Car parking FAQs

Volunteer working in car park

During 2017 you will notice some changes at our pay-and display car parks. These are predominately found at our coast and countryside places. Parking will continue to be free for members, however, from around April we will be updating our car park pay-and-display machines and asking you to scan your member card at our pay-and-display sites for a free parking ticket to display in your car.

Car park pay-and-display: supporter scanning

The great thing about this is that every time you scan your card, the place you are visiting will get an allocation of National Trust funds, which will be used to maintain and improve facilities and footpaths.

Don’t worry if you don’t have your card with you initially, your 2017 car sticker will still be valid for free parking at these sites. But do remember, you should always carry your member card with you when visiting ours places for your free entry and parking benefits.

Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions; please have a look and if you have any further questions, let us know as we will be updating these as the project progresses. 

Frequently asked questions:

Why is scanning of membership cards at pay-and-display sites being introduced?

Currently we have no way of monitoring the overall use of the majority of our coast and countryside car parks as we only have a record of the number of visitors who pay for parking. Scanning of membership cards for your free parking will enable us to understand just how many people are using our car parks and when.

This will help us better support conservation needs at the places you are visiting through providing additional funding from your membership fees back to the property for each member visits. Remember, scanning each time will help fund the specific place you are visiting so that we can provide better facilities on site. We’ll also be able to better understand pressures on our car parks, which will enable us to provide better facilities on site.

How will the data that is gathered from membership scanning be used?

The data we gather from this will be used in a variety of different ways. It will be used to allocate National Trust funds accurately to the places you visit to help them maintain facilities and footpaths.

And, as with membership cards at properties, we’ll use the data collected to offer you a more personalised experience of the National Trust through more tailored communications, and it will make us more efficient so even more of your money will go towards caring for the places you enjoy. In some instances, it will also help us plan how to get the on-site offer right for you.

Will members be fined if they do not have their membership cards?

No. Your car parking sticker will still be valid for free parking, but by starting to scan your membership cards you’ll be benefiting the places you love.

What happens if the scanning functionality fails? What do I do?

We are keen to understand any scanning issues in these early stages, so any feedback we can get from you will be very helpful. Staff are often on hand in our car parks to help visitors. If your card fails to scan, please see if there is a staff member available to help you. If not, your car sticker indicates that you are a valid member, so please be assured that it is fine to leave your car.

What personal details are held in the car park machine and can I be identified?

The data held by each car park pay-and-display machine to verify the member card is a single unique code per member. No personal information on any supporter is held in the car park machines and no member can be identified from their scan except by the National Trust.

I’m a life member and I don’t have a scannable card. How do I access free parking?

We’ll be replacing all life member cards with a new scannable version through 2017. As soon as you receive your new card, you’ll be able to scan for your free parking ticket and help support the place you’re visiting. Until then, the 2017 car sticker remains valid.