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You are here:home > Environment > Parking > Car parks

Car parks

Guidance for using Car Parks, use 'find parking' for locations

roadside car parks information boardCar parks are open 24 hours a day, every day. You can use our find parking map to find a car park, and you can also find them on the Tourist Information Map of Southampton. Paper maps of city centre parking can be obtained from the Central Library.

Information on parking in our car parks

1. Our charging periods

You will find detailed information on the 'parking charging periods' page.

2. Paying for your parking

Parking charges vary and are displayed clearly at each location. The overnight tariff in the multi-storey car parks (MSCP) begins at 6pm through to midnight. Southampton parking meters accept payment by a choice of:

  • Cash - coins over 10p denomination (notes only accepted in our pay on foot MSCPs)
  • Chip and pin credit and debit cards
  • Contactless enabled ‘wave and pay’ cards in our surface car parks only
  • Decrementing and Pay as You Park Cards in our MSCPs (Marlands MSCP has its own decrementing card)

Parking is paid in person either by pay and display (purchase a ticket for a set period of time on entering a car park and display in your vehicle) or pay on foot (a ticket is given on entry to the car park and payment is made at a pay station on return to vehicle prior to leaving.) We have created a handy guide to help you if this is your first time using our car park payment machines.

Blue badge holders need to pay for their parking when using the Pay on Foot multi-storey car parks; Bedford Place, Eastgate, Grosvenor square and Marlands. Please see our parking for blue badge holders web page for further information.

You must display your parking ticket so that it can be seen clearly from the outside of your vehicle if you wish to avoid a Penalty Charge Notice. Free plastic holders are available for the pay and display tickets purchased from our machines. These holders stick to the inside of a car windscreen, and allow for a pay and display ticket to be clearly displayed. The holders can be used continuously thereafter. 

To obtain one please ring or write to us at the address below, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope.

3. 24 hour parking

For vehicle safety and security reasons we do not encourage 24 hour parking in our surface car parks, however those customers wishing to leave their car for longer may like to use the ‘Park Mark’ accredited car parks which are accessed and exited by barrier with number plate recognition and CCTV monitoring 24 hours a day. Please note that daytime and evening charges apply in these car parks.

Charges apply between 6pm – 12 midnight in all council owned multi-storey car parks.
Please read the tariff displayed in the car park.

You can use overnight season tickets in our long stay car parks.  The application form is available from the downloadable documents section of this page

  • Overnight season tickets (12 months) are available at £250
  • Replacement of any Season Ticket is £13

4. Lifts in our MSCPs - Mother and baby and disabled parking

All our multi-storey car parks have lifts and they are serviced regularly. In the event of a breakdown we have an alarm team on stand by 24 hours a day. The following MSCP's have lift access:

  • Bedford Place – all floors have lift access. On half floors access is via a level marked walkway
  • Eastgate – no lift access to floor 9 and 10. The lift stops at odd numbered floors with level walkways access to even numbered floors
  • Grosvenor Square – there is no lift access to the roof top level floor 6. All other floors have lift access, with level walkway access to half floors
  • Marlands – all floors have direct lift access
  • West Park – lift access to odd numbered floors only

The only parking area that has dedicated mother and baby facilities is The Quays.

5. Calculating the fee due if you leave a MSCP after 6pm

Daily charges apply between 8am and 6pm, and evening charges apply between 6pm and 12 midnight in our multi-storey car parks (except west Park multi-storey Car park). It is free to park between midnight and 8am.

If you arrive before 6pm but leave after 6pm, you will need to combine the price of daily parking with the evening parking charges.

6. Park Mark™ award for safety

15 of our car parks have been awarded the Park Mark™ for safety.

The safer parking award scheme is an initiative of the Association of Chief Police Officers aimed at reducing crime and the fear of crime and is managed by the British Parking Association.

Our multi-storey car parks benefit from barrier control entry and exit, ANPR and CCTV monitoring, help points and lifts to all (or alternative floors) during charging periods.

We have an additional nine Park Mark™ accredited surface car parks.

