A majority of drivers believe that town centre parking has become more expensive and spaces are too small for today's vehicles, a survey has said.
Two-thirds of motorists asked in the RAC survey said they thought parking was pricier.
But the group representing councils said parking charges were not being used by authorities to raise money.
Two-thirds of drivers also thought spaces did not take into account new, wider cars with side-impact protection.
Following publication of the survey of 1,526 motorists, the RAC said that councils should make parking easier and cheaper.
The survey pointed to suggestions that some parking spaces that had been free now carried a fee.
The RAC accused local authorities of using parking charges as a means to fill gaps in their budgets, a suggestion that was denied by a council body.
"This 'report' further peddles the myth that councils are using parking charges to raise money. The reality is that the average motorist is paying 30 times more to Whitehall in charges and taxation every year than they do to their own town hall through parking," said a spokesman for the Local Government Association.
"Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists by keeping a lid on parking charges. They do not make a profit from parking. All income from charges and fines are spent on running parking services and any surplus goes on running essential transport projects such as bringing our dilapidated road network up to scratch."