Mounting parking fees, rising fuel costs and congestion charges are becoming major issues for tradespeople across the UK.

New research carried out by Toolstation, in which 500 tradespeople were surveyed, found that 80% of respondents had been forced into raising their prices to cope with the growing costs of parking and fuel. 

The report also found that some tradespeople had begun turning down work as a result, with emergency call-outs and longer jobs proving particularly difficult to manage due to the associated costs of parking permits and fines. 

One of the tradespeople surveyed explained how he’d started questioning whether it was even worth accepting these urgent jobs due to the potential financial implications they faced. (via ecn)

“If it is an emergency, it could cause serious property damage, or in some cases put life at risk. Customers aren’t willing to pay for fines and these jobs are stressful enough without the threat of being towed away or facing a fee. 

“The last fine I faced was for an emergency call-out at a flat in Central London. I was up to my knees in water in a basement flat and my van was towed away at 2:30am while I was working, despite being parked in a resident’s space. The total cost to get the van back was £380. I question whether it’s worth going out on these jobs.”

The costs tradespeople face

In North London, Camden council charges £41.39 for a trade permit to park during business hours. Combine that with the £15 congestion charge and tradespeople face paying £56.39 for a full eight-hour day’s work, a cost which often has to be passed on to customers. 

In Edinburgh, the council charges up to £5.60 per hour to park in a central location, meaning a potential parking bill of £44.80. While in Bristol, tradespeople are charged up to £4 an hour, with a total cost of £32 for an eight-hour shift.

When asked for a potential solution to the growing problem, 71% of tradespeople suggested parking exemptions and emergency parking spots when responding to an urgent call-out. 

A spokesperson from Toolstation said: “Tradespeople need to be able to get to their jobs quickly and carry their materials with them, so parking charges for carrying out emergency work and on longer jobs are another unnecessary cost for them to bear and could result in raised prices for their customers.”