Some councils are racking up huge surpluses from their parking-charge activities, according to figures from the RAC Foundation.
In 2011/12, English councils had a total current account surplus of £565 million from their on-street and off-street parking operations.
This is a £54 million increase on the £511 million surplus in 2010/11, said the foundation.
It added that the figures showed that just 52 (14 percent) of the 359 councils reported a deficit on their parking operations in 2011/12.
ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports.
The authority with the biggest surplus before capital charges was Westminster Council in London, which made a surplus of £41.6 million in 2011/12.
Only Brighton and Hove and Cornwall councils broke into a top 10 dominated by London authorities.
The councils in England with the largest surpluses - before costs - in 2011/12 were:
- Westminster - £41.6 million
- Kensington and Chelsea - £28.1 million
- Camden (north London) - £25 million
- Hammersmith and Fulham (west London) - £19.5 million
- Wandsworth (south west London) - £16.1 million
- Brighton and Hove - £14.4 million
- Islington (north London) - £10.9 million
- Cornwall - £7.9 million
- Newham (east London) - £7.3 million
- Hounslow (west London) - £7.3 million
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said that for many councils parking charges "are a nice little earner - especially in London".
The surplus figures come just days after a judge declared that Barnet Council in north London had acted illegally in setting parking charges to raise revenue.
And councils expect net income on parking services to increase to £635m in 2013/14, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles pledged to take action against high parking charges, saying: