Councils in England made a total of £930m from parking activities in a year, figures show.
The record figure during the past financial year is a 7% increase on 2017-18, the RAC Foundation says.
Seventeen of the 20 councils making the most money are in London, with Westminster Council accruing the largest amount, at £69m.
Brighton and Hove, Birmingham and Milton Keynes were the only three in the top 20 not in the capital.
Kensington and Chelsea was second in London, with a total of £37m.
Any money made from parking activities - which includes fines and tickets - must be spent on local transport projects.
'Keep traffic moving'
The study was carried out by transport consultant David Leibling, who analysed Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data.
Local authorities received an income of £1.746bn from their parking operations in 2018-19, which included £454m from penalties, which is up 6% year-on-year.
The amount councils spent on running their day-to-day parking operations was £816m, not including interest payments or depreciation of assets such as car parks.
David Renard, the Local Government Association's transport spokesman, said London had the highest number of vehicles moving about looking for spaces to park.
"I would expect the higher volume of vehicles moving around London means there'll be a higher level of infringement and fines," he said.
"[Councils] seek to ensure they can keep the traffic moving as efficiently as possible and that means people who infringe the regulations will get fined," he said.