Unlocking the Best Parking Spots at Old Trafford: Ensure a Winning Match Day Experience

Ultimate Guide to Match Day Parking at Old Trafford: Tips, Choices & How to Maximize Your Game Day Experience

If you’re planning a trip to Old Trafford for a match day, there’s more to consider than just what jersey to wear. In fact, one of the key components to ensuring a great game day experience is figuring out where to park your car. Have you thought about that? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

Preparation Tips for Match Day at Old Trafford

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for that big day. 

  • Plan Your Arrival: It’s always a good idea to aim at arriving at least two hours before the kickoff. Not only does this afford you enough time to find a comfortable parking spot, but you’ll also avoid the last-minute rush.
  • Know Your Route: Do some research in advance about the best routes to take to the stadium. Consider traffic patterns, roadwork, and potential bottlenecks, and always have a backup route just in case.
  • Check the Weather: Manchester weather can be unpredictable. Always check the forecast ahead of time and dress accordingly. Pack an umbrella or raincoat if necessary – you don’t want bad weather ruining your exciting match day.
  • Stay Informed: It’s wise to be on top of official announcements. Check Old Trafford’s official social media pages and website for updates on any road closures, parking changes, or important event details.
  • Top Up Your Gas: Running out of gas on your way to (or from) the game? Not a good idea. Make sure you have enough to get to Old Trafford and back.
  • Pack Essentials: Don’t forget items like your match tickets, phone, wallet, and other essentials. Also, carry some snacks and drinks to enjoy while waiting for the match to start.
  • Choose Your Parking: Decide in advance whether you’ll be utilizing official parking, alternative locations, or street parking. Each option has its own pros and cons, which we’ll delve into later in this article.

In a nutshell, careful prep ahead of time can ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience at Old Trafford on match day. After all, your main focus should be on the electrifying game ahead, not on untimely hitches, right?

Choosing the Right Parking Option for Your Needs

You’ve marked your calendar for match day at Old Trafford but the dilemma looms, wondering where you’re going to park your vehicle? Fear not, brave football fan! Choosing the right parking option involves considering a few key factors, and we’re here to guide you through each one. 

How Far Are You Willing to Walk? 

Ask yourself: are you willing to put some extra miles on your sneakers? The proximity of parking spaces to the stadium varies greatly. Official parking facilities, like Old Trafford’s own car parks, provide the shortest, most convenient walks to the match.

However, they are also the quickest to fill up. If arriving early isn’t feasible, consider alternative parking options within a comfortable walking distance. 

Ease of Access and Exit 

The location of your parking space isn’t just about the walk to the stadium, it’s also about the potential gridlock on exit. High-traffic areas close to the stadium often lead to longer lines and slower departures. Parking further out can often mean a smoother, quicker exit after the game.

Don’t mind waiting in traffic with other buzzing fans? Feel free to choose spots closer to the stadium. Who knows, you might even score an autograph or two! 

Cost Considerations 

Your budget can also play a big role in choosing a parking spot. Official parking facilities generally come with a cost, though they provide security and proximity.

On the contrary, various off-site parking locations and street parking may present cheaper, or even free, alternatives. Weigh the pros and cons and choose what’s best for your wallet.

Special Needs 

For those requiring disabled parking or traveling with family, your needs will shape your choice. Old Trafford offers dedicated parking facilities for disabled fans.

Additionally, some parking options might be more family-friendly, offering better access to restrooms, food and drink vendors, and being in generally safer, well-lit areas. 

All considered, do your homework before match day. Knowing your options and having a plan can help alleviate any match day stress and make your experience at Old Trafford all the more enjoyable. Is ‘navigating parking chaos’ on your event day to-do list? We thought not!

The Official Parking Facilities at Old Trafford

The stadium boasts official parking facilities that strive to provide a seamless experience for every supporter. Let’s explore what these main parking areas can offer. 

Match Day Parking Facilities at Old Trafford
Figure 1: Parking Facilities at Old Trafford

The Car Park N3/N4 

Located right on Sir Matt Busby Way, this official parking area offers convenience that’s hard to beat. With just a short stroll separating supporters from the yearning chants of the stadium, the N3 and N4 car parks are coveted spots with limited availability. Remember, you’ll need to book your spot in advance! 

