Parking in London

(system) #1

Hello everybody!

Just before Christmas, I came off my Vespa GTS250 and wrote it off. I’ve been riding bikes since I was 16 (47 now) and have limped away from a few inevitable accidents. But, this time, I sat in a cafe and took time to reflected upon what might have been. I wasn’t badly hurt but what about the next time…?

Once I got the bike towed to a bike mechanics, I got onto the nearest tube and continued my journey onto work. ) As I was making my way past Carnaby Street, a Twizy with a Union Jack wrap drove by me. I’d never seen anything like it before and found myself hopping as fast as I could to see if I could catch up at the next junction.

Before I go out and get another scooter, I’d like to see how practical it would be for me to replace it with a Twizy. I live in Ealing and commute into Piccadilly Circus everyday (20 miles round trip). I often work 12 hours shifts so parking is one of my main concerns. Apart from that, I use it to do various errands around London.

I’d be grateful to hear from anybody who uses their Twizy for their London commute. Where do you park? Do you have to keep moving your Twizy after 4 hours? How much does it cost? Is it easy to find and use the charging posts? etc etc.

Thank you in advance

(system) #2

Hi there. I work in Berkeley Square but drive A G wiz but researching to swappingit for a twizy. The windows issue is holding me back. Parking in Westminster is free only on pay and display or pay by phone. But you have to move it every 4 hours so I tend to move mine once at lunch time and then again about 4ish. I’m lucky because there are 3 charge points in the square and another 2 in Albermarly street. Not sure about Piccadilly. But if you charge from home I doubt you’ll need to charge at work for a 20 mile round trip. Currently Westminster charge £75 a year to use their charge points.


I commute to Piccadilly every day from East London.

I park in the Charing Cross Q-Park which costs £800 per year for an electric car in that particular car park. They use Source London charge points so nothing extra to pay if you’re already a Source member.

You may think this sounds expensive, but considering its 24/7 access, has plenty of charge points and commuting on the train would cost me over £200 each month it starts sounding a lot more reasonable. It’s also an underground car park out of sight, that is used by the Ferraris/ Lambourghinis/Bentleys of the area, so the Twizy is perfectly safe.

I charge my Twizy in the car park, and that will get me home and back into central London on one charge.

I have used on street parking and was told by another Twizy owner in the area that they have successfully left theirs in the pay and display all day without a ticket.

I’m not sure about Westminster charging £75? The only points I’ve seen in the area are Source London ones which are £10 per year.

(system) #4

It sounds like the the most practical way of using a Twizy for a long day in work, is to commit yourself to the Q car parks yearly subscription. £800 in Charing Cross sounds a lot but as you say, it’s a trade off against train charges. Its also reassuring to return to find it undamaged by the Fri/Sat night revellers. Its one thing Incidentally, the NCP car park in Poland Street quoted £1600 (reduced from their normal £4,000 tariff).

With regards to the 4 hour limit on bays. The traffic wardens seem divided in how to deal with electric cars. Every time I see one, I ask what the rules are so I could get some sort of consensus. So far its 50/50. Half are adamant that its a maximum 4 hours and the other half are equally adamant that you can exceed this.

(system) #5

For Twizy owners that shouldn’t be a problem, given the fact that a full recharge should only take 3.5 hours.

For larger EV owners though the 4-hour limit is a total pain in the butt, and I’d like to see this restriction removed, either by working with TFL officially as part of my job with Zero Carbon World, or through grass roots campaigns.

One thing is clear: there are now three distinct types of EV on the streets of any major town.

Mid-long range, full-sized EVs, like the Leaf and Fluence.

Plug-in hybrids, like the Prius PHEV and Volt/Ampera

Smaller, limited-range, limited-speed EVs like the Twizy and G-Wiz.

All of these need charging, but the politics of who charges (and parks) where gets very complicated.

Out of interest, what are your daily round-trip requirements?

