Frequently asked questions

University staff parking: FAQs

Car parking from 1 October 2021:

Q: How do Pay As You Go (PAYG) permits work?

A: From 1 October all car parks will change to PAYG permits. This change reflects the move to hybrid working and will ensure staff who use our car parks have flexibility in access and that charges reflect actual use.

Staff will still require a permit, which will be assigned to one car park. This is required to manage demand and capacity across our car parks.

There will also be a change of location to the barriers at Dilworth Street Car Park, so do be aware of that repositioning.

Q: What does this mean for permit holders?

Going forward all staff permits will be transferred to a PAYG system. This will mean permit holders will have to add credit to their University ID card or Permit Card, and a deduction will be taken from this credit each time the car park is used.

Monthly payments from salary will no longer be taken as previously. If you already have a PAYG permit any credit will remain on cards and will only start to be charged from 1 October.

Q: What will the costs be?

In February 2020, an increase to monthly prices had been agreed and these were due to be implemented in August 2020, to be followed by annual price increases. However, as part of our pandemic response in April 2020, the charges for most permit holders were suspended and have since not been taken.

The new rates will be banded by Grade, with an hourly rate as per the table below:



Hourly rate (from 1 Oct 2021)


1 and 2



3 and 4

















The new rates reflect the increase which would have been implemented from August 2021.

Q: How does this compare to previous price rises at our University?

A: The comparison table below shows year on year costs. Normally there would have been price increases so while this seems like a big rise, it is the rise we would have seen had we all been working on campus. In addition, everyone working on campus has had free parking for the last 18 months.

Price comparison between 2021 and previous years at The University of Manchester:


Monthly Rate (Feb 2020)

Monthly Rate

(Aug 2020 – suspended)

Monthly Rate

(Aug 2021)

Hourly Rate

Parking per month (based on 7 hrs per day, 5 days per week)

1 and 2






3 and 4




































Q: What about other permit holders?

A: Permits are available for a number of other car park users, including contractors, tenants, honorary staff, undergraduate students (with a DASS Referral), and other/external associates based in University buildings.

These permits will continue to be charged upfront on a monthly rate which is payable by card payment at the Car Parks Office. The rates will be charged as follows:

  • Postgraduate Research (PGR) Students: PGR Students will be able to choose a PAYG permit if this is more suitable, which will be matched to Rate B (£0.15 per hour).
  • Dental Hospital Permits: A process will be implemented for staff at the Dental Hospital to provide evidence of Grade and staff will be matched to the relevant rate. More information will be circulated directly to the Dental Hospital.

Q: What do I need to do now?

A: If you are a permit holder who hasn’t parked on campus recently, we recommend you contact the Car Parks Office ahead of your first visit to campus to check on the status of your permit as your account may have become inactive if unused for a long period.

We ask that you contact the Car Parks Office one-to two weeks before you return to campus and we will make arrangements for you. It’s possible you will need to visit the office if your permit has become inactive, and you can drop in between 08.30-12.30 / 13.30-15.00 Monday to Friday.

Obtaining a Permit:

Q: I am already a permit holder, do I need to reapply?

A: No, if you are an existing permit holder, or are currently on our permit waiting list, you do not need to reapply.

Q: How do I apply for a permit?

A: You will need to complete a Permit Application Form to apply for a PAYG permit. The form can be downloaded from the Estates website.

Q: Is there still a waiting list for a permit?

A: Yes. We realise that car parks are currently quieter than pre-pandemic, however, until the campus is busier and more staff have returned to working on campus we need to retain the waiting list but this will be reviewed on a regular basis with wait times reduced if at all possible.

Q: How do you know what my Grade is?

A: Ahead of the launch of the PAYG system, the Car Parks Office will be liaising with Human Resources to obtain the Grade of current permit holders in order to allocate the relevant Rate. No salary information is required.

If we do not currently have your ID number within the system, we may need to contact you to obtain this information in order to ensure you are matched to the correct rate.

Once the system is active, we will use the ID number provided on your application form to obtain Grade information from HR, ahead of your appointment to activate your permit.

Q: Where will I be able to park?

A: All standard PAYG permit holders will continue to park at the car park they opted for on their application form. Any change of car park still needs to be requested via the waiting list.

