Off-street and on-street parking
There are a range of options when parking in town and cities, including on-street parking and off-street car parks. Traffic attendants still patrol the car parks and issue Penalty Charge Notices (parking tickets) to illegally-parked vehicles.
Off-street car parking
Local councils are responsible for operating the majority of charged car parks and are also responsible for setting the tariffs, lighting and their upkeep.
For information about council car parks, check local signs and/ or council websites.
The Department for Infrastructure only operates three charged car parks and these are the Park and Ride sites in Belfast at Eastside, Northside and Great George’s Street.
Off-street (car park) parking tickets are white in colour - make sure you buy and display the correct ticket for your parking.
Motorcycles are permitted to park free of charge in all car parks; however they must be parked wholly within a bay where such is marked out. Trailers are not permitted in car parks.
On-street car parking
While the majority of on-street parking in Northern Ireland is free, there are three Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) where on-street charges apply. They are:
- Belfast (around 1,300 on-street parking spaces)
- Lisburn (around 240 on-street parking spaces)
- Newry (around 440 on-street parking spaces)
You can find the on-street tariffs on the following page:
Whether using pay and display machines in a charged car park or CPZ, you must make sure that the ticket you buy is enough for the length of your stay.
On-street parking tickets are buff/yellow in colour - make sure you buy and display the correct ticket for your parking clearly on your car windscreen or dashboard.
You will need to have change for the ticket machines (unless using cashless parking) - these take any sterling coins from five pence to two pounds (they do not accept copper coins). However, the machines can only accept a maximum of 25 coins for each transaction.
Additionally, pay and display machines in most border towns accept Euro coins.
Motorcyclists are also expected to pay and display in CPZs and must, therefore, consider how best to display their ticket clearly while safeguarding it at the same time.
Motorcyclists may, however, wish to use the cashless parking option which removes this concern.
Cashless parking is available in all pay and display off-street car parks and on-street charged car parking locations in Northern Ireland operated by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and local councils.
Cashless parking is provided by JustPark and is an alternative way of paying for your parking other than using coins at the pay and display machines.
To use cashless parking, you'll need to register your vehicle and method of payment details with JustPark, or download their app. Once registered, you can pay for and manage your parking using your mobile phone, mobile app or online.
You don’t have to estimate your parking time, as you control when you start and stop your parking. However, there may be restrictions on the length of time you are allowed to park - see local signs for details.
There is no need to show a pay and display ticket on your vehicle, as traffic attendants can check if parking has been paid using cashless parking.
There is an 8p booking fee for each JustPark parking session, along with the normal parking tariffs.
Information on how the service operates is provided on the pay and display machines at each location.
Paying for cashless parking if you don't have a smartphone
If you don’t have a smartphone you can pay for your parking with JustPark using your mobile phone.
- to start your parking session, phone 028 9124 8440 (local call rate charges apply)
- listen carefully to all the instructions
- enter the location code (this is shown on the nearest parking ticket machine)
- to stop parking, call the above number again
- you will be charged for the parking time plus an 8p booking fee
- if there is a fault with the JustPark phone line or app, report this by phoning 028 9057 1956
It's important to note that:
- if you don't stop your parking session, charges will apply up to the maximum parking period (see local signs for information)
- traffic attendants can check if you have a valid parking session
- a parking ticket (Penalty Charge Notice) may be issued for failure to obey parking restrictions
For more information on cashless parking, visit the JustPark website.
Car parking charges off-street and on-street (non-charging days)
Parking charges normally apply in all off-street car parks and on-street controlled parking zones (Belfast, Lisburn and Newry):
- from Monday to Saturday (except on 2 January, Easter Monday, 12 and 13 July, and 25 and 26 December or days in lieu, when there is no charge)
See below for details of non-charging days for 2023.
Monday 2 January
Although parking charges do not apply on these dates, all other parking restrictions stay enforceable.