Hunting for presents? Free parking on certain days in the run up to Christmas

Released on November 15, 2018

Motorists in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse can enjoy free parking in district council car parks on certain days in the run up to Christmas.

The annual free parking tradition is provided by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils to encourage people to shop locally for their Christmas presents. The free parking days allocated to each area are agreed with the individual town councils depending on which day would best suit local traders. 

Free Christmas parking days also mean people don’t have to pay to park if they wish to catch up with friends and family in the pubs, cafés and restaurants found across southern Oxfordshire’s towns during the festive period.

Drivers will be able to park without paying for a ticket in South and Vale car parks on the following days up to 24 December:

South Oxfordshire

  • Didcot – Mondays from 3 December
  • Goring – Saturdays from 1 December
  • Henley – Tuesdays from 4 December
  • Thame – Saturdays from 1 December
  • Wallingford -Thursdays from 6 December

Vale of White Horse

  • Abingdon – Saturdays from 1 December
  • Faringdon – Saturdays from 1 December
  • Wantage – Fridays from 30 November

On the above days there’s no need to display a ticket.

Cllr Caroline Newton, Cabinet Member for Technical Services at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Free parking days give people that extra incentive to spend more time in their local shopping area and it also helps to encourage visitors.” 

Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Technical Services at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “We already offer two hours free parking each day but in the run up to Christmas people often need more time. 

“Parking is also free on a Sunday in the town centre car parks including the two lower levels of the Charter car park in Abingdon.”

For details on parking in southern Oxfordshire visit

Notes to editors

Free Sunday parking in Abingdon – 392 spaces

Charter car park - There are 57 bays on the lower level that are available on all days 24/7.  The upper levels are locked at 7.30pm until 7am,  but the disabled bays on ground level and the level 1 (lower level) are open all the time. 

In addition, for those wishing to take advantage of Sunday opening hours in Abingdon there are car parks in Cattlemarket (65 spaces), Civic (65 spaces), Audlett Drive (98 spaces), West St Helens 107 spaces.  All these car parks are free on Sundays throughout December.

There is more parking at Rye Farm and Hales Meadows (two car parks a short walk over the bridge past the ‘NagsHead’ pub) have a total 152 spaces and Abbey Close (79 spaces) but they charge on Sundays.