Car Parking in York City Centre – there are several car parks in York, some council and some private. I didn’t realise until I started writing this article, but I think I have (over the years) parked in all of them for one reason or another!
I shall cover the best car parks for shopping, for the railway station, private car parks and overnight parking in York.
Prices are up-to-date as of July 2023.
I would say that York is on the more expensive side to park compared to some other cities. We do also have the Park and Ride around the city ring road. I tend to use the Park and Ride myself as it’s so easy to park and the buses are frequent and drop you into the centre of York.
It really depends on whereabouts in York City Centre you are heading and where you are coming from as to which you choose.
Private Car Parking in York
We have two Q-Parks in York. They are secure multi-storey car parks, that are well lit and feel safe (as a woman I have always been a bit nervous of multi storey car parks particularly at night). The most central is The Shambles car park which is a four minute walk from The Shambles. There is also a Q Park next to The Barbican Centre, which is ideal for their concerts and shows.
The Q Park is generally more expensive than the council car parks, but you can prebook (definitely prebook if you are seeing a concert – the one next to the Barbican isn’t huge and will get full quickly). Another note on the Barbican Q-Park – we got there early to see a comedian and there was plenty of room to park (so go early if you can).
It was carnage getting out of this car park straight after the gig though, so I would say, either get back to your car really quickly, or hang around for a bit at the venue while the road rage dies down!
You can pay with a card at the Q Park machines, but what I particularly like is that you can use ‘tap and go’ where you use a contactless card as you drive away and then you don’t need to queue to pay at the ticket machine.
They also provide secure overnight parking if you are staying overnight in a hotel that does not have parking. Alternatively, we have a list of York hotels with parking.
Q Park Parking Prices
The below prices are for the Q Park Shambles car park.
York Council Car Parking Charges
You can see the current car parking costs below – this may be slightly different depending when you read this. I’ll try and keep it updated – but forgive me if it is out of date. Prices were correct as of July 2023. It gives a good idea of what you will pay anyway! Some of the Council car parks are pay at the machines or with an app at the time of parking, some are the ANPR types (where they scan your car reg) and you pay as you leave.
The current car parking app for the York Council Car Parks is PayByPhone. It’s worth downloading ahead of time.
If you use the app to pay, it’s a bit of a faff the first time you use it as you have to enter your card details but it does get easier after that. The main benefit is that if you underestimate how long you will be, you can extend your time from your phone – so a) you are not stressing and b) you don’t get a ticket!
The Minster Badge Holder charges are for York Residents who have applied for a ‘Minster Badge’. If you don’t have a Minster Badge then the other fees apply.
If you arrive after 6pm then it’s a flat charge of £4, which lasts until 8am the following day. This makes for very cheap overnight parking – but your car wouldn’t be as secure as if it was left in one of the private car parks overnight.
York Station Parking Prices
There are several car parks around the station. The closest is just to the left of the station and is run by LNER. It’s certainly the most convenient parking spot. It goes back further than you think and has 604 spaces at the back.
It’s fairly well lit but large so I try and park as close as possible to the station if I am returning after dark. It now has an ANPR camera that takes your registration as you enter. Then you can pay on the station concourse as you are leaving to head back to your car, or pay with contactless at the barrier.
Alternatively, the York Commuter car park is at the back of the station. We often use this if we are going away for a few days. You can book your spot ahead of time.
For shopping in York I used to park in Castle Car Park which is right in the centre and in the shadow of Clifford’s Tower. This is perfect for the Castle Museum, Clifford’s Tower itself, The Grand Opera House and Jorvik Viking Centre. I have to say though that their spaces are quite tight so if you have a bigger car or are not confident about parking in tight spaces, this is not the car park for you. To show you what I mean, here is a photo of my Land Rover in Castle Car Park. Yes, my wheels are touching the white lines at both sides!
It’s fine on an early evening when the shoppers have left if you are going to the theatre or heading out for a meal in York. If you do try this one and have a bigger car then the row of parking that is on the furthest side – next to the River Foss are the widest spaces.
Over the road is St George’s Field Car Park, there are not as many spaces here but it’s less well known and you might find a spot. Once parked, you can walk along the river walkway into town. I’d recommend a drink or something to eat at Dyl’s if you are parking here. It’s also a good place to park for York City Cruises. If you are visiting in winter, it’s worth knowing that this car park does close if there is a risk of flooding.
There is a large private car park belonging to Jaipur Spice on Haxby Road. The car park has unrestricted height access, is very close to the hospital and St John’s University and just a 15 minute walk into town. Prices compare very favourably to other York car parks.
£1.30 – 1 hr
£2.20 – 2 hrs
£3.30 – 3 hrs
£5.50 – All Day Car Parking
Discounted rates available for NHS Staff at £3.50 per day (upon verified registration) or monthly @ £60 pcm. Monthly Permits available for non-NHS staff at £70 per month.
Cheap or Free Parking in York
There is no free parking in York city centre. York isn’t huge though, so there is lots of parking in the suburbs that you can walk or get a bus from. Rather than do this, I’d recommend the Park and Ride as it’s relatively cheap and very easy. It’s £3.60 per person return and up to three children can travel for free with a paying adult.
Up to five people travelling together after 9am on weekdays (or any time at weekends) can buy a First Group Day ticket for £10.
The fare for concessionary pass holders boarding the bus at any Park & Ride site is £1.30.
The photo below shows the overspill car park at the Grimston Bar site. There is ALWAYS lots of parking in this bit. There are public toilets too if you are desperate.