Parking at Dover Street Car Park, Front Quad, Rear Quad, North Campus Loop Road and North Campus Arches will remain by special permission only.

Q: Can I switch between car parks?

A: Yes, however, you must apply to switch via the waiting list and the switch will only be possible once a space becomes available.

Q: Are car share permits still available?

A: The cancellation of permits being paid for through salary means that car share permits are no longer available. PAYG permits are available to all staff members (subject to the waiting list).

Payments and Costs:

Q: Where can I add credit to my card?

A: For anyone who hasn’t previously had a PAYG permit, an initial payment will be taken, by card, in the Car Parks Office when your permit is set up. Once the first payment has been taken and your permit activated, you will be able to top up at the Car Parks Office (via appointment), or at the pay machines at Booth Street West, Charles Street, Dover Street and the Aquatics (Level 7+ only) car parks. Further information will be published ahead of the launch.

Q: How do I add credit to my card?

A: Credit is added via card payment only. Instructions for topping up will be made available and displayed at the pay machines ahead of the launch. You will be able to top up your permit at the pay machines from 1 October.

Q: How will I know how much credit I have remaining?

A: Your remaining credit will be displayed on the screens at the entry/exit of the car parks as you scan your card.

Q: What happens if I run out of credit?

A: You will not be able to exit the car park if you do not have enough credit on your card, therefore users are advised to top up credit when funds are down to approximately 5 days parking.

Q: How long is credit valid for?

A: For most permit holders, credit will be valid for one year. For anyone on fixed term contracts or associates on short term contracts/leases, there will be an expiry date added to the permit in line with the end date.

Q: Will I be able to get a refund if I leave or give up my permit?

A: Yes, provided it is within the one year period of topping up. In order to receive a refund an appointment will need to be made at the Car Parks Office.

Q: Will I be able to top up online or over the phone?

A: We are not permitted to take payments over the phone, and don’t offer an online payment option. Direct debits and standing orders are also not possible.

Q: Will there still be a discount for LEV and ULEV?

A: The ULEV Scheme which was introduced in February 2020 will remain active and will offer a 50% discount on parking for eligible permit holders (any vehicles emitting less than 50g CO2/km). The discounted rate will be applied for 12 months from the date a V5 Certificate is provided. The permit holder MUST contact the Car Parks Office each year with the original V5 Certificate, otherwise the discounted rate will be removed.

The original LEV Scheme which was introduced in 2014, which offered a 50% or 75% discount on vehicles with CO2 emissions up to 110g CO2/km will cease, as these vehicles are no longer deemed low emission in the Government tax and emission bands.

The scheme will be reviewed annually and will fall in line with Government guidance with vehicles no longer meeting the criteria being removed from the scheme.

Using the Permits:

Q: I enter/exit the car parks multiple times per day. Will I be charged every time?

A: Charges will be made on an hourly rate, while you are within the car park. You will be charged for the time you park from the point of entry and exit up to the hourly rate. There is a grace period set within the system of 10 minutes.

Q. Are the payments capped

A: Yes you wont be charged for more than 7 hours per day (up to a maximum of 35 hours per week).

Q: I currently have access to a number of areas on campus due to my role. Will this still be possible?

A: If access to multiple car parks or areas of campus is a business requirement, then an email with Line Manager approval may need to be provided.

Q: What happens if I forget my ID or permit card?

A: If you forget your ID/permit card, access can still be gained via the intercoms or by taking a ticket on entry. You will need to provide your name and the date/time of entry will be recorded. If access is required without a permit on a regular basis, then the Car Parks Office may temporarily pause your permit/access.

Q: I lost my ID card. Will my parking access still work?

A: If your ID card has been replaced by HR Services, you will need to contact the Car Parks Office to arrange an appointment to have your parking access activated on your new card. This does not happen automatically and cannot be done remotely.

Q: Is a parking space guaranteed?

A: No. We will always try to provide parking for permit holders, however, a space cannot be guaranteed. Public parking is monitored to maximise space for permit holders.


Q: Is Visitor, Contractor and Delivery Parking still available?

A: Yes. The process for booking visitor parking remains the same and requires the completion of a form.

The rate for visitor parking will continue to be charged at £7.50 per day.