The Car Park W3 

If you’re a frequent traveler to Old Trafford, Car park W3 may just become your new best friend. Offering ample space, this car park is located on John Gilbert Way, just a stone’s throw away from the iconic stadium. So why not wheel into W3, and feel the energy of the crowd, before even leaving the parking lot? 

The Car Park N2 

Thinking about those post-match traffic jams? Fear not! Car park N2 is specifically designed to offer easy access and quick traffic flow. Positioned on Wharfside Way, the N2 car park is an optimal choice for a swift and smooth exit once the game wraps up. 

The Car Park E1 

Accessibility matters. Which is why Car Park E1 provides spacious disabled parking places, accommodating those who need it most. Situated on Chester Road, E1 stands as an example of Old Trafford’s commitment to ensuring all fans can enjoy the match day experience with ease and comfort. 

Alternative Parking Locations near Old Trafford

First up, the Trafford Wharf Road area offers a variety of secure, privately-run car parking options. Less than 10 minutes’ walk to the stadium, these parking areas provide affordable rates and, usually, quicker exits onto the main roads. You might dub these spots the secret midfielders of parking! 

Be aware! These private parking lots often do not have pre-booking options, so arriving early is key to grabbing one of these coveted spots.

Salford Quays is another diamond in the rough when it comes to parking. Not only does it boast several secured car parks, but its location is sheer perfection! A brisk, refreshing 20-minute walk along the historic Manchester Ship Canal, and you’ll be standing in awe in front of the theater of dreams! Plus, it’s a great area to grab a pint and a bite before or after the match. Doesn that’t sound like an excellent game day to you? 

Looking for something a bit more secure and less time-sensitive? Then The Lowry Outlet Mall could be your match made in heaven. It’s a park-and-ride facility, which means you park your vehicle and hop onto a dedicated shuttle bus that drops you at the stadium.

You swap the worry of finding parking with the reliability of a pre-planned ride. Just remember to check their shuttle times before planning your journey. 

The East Manchester Academy also offers another park-and-ride option and they pride themselves on their contribution to a good cause. All proceeds from their parking facilities are donated to the school, so you’re not just parking – you’re playing a part in nurturing the potential stars of future matches. How’s that for a win-win situation? 

Finally, for those willing to lace up their walking boots, Manchester City Center offers numerous parking lots and garages. The comfortable 45-minute walk will take you through some of Manchester’s most iconic sights. And hey, who knows? You might even cross paths with a legendary United player! 

Understanding Parking Regulations and Restrictions

When it comes to navigating the sea of cars at Old Trafford on match day, understanding the parking regulations and restrictions can be a real game-changer. So, what’s the playbook? Let’s break it down! 

Parking Permit: The most important document you need is a parking permit. Without this, your vehicle could face fines, clamping, or towing. Most importantly, it guarantees you a space in the official parking facilities. But remember, this isn’t just a ticket you can pick up on the day. You need to book your parking permit in advance online. 

Match Day Restrictions: Beware of match day parking restrictions! These can change based on the event and can seem as unpredictable as a last-minute penalty shootout. Certain roads may be closed or have restricted access. There could be a no stopping, no waiting policy in effect in areas close to the stadium. Always stay updated on these regulations to avoid penalties. 

  • Road Closures: Certain primary routes, such as Sir Matt Busby Way, are closed off around three hours before kick-off and remain so for a while after the match. These traffic amendments are in place to help manage the large influx of pedestrians.
  • Residential Zone Permits: The residential streets around Old Trafford operate a residents-only parking zone. Here, only those with residential parking permits can park. If you don’t have one, don’t even dream about parking there.

Resident-only zones aren’t just around Old Trafford; they’re also in the nearby neighborhoods including Stretford, Hulme, Salford, and parts of central Manchester. Let’s not forget Old Trafford Cricket Ground too, which enforces a strictly no parking policy on match days. 

Moreover, for those thinking of bus or coach parking, remember these vehicles are only allowed to park in designated zones. In most cases, upon arrival, traffic marshals guide them towards suitable parking spaces. 

Overtime Parking: Don’t get caught out by overtime parking! Most facilities operate a strict timeline for the removal of vehicles after the match ends.

