Residents in Gloster Row, Cardigan, were out in force on Friday morning as their four decades of free parking ended.
A ticket machine, installed in the riverside car park, was switched on and residents were told that from now on they would have to pay.
"We are livid," said local resident Kathleen Martin.
"We have been given no formal notification and our promised seven spaces for residents parking has not materialised."
Their cause has been backed by the town council and local county councillor Catrin Miles.
"I have asked for free parking or at least at a reasonable cost restricted to local residents who have no other parking facility," said Cllr Miles.