Councils raked in the cash last year thanks to parking charges, according the RAC Foundation. Local authorities across England generated a combined profit of £594 million from their on and off-street parking operations throughout 2012/13, the foundation said.
Quoting data from the department of communities and local government, the RAC said there was a 5% increase of the surplus of £565 million from the previous year. Only 52 of the 353 councils in England reported a deficit in 2012/13.
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "There's no disputing the figures we have looked at. They are the numbers the councils themselves submit to central government.
He added: "What's more, council budgets show that the surplus for the current year is set to be higher."
Councils do not make a profit out of car parking fees as every penny raised from motorists has to go back into "transport related things" like road maintenance and free bus passes, a local councillor told Daybreak.
There may be a move towards smaller cars, but you would struggle to find a vehicle small enough to park on what is likely to be the shortest double yellow lines in the UK.
Measuring just over nine inches long, the lines are in Caxton Street, Westminster, central London, between a taxi rank and some parking bays.
Leith Penny, Westminster City Council's strategic director for city management, said: "This was a mistake by a contractor. We are obviously not happy about it, because double yellow lines should play an important part in traffic management and road safety.
"But on this occasion we can see how absurd this looks and we will make sure it is corrected."
Transportfor London (TfL) is planning to increase the time limit for freeparking on some of London’s busiest roads from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
The proposals are in line with the recommendations of Mayor Boris Johnson. The aim is to help small businesses by providing more flexibility for people who wish to park and shop, pay a bill or run an errand.
TfL wants to hear the opinions of Londoners about the 'Stop and Shop' scheme, which would affect 600 bays across the city.