Be sure to check this in advance and plan your post-game activities accordingly. You don’t want to be that guy who misses his ride home because he was indulging in a post-game pie and pint too long! 

A successful parking experience at Old Trafford is like a well-executed free-kick, it requires planning, precision, and a solid understanding of the rules. So, arm yourself with these insights and set yourself up for a memorable match day experience.

Ensuring the Safety of Your Vehicle on Match Days

As devoted Red Devils, we share in the excitement of every match day at Old Trafford. However, it’s crucial that amidst the roaring cheers and the adrenaline pumping on-field action, we don’t overlook the safety of our vehicles.

Ensuring that our automobiles are safe and sound while we immerse ourselves in the football fever is vital. So, how can we make this happen? Let’s dive into this together! 

First and foremost, only choose officially recognized parking spaces. The security at official parking spots are held to the high standards set by Manchester United FC, helping you to relish the game without any concern for your vehicle. 

But what about those more hidden concerns, the kind that lurk in the shadows? It’s not just physical safety we’re talking about here, but the seemingly invisible threats as well. Make sure to keep your vehicle locked at all times.

Seems obvious, right? Yet, amidst the pre-match jitters and post-match jubilation, it’s surprising how many of us forget this simple step. 

Keep your vehicle contents secure, too. Leaving objects on display in your car can be tempting for opportunistic individuals. Hide any items of value in the trunk or take them with you. The best defense, after all, is a good offense. Or, in other words, not tempting fate in the first place! 

Remember, safety doesn’t stop at your car’s interior; it extends to your car battery too. Don’t leave your car lights on. You don’t want to come back to a drained battery after the thrill of the match. Can you imagine anything more anticlimactic? 

Lastly, upon parking your vehicle, make a mental note of your parking spot’s location. Crazier things have been known to happen than forgetting where you parked after a wildly exciting game! 

Accessible Parking Options for Disabled Fans

Ah, considering the needs of all fans is essential, isn’t it? In the spirit of inclusivity and convenience, Old Trafford has done quite a commendable job in providing accessible parking for disabled fans. Whether you’re a home or visiting supporter, rest assured there’s a space kept just for you. 

The first port of call? The accessible parking bays at N2, N3/N4, and E1 car parks. These are reserved exclusively for blue badge holders and are ideally located situated near the stadium, saving you both time and energy. A quick protip here – do ensure to display your blue badge prominently to avoid any hiccups. 

Now, you may be thinking: “What about pre-booking my spot?” Hold that thought, because you’re in luck! You can pre-book your parking space up to four weeks before the game. Talk about convenience! 

But what if you’re a season ticket holder? Well, you, my friend, have a special perk coming your way! Season ticket holders can apply for a season-long parking permit. Now isn’t that a game-changer? 

Hold up. What if the official car parks are full? Don’t fret, folks. There are a number of alternative parking facilities nearby that also offer accessible bays. But remember, it is still a wise move to verify these details prior to your arrival to ensure a stress-free match day experience. 

Lastly, a quick final tip: showing up a bit early can make all the difference on match days. Swifter entry, smoother transition, and possibly even a chance to soak in that electrifying pre-match atmosphere? Sounds like a win-win to me! 

Parking Dos and Don’ts for Match Days

Before we let the festivities take over, let’s get you savvy on parking dos and don’ts – a crucial part of ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. Ready? Let’s dive in! 


  • Plan Ahead: Do map out your parking plan before you leave home. Identify the best parking spots conducive to your needs. Nothing bursts a football enthusiast’s bubble quite like being late due to unplanned parking issues!
  • Book in Advance: Do confirm your parking space in advance. Old Trafford’s parking areas can get filled pretty quickly on match days, and you wouldn’t want to miss the start, would you?
  • Arrive Early: Do make it a point to reach the parking area in plenty of time. This means less stress, less rush, and more time to soak in that match day buzz!
  • Follow the Rules: Do stick to the guidelines and restrictions laid out by the club and local authorities. They’re there for a reason, folks! Remember, being a responsible fan makes the event smoother for everyone.
  • Consider Public Transport: Do consider the advantages of public transportation. Sometimes, leaving the car at home can eliminate a lot of hassle, and Manchester boasts an extensive and reliable public transport system.


