Local Conservatives have challenged a loophole in the new City Hall parking scheme that could enable councillors to get free city centre parking.
At present, councillors can use St Mary's car park free of charge when they have Council meetings in the neighbouring City Hall.
However, Cllr Michael Hartnack has highlighted that the system also allows councillors to park for free at a weekend, when they might be visiting the city centre for other purposes.
Cllr Hartnack has challenged Sunderland Council to remove this loophole and has been successful in getting new measures in place to make councillors pay.
Councillors using the car park for private purposes will now have to pay a parking attendant on site and a receipt will be issued as proof.
Cllr Hartnack said:
"Councillors' cars are automatically recognised through the ANPR system and do not generate a ticket to enable them to pay.
"That means that councillors parking in St Mary's to do their shopping on a morning are getting free parking, whilst other visitors to the city centre have to pay.
"This is an unfair loophole that can be exploited and so I have asked that new arrangements be put in place to enable councillors to pay for their use of the car park.
"Councillors using the car park for private purposes will now be required to make payment and obtain a receipt for proof."
St Mary's car park is free to the public after 3pm, from Monday to Friday, as are all Council car parks.