It’s been estimated that the NHS rakes in around £272 million a year from car parking charges, in what has been deemed a “tax on the sick”.
Most hospitals in England (and some in the rest of the UK) charge for car parking, although the exact charge is set by the individual NHS trusts, which means that while some are completely free, others charge as much as £4 to park for just one hour.
We’ve looked into the cost of parking for an hour and two hours in over 350 hospitals to find out where patients and visitors are paying the most (note that we’ve included London hospitals separately).
Of all the hospitals that we looked at, there were three which charge a minimum of four pounds to park for an hour: the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge and the University Hospitals of both Hartlepool and North Tees, both located in County Durham.
For two hours, the most expensive car parks were at Hereford County Hospital, Yeovil District Hospital, Epsom Hospital and St George's Hospital in Sheffield, which each charge £5.00.
On the other hand, we found 45 hospitals around the UK which offered free parking, while others charged as little as 10p for an hour.
|HOSPITAL||TOWN/CITY||County||1 HOUR||2 HOURS|
The most expensive hospitals for an hour’s parking in the capital are the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, which charge £3.20 per hour, while for two hours, the most expensive is the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which charges £7 for two hours.
However, the only hospital in the capital to offer free parking is the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney.
|Hospital||Area||1 HOUR||2 HOURS|
The full dataset, along with sources, can be viewed here. Note that some hospital car parks may offer further discounts for patients and will often allow disabled visitors to park for free.
Car parking charges have largely been abolished in Scotland and Wales, with some exceptions where existing contracts were in place.