(system) #6

The maximum parking times do apply to EVs but it is very difficult for the wardens to administer. I spoke to one at length about this issue and he explained how he could mark the valve positions of the tyres like hours on a clock, if he returned after four hours and your tyres still showed the same time then he could issue a ticket. I dont think they routinely clock the tyres but they could easily spot repeat offenders who leave their cars parked in the same space every day.

(system) #7

I’ve been parking in westminster for 4 years now and its true that traffic wardens dont know how to deal with electric cars. But the official rule is 4 hours per bay. I’ve exceeded this many times without a ticket but have occasionally got one (i’d say about 3 times in the last 4 year). However pay and display bays are perfectly safe and free. I think £800 a year is a lot considering you have already paid £7k for the twizy and £45 a month for the batteries. the whole reason evs are attractive in the west end is mainly due to the free parking.

(system) #8

The £75 per year are for the Elektromotive bays in Westminster although the cheque is payable to Westminter counil. (There are approx 15 in westminster) Although I heard that as of March whoever is a member of whichever scheme everyone will be issued a tag to unlock all the charge points in the the country whichever scheme they are from.


As I said, it may sound expensive at first, but you have to take into account that you’re parking in the heart of central London for that price FOR A WHOLE YEAR. There are also no time restrictions, you have 24/7 access, and there are charge points. It’s also safely hidden away.

The price for an ICE car is roughly £5,000 per year so based on that its a great saving. I also don’t want to run the risk of getting a ticket if I leave it parked up for over 4 hours.

Add all this to the fact that I’m in London every day and can easily get home after a night out without having to worry about the last train home, and it becomes a no-brainer, at least for me.

Oh yeah, and I’m saving over £200 per month by not getting the train. It kinda pays for itself when you consider the train would be costing me around £2500 per year.

(system) #10

Yep, you’re right. If its difficult to keep coming out every 4 hours then a car park is a good idea. I’m lucky that its ok for me to pop out and move it and Berkeley square is full of bays so there’s never a chance of not finding a space…but I looked up Q car parks and they mention that charging is still only for a maximum of 4 hrs so you would still have to go back and unplug it right?

(system) #11

Last time I used Q-Park in London they told me that I’d get a ticket if I didn’t move my EV into another (non-charging) space after 4 hours… this was a real pain because I was staying in the car park overnight and had to return to move the car.


I did move mine at first, but I’ve come to realise my car park doesn’t enforce this rule.

Things may change when EVs become more common, but at the moment it’s fine for me to leave it all day.

(system) #13

Does anyone know if you can park for free in the city of London or if their car parks offer discounts to EVs?

(system) #14

London Borough of Westminster meter bays are free and Source London on street charging bays are free. Source costs £10 to join as does registering for free congestion charge.

(system) #15

What about in the city?


Car parks such as Q-park offer substantial season ticket discounts for EVs and there are some dotted about the city.

As for on street parking though I’m really not sure if its a standard space. If it is a charge point bay then it’s free as far as I know.

(system) #17

There aren’t any qparks in the city. There’re loads of NCPs but their website don’t mention discounts for EVs. This might be a problem. I’m looking for a new job and ideally I’d like it to be in the west end because of the parking but if I get one in the city it might be difficult.
i find it really frustrating that Boris Johnson and his predecessor keep going on about promoting EVs then make it hard for you to park in the square mile.

(system) #18

Butlers Wharf is a short walk and several other locations are within a couple of tube stops…

(system) #19

I think it needs raising with Q-Park. I suspect someone, somewhere set the arbitrary time not realising how long it takes a full-size EV to charge, nor how little it costs to charge.

For Twizy Owners, the 4-hour limit at least gets us a full charge. But for larger cars, that’s not even half-full from empty :frowning:

(system) #20

I need help. I just got a new job in moorgate in the city and I’m struggling to find parking. The NCPs charge £4000 a year and city of london carparks charge £6000 a year. Teh Qpark is too far away on the southbank. Does anyone know anywhere else I could park at a resonable price. I’m desperate.