Free & Paid Parking in Oxford

Free Parking Oxford

This article was updated in September 2023

Free Parking in Oxford

Table of Contents

Free Residential Streetside Parking

Your best bet for free parking in Oxford is to park in a residential street and walk into the city centre from there. When parking in residential streets, be considerate of the people who live there. Observe the usual on-street parking rules like keeping entrances and driveways clear. Don’t park on double yellow lines. Keep noise to a minimum, particularly at later hours. Always bear in mind that you park on residential streets at your own risk, and check for any signs stating restrictions before leaving your vehicle.

If you’re unfamiliar with a city, it can take time to find available on-street parking and you’re not guaranteed to happen upon them unless you know where to look. In the list below, we’ve organised all of the residential streets with free parking based on which direction they lie from Oxford centre, with postcodes and walking distances included.

North Oxford

Free parking in the northern residential streets of Oxford are a bit more of a walk into the city centre. However, they’re convenient if you want to visit a couple of the beautiful green spaces like Port Meadow and the University Parks (where you can find Tolkien’s Bench). You will also hit the Museum of Natural History and the Ashmolean Museum before getting into the city centre proper, not to mention the many university colleges, including St Catherine’s and Magdalen, and the huge Bodleian Library. The famous Bridge of Sighs is near the end of this route.

  • Gouldland Gardens OX3 9DQ – 2.5 miles
  • Westlands Drive OX3 9QR – 2.5 miles
  • Fairlawn End OX2 8AR – 2.7 miles
  • First Turn OX2 8AH – 2.7 miles
  • Foxwell Drive OX3 9QA – 2.8 miles
  • David Walter Close OX2 8NJ – 2.9 miles

East Oxford

Parking in an easterly direction, depending on the distance, can be convenient for visitors to the John Radcliffe Hospital. There are also many university recreation grounds, parks, and the Parsons’ Pleasure bathing place along the way to the centre of Oxford. The route will also take you through many of the Oxford University campuses and buildings, for a lovely architectural walk.

Double check local signage to make sure you don’t exceed the maximum stay periods on these residential streets. It varies between no maximum stay, 2-hour max stay, and 3-hour max stay. In addition, many of these streets have residents-only controls in place after 6:30pm.

  • Cowley Place OX4 1DX – 0.7 miles
  • Whitson Place OX4 3DD – 1.5 miles
  • Essex Street OX4 3AW – 1.5 miles
  • Hertford Street OX4 3AJ – 1.5 miles
  • Catherine Street OX4 3AH – 1.5 miles
  • Sidney Street OX4 3AG – 1.5 miles
  • Ridgefield Road OX4 3BZ – 1.6 miles
  • Kenilworth Avenue OX4 2AW – 1.6 miles
  • Belvedere Road OX4 2AZ – 1.6 miles
  • Drove Acre Road OX4 3DF – 1.6 miles
  • Boundary Brook Road OX4 4AW – 1.6 miles
  • Cumberland Road OX4 2DA – 1.7 miles

The streets below are more south-easterly and a further walk from the centre, but are much nearer to the Templars Square shopping centre. You will also pass several parks and green spaces on the walk to the centre. These streets are also more convenient for getting to the o2 Academy Oxford and the Botanic Garden.

  • Clive Road OX4 3EJ – 2.3 miles
  • Temple Road OX4 2HL – 2.3 miles
  • Gaisford Road OX4 3LQ – 2.7 miles
  • Atkyns Road OX3 8RA – 2.8 miles
  • Herschel Crescent OX4 3TT – 3 miles

South Oxford

Parking south of the city centre will put you amongst many different parks and green spaces, including Iffley Meadows and Hinksey Park. You also get to cross the River Thames at the Folly Bridge and will pass by the Westgate shopping centre.

Ensure you review the local signs to confirm you don’t overstay the allowed time on these residential roads. The limits range from no time restrictions, to 2-hour and 3-hour maximum stays. Moreover, several of these roads implement residents-only restrictions after 6:30pm.

