Guidance document

Residents’ Parking Schemes - Explanatory Notes

Explanatory notes about the residents parking schemes


Residents’ parking schemes are designed to regulate parking, to reduce highway obstruction and to give priority over available space to residents and their visitors. Drivers should check daily that the location bay they are parked in has not had a suspension notice added.

Motorbikes do not require parking permits. They should be parked diagonally towards the kerb so as not to take up a full space that could be used by a motor vehicle.

1. Use of “permit holders only” parking places

These parking places are available generally for the full 24 hours of every day unless specifically signed otherwise, when they may only be used by:

  • Vehicles displaying a valid Resident Parking Permit
  • Vehicles displaying a correctly completed valid Visitor’s Parking Permit
  • Vehicles displaying a valid Business Parking Permit
  • Vehicles displaying a valid Disabled Parking Badge

*on passenger vehicles adapted to carry not more than 12 passengers, and vehicles not exceeding 2 metres in height, 5 metres in length, 2 metres in width and under 2250kg (2.25 Tonnes)

All permits are issued for use in the designated bays on the public highway only. Permits have either a one or a two-letter suffix and are only valid in a permit-controlled zone with the same letter’s suffix marked on road signs. All permits must be clearly displayed inside the front windscreen on the nearside of the vehicle, in such a way, that the details can be easily viewed from the pavement. All permits remain the property of Oxfordshire County Council.

It is not possible to allocate specific parking spaces to individual residents nor can it be guaranteed that there will be space adjacent to individuals’ houses, although sufficient space should be available within the parking zone.

1.1 Bays marked as free parking for a limited period

Residents may park in free parking bays for limited periods for the time stated only, unless the bay is also signed for use by vehicles displaying a valid permit for the appropriate zone wherever the zone’s two-letter suffix also appears on the road sign

1.2 Shared-use bays

Vehicles displaying a valid resident parking permit or a Visitors’ Parking Permit are permitted to park without payment in any dual-use resident parking bays. The parking time restrictions are as shown on the road signs.

2. Application for a resident’s parking permit

Before issue, the applicant must complete an application form which can be found at The applicant must upload, to the council’s satisfaction, recent proof of residency and the vehicle registration document (VRD) which must be in the name of the applicant.

Residents applying for the

  • Abingdon
  • Banbury
  • Bicester
  • Cowley Central East
  • Cowley Central West
  • Cowley Marsh
  • Divinity Road
  • Donnington
  • East Oxford
  • Florence Park
  • Henley
  • Iffley Fields
  • Holloway North & South
  • New Marston
  • Magdalen North & South
  • New Headington Quarry
  • South Oxford Extension
  • Temple Cowley
  • Thame
  • Upper Wolvercote
  • Wantage
  • Wood Farm
  • Waterways

Controlled Parking Zones need to ensure the vehicle is also registered at the Oxford address. If you do live in one of these zones, and your vehicle is not currently registered to that address, complete your certificate ready to change, and then scan or email a copy to us before you forward it to the DVLA.

Each eligible applicant is entitled to one resident parking permit which is vehicle specific only.

2.1 Proof of residency

A person is eligible for a Resident’s Parking Permit if they are at least 17 years of age and then only if they normally reside (5 days every week for at least 6 weeks) at an eligible postal address within one of the zones providing proof of residency is produced. Satisfactory proof is:

  • A utility bill or financial statement dated within the last three months
  • A Council Tax document for the current tax year that is addressed to you at the property that you reside at in Oxford
  •  A fully signed, termed Tenancy Agreement (We only require the pages showing the tenant names, property address, tenancy term dates and the signatures)
  • An official letter from organisations such as HMRC, NHS, Benefits agency, local Council etc. dated within the last three months
  • A payslip dated within the last three months (name and address must be visible).

2.2 Eligibility

New applicants must show that they are the registered keeper of the vehicle for which the permit is to be issued by uploading a scan or photograph of the vehicle registration document or the last road tax reminder in the name of the applicant.

Vehicles rented through a reputable firm for a minimum of one year will qualify for a parking permit however, borrowed vehicles will not.

For residents who have purchased a vehicle from a dealer within the last month can produce a sales invoice showing their name to qualify for a permit.

If you do not have either the vehicle registration document or the last road tax license renewal form, you must obtain a new document from the DVLA.

