Save money on the cost of parking… by finding a drive instead: ‘I make £1,000 a year owning two spaces’
Motorists expected to be hit by soaring municipal parking fees next month could cut costs – by parking in someone’s driveway instead.
City council parking charges are rising by up to 10% from April, putting further pressure on already cash-strapped motorists. Many local authorities are plotting this ‘stealth tax’ on car parks on top of a 5% rise in council tax in April after the government lifted the cap on bill increases.
Still, savvy motorists could cut the cost of their parking fees in half by paying one of more than 50,000 landlords nationwide willing to rent their driveway or garage to park instead.
Motorists can use smartphone apps provided by amenities such as JustPark, YourParkingSpace and Park on My Drive to locate available spaces.
Brian MacDowall, spokesperson for the action group Alliance of British Drivers, said: ‘Greed is clearly at work on the part of councils who view motorists as mere cash cows.
£1,000 per year for owner of two spaces
Homeowners with a space in their driveway or an empty garage can use a parking app to earn a little extra cash.
Sebastian Miles earns almost £1,000 a year renting a few spaces for £7.50 each per day outside his central Birmingham home, which is 300 meters from the popular Utilita Arena concert venue.
‘Win-win’: Sebastian Miles rents his car in Birmingham
The 51-year-old financial services project manager says, “It’s a win-win situation. I make a bit of money with spaces that are not being used as people can park their cars for less than a ten instead of £20 in an official car park.
Sebastian, who rents spaces through YourParkingSpace, has also added CCTV cameras and a lockable post in front of his driveway to give motorists extra security – but has never had any problems in the two years he has rented spaces .
Although the app includes location details when customers pay for a parking space, Sebastian also texts them the night before with instructions in case they get lost.
“We encourage drivers to research available alternatives rather than pay this stealth tax.
“Paying someone to park in their driveway can often be the best value option available – but in the future, with parking price increases, it’s likely to be even more attractive.”
Councils already rake in at least £1.8billion a year from parking fees. Those who have already confirmed they will raise fees by 10% or more include councils in London, Kent, Cornwall, Yorkshire and Rutland.
Others, like Hertfordshire, will also squeeze motorists by extending parking charge periods and cutting free parking on Sundays and public holidays.
Motorists are typically charged between £5 and £10 per day to park in an owner’s driveway for a full day. But you can pay less for shorter periods – or more if you want to stay overnight. By comparison, municipal car parks in some towns charge up to £5 an hour.
As with most public car parks, motorists use a driveway or garage space at their own risk and the owner is not responsible for damage to the car on the premises. If something happens, you can make a claim on your car insurance.
The cost of parking in an aisle tends to drop the further you get from a central location, such as a train station or meeting point.
For example, a space near the station might cost £12, while a ten-minute walk might drop to £6.
The best deals can be snapped up days in advance, so book ahead if you can. It also gives you peace of mind that you won’t be rushing for a last minute space. Drivers can book and pay for their parking spot through the apps so they don’t have to interact directly with owners. The apps also provide instructions on how to find the parking space you have reserved.
To use one, you must register by providing some personal information, your car registration number and your bank payment details so that the charges can be collected. You choose the length of your stay when booking. If you overstay your stay, you will likely incur additional charges, which should be clearly stated when booking.
JustPark charges motorists a transaction fee of 99p on top of the parking fee – or 49p if parking takes less than two hours. YourParkingSpace charges drivers a commission of 20% of the invoice plus a 99p fee.
Park on My Drive is free for drivers, but charges driveway owners £20 a year to use its service.
Harrison Wood, Managing Director of YourParkingSpace, said: “With parking fees rising across the country, more and more motorists are now turning to services such as ours. By pre-booking, you can enjoy a less stressful experience than driving into a parking lot that may be full.
A spokesperson for the Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 councils in England and Wales, said: ‘Councils are working hard to ensure there are parking spaces available for everyone. at any time of the day.
“Revenue generated from parking fees and fines is spent on running parking services – with any excess being spent on essential transport projects, such as road repairs.”