  • Lake Street OX1 4RP – 0.9 miles
  • Oswestry Road OX1 4TL – 1.3 miles
  • Augustine Way OX4 4DG – 1.9 miles
  • Marsh Road OX4 2HH – 2.1 miles
  • Vicarage Road OX1 4RB – 1 mile
  • Norreys Avenue OX1 4ST – 1.1 miles
  • Sunningwell Road OX1 4SZ – 1.1 miles
  • Lincoln Road OX1 4TB – 1.2 miles
  • Monmouth Road OX1 4TD – 1.2 miles
  • Northampton Road OX1 4TG – 1.2 miles
  • Iffley Road OX4 1SD – 1.2 miles
  • Wytham Street OX1 4TN – 1.3 miles
  • Chatham Road OX1 4UY – 1.3 miles
  • Warwick Street OX4 1SZ – 1.4 miles
  • Peel Place OX1 4UT – 1.4 miles
  • Quartermain Close OX4 4AP – 1.6 miles
  • Meadow Lane OX4 4BJ – 1.6 miles
  • Woodhouse Way OX4 4JN – 2.1 miles
  • Bay Tree Close OX4 4DT – 2.1 miles
  • Tree Lane OX4 4EY – 2.1 miles
  • Abberbury Road OX4 4ES – 2.2 miles
  • Rymers Lane OX4 3JX – 2.2 miles
  • Stone Quarry Lane OX4 4HE – 2.3 miles
  • Church Hill Road OX4 3SE – 2.4 miles
  • St Lukes Road OX4 3JD – 2.6 miles
  • Littlemore Road OX4 3SS – 2.6 miles

West Oxford

There are less parking options to the west of the city. However, walking to Oxford centre from this direction will take you over the Thames, past Oxford train station and into the city via the Oxford Castle & Prison. You will also walk through Nuffield and St Peter’s colleges.

  • Arthray Road OX2 9AA – 1.9 miles
  • Hazel Road OX2 9LF – 2 miles
  • Seacourt Road OX2 9LN – 2 miles
  • Finmore Road OX2 9AE – 2 miles
  • Conifer Close OX2 9HP – 2.1 miles
  • Montagu Road OX2 9AQ – 2.1 miles
  • Crabtree Road OX2 9DU – 2.2 miles
  • Cope Close OX2 9AJ – 2.2 miles
  • Hutchcomb Road OX2 9HL – 2.2 miles

Free after 5pm/Overnight/Weekend Streetside Parking

The streets in this section are good options to consider when you need parking in the evening, overnight, or on the weekend. Between 8:30am and 5:00pm, restrictions such as residents-only are in play, but outside of these hours, feel free to park your car on these streets. Remember to park considerately and keep the locals in mind. 

  • Gorse Leas OX3 9DJ – 2.5 miles
  • John Buchan Road OX3 9QN – 2.6 miles
  • Meaden Hill OX3 9QJ – 2.6 miles
  • Halliday Hill OX3 9PY – 2.6 miles
  • Upway Road OX3 9QH – 2.7 miles
  • Steep Rise OX3 9QG – 2.7 miles
  • Harefields OX2 8HG – 2.8 miles
  • Holt Weer Close OX2 8NW – 2.8 miles
  • Kendall Crescent OX2 8NE – 2.9 miles
  • Priors Forge OX2 8NN – 2.9 miles
  • Sparsey Place OX2 8NL – 2.9 miles
  • Pennywell Drive OX2 8NB – 2.9 miles
  • Templar Road OX2 8LT – 2.9 miles
  • Coniston Avenue OX3 0AW – 2.2 miles
  • Derwent Avenue OX3 0AR – 2.2 miles
  • Snowdon Mede OX3 7TQ – 2.3 miles
  • Bowness Avenue OX3 0AJ – 2.3 miles
  • Eden Drive OX3 0AB – 2.3 miles
  • Stansfield Close OX3 8TH – 2.8 miles

Free after 6:30pm/Overnight/Sunday Streetside Parking

Same deal as the previous section; however, parking on these streets is only unrestricted from 6:30pm and on Sundays. Remember to check to local signage for possible changes in regulation.