7. Marlands MSCP special rates

The special £5 all day parking fee in this car park has been calculated based on a vehicle entering the car park at 8am, when the daily charging period starts, and staying the full 10 hours until 6pm, when daily charging period ends and evening charging period begins. 

The maximum you will be charged for parking during the period ‘daily charges’ would be £5. Because of this special rate, there is no additional 20 percent discount when using the Marlands decrementing card.

Please note: If you exit the car park after 6pm you will have to pay the additional evening charge on top of the daily £5 fee.

A pre-paid Marlands Decrementing Card is available for purchase for regular users of the car park, an application form for this available to download at the bottom of this page.

8. Save money on parking

You can purchase a Season Ticket or use a Decrementing Card to save money if you park regularly.

There are several options to suit your budget

The issue of a Season Ticket does not guarantee the holder a parking space.

Please note: If purchasing your season ticket using a credit card there will be an additional surcharge of 1.5%. There is no surcharge if purchased using a debit card or cheque.

9. SeaCity Museum Parking

If you are visiting the SeaCity Museum we recommend you use our pay on foot multi-storey car parks. The advantage is that you do not have to guess how long you are staying as you pay when you leave for the time you have parked. We have produced a handy guide for parking for SeaCity.

10. Cruise passenger parking

Information on parking for cruise liner passengers can be found on our visit Southampton site.

For vehicle safety/ security reasons we do not encourage 24 hour parking in our surface car parks, however those customers wishing to leave their car for longer may like to use the Park Mark accredited multi-storey car parks.

See above regarding 24 hour parking.

11. Parking Enforcement

The government has given power to councils to be responsible for enforcing controls and restrictions for all on and off street parking.
In Southampton (under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act) Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) carry out on and off-street enforcement.  They make regular patrols of car parks and on street parking places to make sure that everyone complies with the regulations governing the parking places.

We enforce the parking controls and restrictions rigorously but fairly for everyone's benefit.  Where a contravention has occurred a Penalty Charge Notice can be issued by our trained Civil Enforcement Officers.  The Penalty Charge is on a two tier system with a higher charge for those contraventions deemed as being more serious.  The penalty charge should be paid within 28 days (reduced by 50% if payment is made within 14 days) beginning with the date on which the notice was served.

Civil Enforcement Officers are trained to assist members of the public with their requests for information and advice. However, they cannot withdraw a notice once it has started or been issued. Once a notice has been issued, there is an appeals procedure which is indicated on the reverse of the notice.

12. How to avoid a penalty charge

To prevent the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice you will need to observe some guidelines when parking your car in our car parks.

  • Park within the marked bays.

  • Do not park in the disabled bays unless you hold a valid blue badge, which will need to be displayed correctly.

  • Purchase a valid parking ticket for the time you intend to be parked.

  • Clearly display your parking ticket so that it can be seen from outside the vehicle. (Our free plastic holders detailed below may prevent your ticket been blown face down or off the dashboard when you close the car doors)

Free plastic ticket holders are available for the pay and display tickets purchased from our machines. These holders stick to the inside of a car windscreen, and allow for a pay and display ticket to be clearly displayed.
To obtain one please ring, or write to us at the address below (enclosing a stamped addressed envelope).

Latest Parking News

Traffic queues likely Expect delays when exiting West Park MSCP at peak times

(at the end of Mayflower matinee performances on Thursdays and Saturdays) due to Station Quarter Improvement works which prevent left turn into Blechynden Terrace until October 2014. Grosvenor Square MSCP (SO15 2GR) and Bedford Place MSCP (SO15 2QW) are just a short walk form the theatre. Matinee performances for April 2014: • 3rd April • 5th April • 17th April • 19th April • 20th April • 23rd April • 24th April • 26th April • 30th April

Evening Charges link image Evening charges will be introduced in the city centre from 5th January 2014

• Off street - Monday to Saturday - 6pm and midnight • On street - Monday to Saturday - 6pm and 8pm • Multi-storey evening charges are unchanged Please check the tariff labels on the machines to prevent the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice.

Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
PDF document Off Street parking Charges summary 40 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

Related links

Contact information