UK hospitals are in crisis, with some of the worst A&E waiting times on record.

Departments across the UK are suffering from worsening waiting times as some of the latest figures show, almost 30,000 people in England had to wait over 12 hours to be admitted to A&E in July, while Scottish waiting times also reached a record low in September.

As tens of thousands continue to visit A&E every month for unexpected injuries and illnesses, those who drive may also face a hefty parking bill for their trouble. As households struggle with the cost-of-living crisis and petrol prices, expensive parking charges can add another stress for those already worried about their health.

For those working in the NHS, driving or finding the right car for you shouldn’t add to the stress of your day. Whether you’re a surgeon, nurse or hospital porter, all NHS employees can save money on their next car by looking for an NHS discount car supplier.

But which UK hospital charges the most for parking?

To find out, we analysed parking charge data from the top hospitals in the UK to determine which patients are likely to be left most out of pocket when visiting A&E departments for an unexpected amount of time.

We looked at the cost of parking at over 120 of the UK’s top hospitals and ranked them by cost per 24 hours. The cost of parking for six hours is also shown in the research to highlight the increase in price, as people don’t always know how long they’ll be in the hospital for.

Topping the list of most expensive hospital parking in the UK is St Thomas’ hospital in London as patients and visitors are charged a whopping £76.80 for 24 hours parking and £19.20 for six hours.

A host of London hospitals dominate the top 10 rankings with seven hospitals featuring. Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals ranked joint-second with both charging £57.60 for a 24-hour period.

Geordies may also struggle when attending A&E as Newcastle hospitals also ranked high in the top 50 list. Freeman Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary share the spot for the 13th most expensive hospital to park at.

Leeds General Infirmary and St James’ Hospital also appear at number 20 charging a rate of £16.40 for 24 hours.

“Some of the charges found in this research are pretty eye watering.

“For most, A&E is a last resort when seriously injured or ill. Couple this with a hefty parking charge and it can be an extremely unpleasant and unsettling experience.

“Like A&E departments, ambulance services are also at capacity and the above charges certainly won’t encourage those who are able to travel by car to do so.

“Some UK hospitals offer concessions and discounts where necessary but for the vast majority of people, these charges are a harsh reality. Households are at breaking point with the cost of living crisis and these charges will surely be a concern to many.”

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Data was collected from the websites of the relevant NHS trusts or certified parking partners where NHS trust data wasn’t available. We looked at the cost of parking for six and 24 hours for the top hospitals in the UK before ranking a list of the top 50. 

In some cases, where a flat 24-hour rate wasn't provided or opening times specified, the cost of 24-hour parking was calculated based on the hourly rate(s) that were provided. 

** Parking is only available from the Whittington Hospital between the hours of 5pm – 8am at a rate of £3 per hour. 

On this basis, The Whittington Hospital ranks as the fourth most expensive Hospital in the UK for parking. This rate has been calculated on the basis of its car park opening times (15 hours) rather than 24 hours.

Data correct as of October 2022

Top Hospitals in the UK 2022