Despite spending £50 on a big shop, easily spending more than the £5 needed, you are facing a hefty fine.
But you may have easily missed the fine print on your ticket telling you how to get round the problem.
It turns out that, even after leaving the car park and returning home, you can still validate the parking online up until midnight the same day.
Introduced in late 2016, customers now have to make a minimum spend at Tesco if they want to enjoy two hours free parking.
Supermarket bosses acted after saying they received complaints from shoppers about struggling to get parked at the store – despite it having more than 700 spaces.
Most of us have now got used to the parking arrangements at the Tesco store but here is a reminder of the rules and how it all works.
What do you need to get free parking?
People who want to stay for two hours’ free parking need to spend a minimum of £5 in the Tesco store.
How does it work?
Cameras take an image of every vehicle that enters the car park and record its registration, which is used later on. The cameras also record the vehicles leaving and correlates the time spent in the car park.
When the customer has made a £5 purchase they get a voucher with a barcode on it and they will need to scan that at one of the machines.
The machine asks customers to put their registration in and then shows a picture of their car on the machine and ask them to confirm that it is them.
They can then exit the car park as normal.
How much does it cost me?
Parking continues to be free for up to two hours if a purchase worth £5 or more is made at the store.
What if I only want to pop in for something that costs less than £5?
No minimum spend is necessary for people who use the car park for up to 30 minutes – and if you only stay for 30 minutes, you don't even need to make a purchase at Tesco.
Can I still use other shops in St Stephen's?
There is no issue using other shops in the centre so long as customers park for less than 30 minutes or spend £5 in Tesco.
Why did Tesco do this?
"The reason we have introduced this is because of the people who are using our car park who are not using our shop," Tesco manager Nick Carolan previously told Hull Live.
"It is not a free car park for the city centre, it is a Tesco car park.
"The car park has been one of the main customer irritants since we have opened.
"On our busiest days, customers struggle to find a parking space and we are doing this to free up spaces. It is the number one thing customers tell us about.
"There are no other free car parks in Hull city centre, which is why we have been subject to so much abuse.
"We had to find a solution that wasn't too expensive and it has to be simple and cost-effective. We couldn't have anything like barriers that would interfere with the flow of traffic in Park Street.”
What about if I am just using the opticians at Tesco and not buying anything?
Those people who visit the opticians are given a voucher so they can still park for free for up to two hours.
What happens if I stay too long?
Anyone who overstays the two-hour limit will be sent a fine of £70, which is reduced to £35 if it is paid within two weeks.
What are they doing about people who park in bays they shouldn't?
Tesco has launched a new scheme across the country which means people misusing parking spaces, such as disabled and parent-and-child bays are fined £70.
Where else can I park?
St Stephen's shopping centre has its own car park which costs £2 for up to three hours, with rates rising to £20 for ten hours or more. Parking after 6pm costs £1 and is £2 all day on Sundays.
There is also a car park at St Stephen's Square on the site of the former Hull Truck Theatre. It has more than 250 spaces.
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