Note that insurance details are not sufficient and vehicles registered in parents or other names are not eligible even if insured for the Oxford resident to drive.

2.3 New car or change of car

To obtain a new permit complete an application form at

Please submit above form with a photo of the valid permit destroyed (cut in half) and one of the following:

  • Garage sales invoice that was issued within the last month
  • New registered keepers tear-off slip (V5 new keeper supplement-green slip)
  • Or the vehicle registration document signed for transfer to the new owner (this can be scanned and emailed to us before you forward it to the DVLA.)

Until you receive your new permit the vehicle should be parked legally in either nonpermit holder bays or permit holder bays with a valid visitor’s parking permit on display.

2.4 Company vehicles

Full-time employees may obtain a permit for a vehicle provided by their employers. To obtain a permit a letter must be produced on company headed paper in the following format.

  • This to confirm that “applicant’s name” is a full time employee of “company name” and is supplied with “vehicle make/model/registration number” for his/her sole business and social use. The vehicle is used essentially for the operational purpose of conducting official company business from the Oxford area.

This letter must be produced with either a copy of the registration document (if the vehicle is registered in the name of the Company) or a copy of the vehicle lease agreement between the company and the vehicle provider, together with recent official proof of residency.

Any applicant, who is claiming exemption from Council Tax on the basis of being a student, is not eligible to apply for a company car as they cannot both be a full time employee and meet the required period for studies.

2.5 New residents

Permits will be granted up to 14 days before permanent residence of the property. If you are purchasing a property then a letter from a solicitor’s firm confirming completion has taken place will be sufficient. If renting, a fully signed, termed tenancy agreement, or a letter from a professional lettings agent that occupation will commence on a stated date will be accepted. It is regretted that landlords will not qualify for parking permits. The scheme is for residents at a property in a Controlled Parking Zone.

3. Visitors’ parking permits

Any person who normally resides at an eligible address within a zone (note Central area below section 5) and who is at least 17 years of age and provides proof of residency (see note 2.1) may apply for Visitors’ Parking Permits. Permits are only for use by guests visiting a resident at the application address. Each eligible resident is entitled to 25 days’ worth of Visitors’ Parking Permits free of charge in the first six month period. A second set of 25 may be applied for after this time but these are charged at a rate of £27.50.

Residents aged 70 or over will not be charged for the second allocation providing proof of age is produced. Special conditions apply to the zones mentioned below. All residents can apply – not just car owners.

As there is little off-street parking in many of the Controlled Parking Zones, residents and their visitors have to compete for on-street parking with only approximately one space available per house frontage, or even less when private entrances need to be kept clear. Therefore, some form of restraint is required to ration the limited parking space available in an equitable way, thus introducing a maximum limit of 50 visitors permits per person, per year.

An allocation of 50 visitor’s permits is intended to last one year, as we enter a new cycle each following year.

3.1 Visitors’ parking permits – scratch cards

Visitors’ Parking Permits are issued in sets of 25. The date, time of arrival and year must be removed from each section to validate it for a period of 24 hours. The permit must be displayed in the front of the vehicle for enforcement officers to verify.

3.2 Surrender of Visitors’ permits

Unused visitor permits should be surrendered to the council in the event of the following

  • the year dates have expired and are therefore no longer valid
  • ceasing to be a resident of the address at which you applied for the permits
  • in date permits that have become defaced or illegible
  • expired unused visitor permits that were purchased. (A refund will be issued on receipt of the permits.)

As the scheme allows for a free allocation of 25 permits per year, any unused out-of-date visitor permits will not be replaced as each eligible resident can apply for an updated version by submitting an online application form.

4. Limit on number of resident parking permits issued to properties

In many areas, the maximum number of eligible applicants will be restricted as follows. These are issued on a first come first issued basis so residents must arrange between themselves who is to receive the permits.

