Charges could be imposed on hundreds of new parking spaces around Bognor Regis and Felpham.
A major survey is being carried out by West Sussex County Council to assess kerbside spaces in dozens of roads.
The study could lead to the controlled parking zone around the town centre – where residents pay £40 a year to leave their vehicles – being extended.
The results are being compiled in the Victoria Drive area west of the existing zone, the Glenwood Estate around the university campus and Snooks Corner in Felpham, close to the Beachcroft Hotel in Clyde Road.
Bognor motorist Cliff Mewett, whose car has been among those logged in the survey, said: “I can’t help thinking this will be just another way to make motorists pay more.
“If that’s the case, fewer people will come into the town centre and they will go to the out-of-town sites where parking is free.”
County councillor Francis Oppler (Bognor East) said he was determined to ensure residents in his area did not have to pay to park.
“Parking schemes in some situations could prove beneficial to residents,” he said.
“But they have to be done in such a way that they do not have to pay for the privilege to park outside their homes.
“The schemes have to be sympathetic to each community, almost on a street-by-street basis.
“Some two-thirds of residents on the Glenwood Estate have been all in favour of parking schemes, at previous meetings on the matter.
“But that support goes out of the window when they realise they will have to pay.”
Snooks Corner residents’ chairman Fred Parsons said: “There are mixed views about this around here on whether people should have to pay to park their cars.
“Some say it would be a good idea and others say it would be impractical. There are so many people coming down here, especially in the summer, where would they park?
“There is a bit of annoyance with local people being unable to park outside their property, or even their road, in the summer, after driving around looking for somewhere. But I don’t think we are different to many other places in this age, where almost every property has a car.”
A county council spokeswoman said: “The survey work is looking at existing parking patterns and behaviours in key areas.
“It is a very early part of the review of the Bognor controlled parking zone.
“The beat surveys involve logging vehicle positions every two hours. The surveys will be carried out on different days of the week and at different times of the day.
“The reason we undertake this work is to assess the existing parking patterns and to establish the various trends and usage of the road space.
“This will help us identify and resolve some of the reasons for congestion and help identify possible solutions.”
The next step would be to send letters to all residents and businesses within the study area to seek their views, she said.
The voucher parking scheme in Bognor dates back to April 1992. It covers 352 spaces bounded by Gloucester Road, West Street, Canada Grove, Spencer Road, London Road and Glamis Street.
The mixture of free parking, residents’ permits and hourly charges was a compromise after the council dropped charges for all kerbside parking because of public anger.