  • The Grates OX4 3LJ – 2.7 miles
  • Napier Road OX4 3HZ – 2.7 miles
  • Liddell Road OX4 3QU – 2.8 miles
  • Dodgson Road OX4 3QS – 2.8 miles 

Oxford Park & Ride Services

An option that isn’t technically free, but much more reasonably priced, is the 5 Park & Rides servicing Oxford centre. Parking your car at any of these is easy and cheap (starting at just £2 for up to 11 hours) with just a bus fare to pay for all day access to the city. Park & Ride is also useful for overnight stays in Oxford, as you can leave your car for up to 72 hours and the car parks are open 24/7, making collection possible at any time.

The Park & Ride sites in Oxford are:

  • Oxford Parkway (758 spaces) – north of city
  • Pear Tree (1035 spaces) – north of city
  • Redbridge (1412 spaces) – south of city
  • Seacourt (794 spaces) – west of city
  • Thornhill (1335 spaces) – east of city

Park & Ride fees offer exceptional value for money with:

  • 16 hours of parking + return ticket to Oxford for 1 adult + 3 children = £4.00
  • 16 hours of parking + return ticket to Oxford for 2 adults + 3 children = £5.00
  • 1-16 hours parking only = £2.00
  • 16-24 hours parking only = £4.00
  • 24-48 hours parking only = £8.00
  • 48-72 hours parking only = £12.00

2 Hours Free Parking/Customers Only

Oxford has a handful of places where you can park securely for up to two hours. Typically, places like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and retail parks offers this as an option, provided that you buy something. Parking for the price of a cup of coffee? Sounds like a good deal.

  • DFS Oxford OX2 0HD
  • Botley Road Retail Park OX2 0HY
  • Templars Shopping Park OX4 3JP
  • Oxford retail park OX4 6NG

Cheapest Paid Parking near Oxford city centre

If you would prefer the security and convenience of using a car park, there are paid options that won’t completely break the bank. Below we’ve gathered a short list of the cheapest car parks within a maximum of a 30-minute walk from the city centre. Remember to check out our free companion map at the top of the page to pinpoint the parking that is most convenient for your trip. 

  • Hinksey Park Car Park OX1 4PZ – £2.10 for 2 hours
  • St Clement’s Car Park OX4 1AR – £2.70 for 2 hours
  • Oxpens OX1 1RQ – £5 for 2 hours
  • Westgate OX1 1SL – £4.80 for 2 hours
  • Worcester Street Car Park OX1 2BQ – £7.20 for 2 hours
  • Gloucester Green Car Park OX1 2BN – £7.20 for 2 hours

Parking in Oxford can be a headache if you go in unprepared. We hope that the information on this page can help to make parking free (or at least cheaper) and easier. With the money you save, you can more enjoy everything this beautiful, ancient city has to offer.

Free Parking near Oxford

Free Parking near Oxford High Street & City Centre

Free Parking near Westgate & Clarendon Shopping Centres

Free Parking near Oxford Train Station

Free Parking near Oxford’s Natural History & Ashmolean Museums

Visiting Oxford

Oxford is a city in the south of England, most well known for its university – founded in 1096, it’s the oldest English speaking university in the world and very prestigious. The population of Oxford is estimated at only 152,000 but the city welcomes around 7 million tourists every year, mostly because of the historical architecture and university campuses in the city centre.

Many famous authors are linked with Oxford and the university, most notably including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Oxford also boasts many museums and art galleries, including the world’s first university museum (the Ashmolean), as well as the biggest university library system in the UK. The city is rich in history, culture, and education, making it a very popular place to visit.

As with many city centres, parking in Oxford city centre can be difficult and incur hefty costs. However, there are free parking options if you know where to look. We’ve put together this page with all of the free parking in Oxford. The map below gives you a quick look at the options, but read on for more information – including the cheapest paid parking.