Tradespeople slapped with 3.5 million parking fines costing them £177 million

  • More than half (55 per cent) of tradespeople face a weekly struggle to park at, or close to (54 per cent) the job they are working on
  • A third of tradespeople (34 per cent) say it can be cheaper to risk a parking fine than to pay for parking
  • Just 13 per cent of tradespeople find the process of getting a trade parking permit through the council quick and simple

Tradespeople have been issued with an estimated 3.5 million1 parking fines costing them approximately £177 million2 in the past year, according to new research3 from Direct Line.  More than half (55 per cent) of tradespeople say they face a weekly struggle to park at or close to the site (54 per cent) where they are working.

Tradespeople often need to access or unload heavy tools, equipment and materials required for a job onsite but finding a place to legally park or unload close by is not always possible, especially in urban areas where numerous parking and unloading restrictions apply.

Daily parking charges, particularly in city centres are so expensive that a third of tradespeople (34 per cent) say that it can be cheaper to risk a parking ticket than to pay for parking. Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), or parking fines, can be anywhere between £50 - £70 each outside London and up to £160 in the capital, but are normally halved if paid within 14 days. However, parking illegally can be quite a gamble as two thirds (61 per cent) of tradespeople have been clamped or towed whilst on the job.

Many local authorities offer tradespeople discretionary parking permits so that they can avoid unnecessary parking charges, but just 13 per cent of tradespeople find getting trade parking permits through a council a quick and simple process. The options available and application processes vary greatly by council. Some offer annual permits, while others offer a discretionary number of single day permits for specific locations or a set number of hours. The many options can be confusing, particularly for those working across a wide area, needing permits from multiple councils. Where parking restrictions apply, tradespeople will usually expect the client to provide parking permits (39 per cent), pay for their parking (25 per cent), or factor it into their pricing (17 per cent).

Alison Traboulsi, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance says: “Parking is a regular battle for many tradespeople. Navigating a multitude of different parking controls and council permits can be complicated, so it is not surprising that many tradespeople are hit with parking fines, clamping, or being towed. Some will say it’s part and parcel of the trade but with an estimated 3.5 million fines issued in the past year, these parking battles are costing tradespeople across the country millions of pounds.”

To help tradespeople deal with the challenges that come with the job, including appealing parking fines, Direct Line business insurance policies come with Legal Essentials, a service provided by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Limited, which provides unlimited access to a team of legal advisors, who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round in England and Wales. For uncommon and certain country-specific areas of law, you’ll be referred to specialist advisors available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, excl. bank holidays.”

For more information on Legal Essentials please visit:

For more information on Van Insurance please visit:

For details on when you can and can’t park on double yellow lines see: When Can You Park Your Van On Double Yellow Lines? - Direct Line For Business



Notes to Editors

1 Calculated using the latest available ONS data for the Total employment working in Specialised Construction activities in the UK, 863,200 (SIC code 43, Group 432, 433 and 439)

4.1 (average number of parking fines per tradesperson) x 863,200 = 3,539,120 fines issued

2 Penalty Charge Notices, or parking fines, can generate anywhere between £50-£70 each outside London to £160 in the capital, but are normally halved if paid within 14 days. (3,539,120 fines x £50 = £176,956,000)

3 Censuswide survey of 756 tradespeople, conducted 6th March – 11th March 2024. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.



Direct Line Group

Unni Henry 

PR Manager

Email: [email protected] 



About Direct Line business insurance

Launched in 2007 Direct Line business insurance now has over half a million customer policies, providing a flexible range of insurance products for the landlord, van and small business sectors.

Direct Line business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line business insurance and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line business insurance products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting https://www.directline,