CAR parking fees are set to soar dramatically with local councils being slammed over predicted profits of a record £1billion.
Motorists will be hit in the pocket with a rise of up to 230% from next month, according to a new audit.
Car park prices will go up and many councils will also raise the cost of residential permits.
They will look to rake in more money in some areas of the country by ending cheaper Sunday parking.
Hampshire, Nottingham, Reading, Cambridge, Brighton and Exeter are all planning major increases in fees.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “Drivers beware. April sees the start of new tactics for some councils going after more cash from drivers.
“Some councils are already budgeting to make millions of pounds more from motorists, on top of the millions they already get, by increasing parking charges, extending restricted parking zones, enforcing new bus lanes and looking for new opportunities to catch drivers.”
Families are already facing the second highest rise in council tax in a decade with typical Band D rises of £76 from next month.
Councillors claim the rises are necessary because of budget cuts from central government.
Local councils are expected to make a record surplus of £885million from parking fees in 2018-19 which could hit £1billion over the following year claim the RAC Foundation.
An RAC Foundation spokesman said: “With sums this large in play, the question must be whether they are actually helping our town centres and high streets to thrive, or whether it feels more like motorists being targeted to help increasingly cash-strapped councils balance their books.”
It has been reported that parking charges in Hampshire could rise by up to 230% while Northampton Borough Council is trebling evening car park charges from £1 to £3 an hour.
East Yorkshire MP, Sir Greg Knight, is a high profile critic of private parking firms.
He said: “This is a short-sighted strategy that doesn’t make any sense.
“I’m surprised that on the one hand local authorities are complaining that their high streets are struggling yet on the other hand they are adding to their grief by putting up parking charges.
“When you look at the budget of every family if they have to pay more for parking this also leaves them with less money to spend in the shops locally.”