  • Rush or Panic: Don’t arrive at the last minute without a plan. Give yourself enough time to park and reach the stadium without feeling rushed.
  • Park Illegally: Don’t succumb to the temptation of parking illegally, even if it seems like the only option. It can lead to fines or getting your vehicle towed – a surefire way to ruin match day!
  • Ignore Designated Areas: Don’t park in areas that are not designated for match day parking. This can cause inconvenience to local residents and businesses, and could get your vehicle removed.
  • Forget to Lock Your Car: Don’t forget to lock your vehicle and ensure it’s safe. Never leave valuables visible in the car – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
  • Disrespect Neighbours: Don’t disrupt local residents with noisy parties in the parking lot. Always remember, being part of the Red Devils’ family includes respecting our neighbours!

So, there you have it, the dos and don’ts of parking at Old Trafford, which I hope will help to navigate parking at this iconic venue on match days. Let’s keep the spirit of the game both on and off the pitch, shall we?

Tips for Avoiding Parking Scams and Unofficial Attendants

Let me tell you, there’s a match day challenge that even the most seasoned fan may struggle with: dodging those pesky parking scams and unofficial attendants. So, how do you navigate this tricky terrain? Pull up a chair, fellow Red Devils devotees, and let’s tackle this one together, shall we? 

Firstly, always ensure you’re dealing with official parking attendants. These diligent heroes will be donning high-visibility jackets—that’s your first clue. Plus, they carry official identification.

Aren’t sure if the person guiding you is official? Don’t shy away, ask to see ID. It’s your money, your car, and your peace of mind at stake. And remember, these attendants will only be found in the official parking lots we discussed earlier. 

But what about the “attendants” who approach you elsewhere? The ones offering that oh-so-convenient spot right around the corner?

My friend, steer clear! Unofficial attendants might promise you the moon, but in the end, there’s no guarantee your car would be safe, or even still there when you return. Not the sort of post-match surprise you want, right? 

Next up, avoid paying over the odds. Now, we all know demand can send parking prices soaring on match day, but that doesn’t mean you should be shelling out a ridiculous sum. Cross-check the prices displayed on official Old Trafford or Manchester United website.

If someone’s charging you significantly more without offering any extra, alarm bells should ring. Why pay more for the same product, right? 

Lastly, and importantly, parking permits. In some locations near Old Trafford, a permit is required to park on match days. The essential bit to know here is, these permits are non-transferable. Anyone offering you a “special deal” on a permit is pulling a fast one. Stick to the official channels when acquiring a permit, and you’ll be good to go. 

Parking Tips for Away Fans Visiting Old Trafford

Let’s not forget about those supporters trekking from afar to cheer on their teams at Old Trafford! After all, football’s camaraderie shines brightest when fans from opposing sides share the same passion, right? So, are you ready for the great Old Trafford experience? Here’s a handy guide on parking, specifically for visiting fans. 

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the location and routes. Old Trafford, situated in the heart of Greater Manchester, is serviced by numerous convenient transport links. However, if you’re choosing to brave match-day traffic and drive, it’s imperative that you know how to navigate the city’s vibrant streets to your selected parking spot. 

  • Well-signed car parks: Old Trafford boasts several official car parks where you can leave your car safely. Car Parks N2 and N3/N4 usually reserve space for visiting supporters. However, it’s always best to call ahead and confirm.
  • Pre-book your parking: To avoid the last-minute hustle, consider pre-booking your parking spot. Sites like JustPark offer a variety of options close to the stadium, ensuring you get value for your money, as well as peace of mind. Do remember though, on match days, there’s a competition not just on the field, but for parking spaces too!
  • Local parking: If official car parks are full, fear not! There are numerous spots in Lancashire Cricket Club or nearby Salford Quays. These are just a stone’s throw away and make for a pleasant pre-match walk.

Bear in mind that parking in residential areas around Old Trafford is strongly discouraged, not to mention, frequently ticketed. Locals aren’t entirely thrilled to find their driveways blocked on match days, and you don’t want to kick off your Old Trafford outing with a parking violation, do you? 

Lastly, remember to factor in some extra time for exiting post-match. Let’s keep the sportsman spirit alive all the way through, and exit in an orderly fashion. After all, isn’t football all about enjoyment and good times?