Considering that over three quarters of vehicle owners have a permanent parking location to park their vehicles, you would think that parking shouldn't offer much of a problem. However, the reality couldn't be further from the truth. While parking and car parks are not much of a problem in rural areas, it is the single greatest source of headache, heartache and heartburn for owners of motor vehicles in urban areas and metropolitans.
If you are a visitor to the United Kingdom, you need to understand and adhere to local parking laws. Otherwise, you might be spending all of your shopping allowances on paying parking fines.
First, don't park on roads without parking meters or painted bays. Next, always give a call ahead to find out if there are parking facilities at your destination. If not, source for one (or two, if you want to play it safe).
Once you've found a parking space, pay close attention to any nearby signage with any indications of parking restrictions, such as weekdays or office hours' limitations.
Aside from that, memorise the following road markings:
Flouting parking restrictions will usually result in a fixed £30 penalty, which can rise to £60 and a three points deduction for prolific offenders and those who impede emergency services. Some local council go a bit further and impound cars parked at restricted zones. Recovery of impounded vehicles typically cost £100, excluding administrative and storage fees.
However, be very mindful of clamping gangs. Members of clamping gangs usually clamp car tires and will not release the clamp without compensation. If you encounter such an incident, seek help from a local law enforcement official. Do not negotiate or pay them.
To learn more about the country's parking and waiting regulations, please consult the Highway Code.