All diesel cars and many petrol vehicles to be charged extra under harsh new parking rules

A parking machine

The new parking rules could raise around £225,000 a year

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 08/09/2023

- 13:21

Vehicles not registered with the DVLA will be charged the highest price for the chosen duration

Drivers will have to pay extra to park in the historic city of Bath if they drive polluting petrol and diesel vehicles under new parking rules on council-run car parks.

The changes will apply to all diesel vehicles and petrol vehicles which emit more than 131g of carbon dioxide per kilometre will be charged more when parking.

It is believed that a two-hour stay at a pay-and-display car park will cost from £3.40 up to £4.70, with the highest charge costing £21.80 for 24 hours for those the most polluting diesel vehicles.

Foreign registered, or vehicles not registered with the DVLA, will be charged the highest price for the chosen duration.

Overview of Bath

The new changes were introduced in Bath this week


Electric vehicles and cleaner petrol cars are exempt from the changes, with Bath and North East Somerset Council estimating that 66 per cent of drivers will pay more.

Paul Barker, managing editor of carwow, said: “Increased parking charges for more polluting vehicles is the next stage in councils cleaning up British roads by making it less appealing to drive older and more polluting vehicles.

“Bath is certainly not the first to do this - Lambeth Council in London introduced something similar earlier this year for both resident and short-stay parking based on road tax bands with an additional penalty for older diesels.

“But a system where inputting a number plate gives a specific parking charge is a new development. Hopefully the database is accurate!”

It is estimated that Bath and North East Somerset will earn around £225,000 every year from the new charges.

Paul Barker also warned about the impact on tourists going to the area, calling the new system an “unwelcome development”.

Bath regularly attracts millions of tourists to the area every year, with many of them being unaware of the changes.

He added: “Based on the proposals, for the most polluting vehicles, drivers face a 38 per cent increase in parking costs compared to the least polluting cars over a two-hour period.

“This shows the direction of travel; and that the cost of having and running diesel cars that don't meet the latest emissions legislation, or older petrol cars, continues to rise.

“While there will be a cost to change to a more compliant car, it may be less than most motorists might think.”

Thousands of cars are available on online marketplaces that adhere to Euro 6 diesel standards, with prices remaining affordable.

This has become a far more important search term with the rising number of Clean Air Zones and the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone.


Parking sign

Electric cars and lesser-polluting petrol cars are exempt from the changes


Some parts of London already have already introduced these new emissions-based parking schemes in addition to the Ulez expansion.

With these new rules, many drivers may be looking for affordable and compliant vehicles to avoid racking up enormous motoring charges.

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