added bonus – if you pay for parking by the hour then you have an added worry that, even if the parking rates are quite reasonable, then you still have to get back to your car before the paid parking time is up or risk a fine. I know from experience that when visiting a friend in Middlesbrough and missing getting back to the car by just a few minutes, a short visit to the town centre ended up costing me a lot of money.
You don’t have that risk with free parking.
So if there’s a chance there’s free parking in the places you visit regularly, see if you can find some.