All central areas: See below and also note 5

Restricted to two Resident Parking Permits at each eligible property

  • Abingdon (AB)
  • Banbury (BCW)
  • Bicester (BC)
  • Cowley Marsh (CM)
  • Cowley Central West (CS)
  • Cowley Central East (CT)
  • Didcot (DT)
  • Divinity Road (DV)
  • Donnington (DN)
  • East Oxford (EO)
  • Elms Road (ER)
  • Holloway (HT)
  • Iffley Fields (FS)
  • Jericho (JE)
  • Magdalen North (MN)
  • Magdalen Road and Howard Street (RH)
  • North Marston (MA)
  • New Headington Quarry (QV)
  • South Oxford (SO)
  • Summertown (SM)
  • Thame (TH)
  • Upper Wolvercote (WU)
  • Walton Manor (WM)
  • Wantage (WN)
  • West Oxford (WO) 
  • Waterways (WW)
  • Woodstock (WS)

A majority of new developments or houses that have been converted into flats are not eligible for either Resident or Visitors’ Parking Permits. This also affects older properties that have given up part of the property for infill development. Applicants are advised to contact the Customer Service Centre via email before signing any contract or lease agreement to check that the property is eligible for parking permits.

Please note we are unable to provide this information over the phone.

5. Central area resident parking zones

Only certain addresses are eligible for the issue of permits which were set in 1968, and new Properties are not added to the list. For any eligible dwelling no more than two Resident Parking Permits will be issued per year however each eligible resident is entitled to apply for 50 visitor parking permits. There are four zones, A, B, C & D and permits can only be used in the zone specified by the single letter suffix. Permits are issued on a first come, first issued basis. If the property is not in one of the zones we regret permits cannot be issued.

6. Waterside (WA) resident parking zone

Properties within this controlled parking zone are only entitled to Visitors’ Parking Permits because of existing off-street parking facilities. Any resident over the age of 17 may apply for 25 days’ worth of Visitor’s Parking Permits every six months (A £27.50 charge is applicable for the second set unless the resident is aged 70 or over, proof may be required).

7. Kassam Stadium resident parking zones

Residents of the four zones for this area, Fry’s Hill, Brake Hill, Blackbird Leys West and Minchery Farm are issued with one year’s allocation of Visitor’s Parking Permits (50 days’ worth) free of charge if made between July and December. If an application is received after December the allocation will be reduced by half.

8. East Oxford resident parking zone

Vehicles displaying a valid resident parking permit with the Zone 2 letter suffix (EO) may also park free of charge at the following car parks as detailed. Please note that Visitor’s Parking Permits are not valid in these car parks at any time. St Clements Car Park: Mon to Sat, Permit parking allowed between 4pm and 10am. Union St Car Park: Mon to Wed and Sat, Permit parking allowed between 4pm and 10am and Thursday and Friday, permit parking allowed between 8pm and 10am.

9. Headington central residents parking zone

Vehicles displaying a valid resident parking permit with the Zone 2 letter suffix (HE) may also park in the St Leonard’s Road car park free of charge at any time. Please note that Visitor’s Parking Permits are not valid in this car park at any time.

10. Renewal or surrender of permits

If a permit holder changes their vehicle or if they change address even within the same parking zone the permit must be returned to the council and if appropriate a new application made in the usual way. Reminder letters will be sent 1 month prior to the expiry date of the Resident Parking Permit. Unexpired permits no longer required must be returned to Oxfordshire County Council. We will issue a refund on the unexpired months remaining on the permit. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that a valid parking permit is displayed at all times or a Penalty Charge Notice may be issued.

11. Disabled car users

To apply for a blue disabled person’s parking badge please visit Blue Badge parking permits or alternatively you may contact them direct on 0345 050 7666.

Blue badge holders can park in any resident’s bay in the City, or onstreet pay & display spaces free of charge for an unlimited period. Parking is permitted on yellow lines for 3 hours but never in loading bays during the period of operation. Blue badge holders are not exempt from parking charges in most offstreet car parks.

12. Lost permits

If a permit is lost, then a new application must be made at noting the loss of the old permit. A replacement for the same expiry date for the same vehicle will then be made. No charge is made for replacement permits. Please note that visitors’ parking permits are not replaced if lost or mislaid.

13. Courtesy cars

Where a courtesy car is supplied to a resident parking permit holder whose own car is off the road for repair the existing permit cannot be transferred to the courtesy car. The team will need an email from either the garage or insurance company confirming the period the car is expected to be off the road for repair and details of the courtesy car on loan. This should be sent to Upon receipt of this documentation up to 25 additional Visitor’s Parking Permits can be issued. No charges are made for this facility.

14. Charges

The charge for an annual permit will normally be £70 for each of the first two vehicles. Only in zones where more than two vehicles are permitted, the third permit will be £140 and the fourth and subsequent permits will cost £215. All applications from zones around Kassam Stadium will be £17.50.