A new study into the cost and hassle of parking has discovered that British drivers spend an average 44 hours per year searching for parking space, costing £733 each in time, fuel and emissions, and costing the country a total of £23.3 billion.
INRIX combined data from its parking database of 100,000 locations across 8,700 cities in more than 100 countries, with results from a survey of nearly 18,000 drivers in the US, UK and Germany, including 7,035 in 10 UK cities.
From this it has analysed and ranked what it calls “parking pain,” and has found that, possibly not surprisingly, London ranks as the worst city to find parking, with drivers there spending an average of 67 hours a year searching for a spot, costing them £1,104 each in wasted time, fuel and emissions and the city as a whole £4.3 billion.
Belfast came second (56 hours – £134m), followed by Leeds (47 hours – £297m), Bristol (46 hours – £169m), Birmingham (46 hours – £373m), Cardiff (44 hours – £126m), Manchester (41 hours – £169m), Glasgow (40 hours – £226m), Edinburgh (38 hours – £167m) and Southampton (35 hours – £98m).
It also found overpaying for parking costs British motorists up to an estimated £6.7 billion a year or £209 per driver. British drivers also pay £1.2 billion annually in parking fines.
The report says businesses and high streets bear the brunt of parking pain as 40% of motorists avoid driving to shops due to problems finding parking.
“If we add up all the costs in this research, so the time spent searching for a space, the amount drivers overpay for parking and the amount spent in fines, the “total” cost of parking pain in the UK is more than £30 billion a year,” said Dr Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX. “This cost is not only borne by drivers but also by local economies as people avoid shops due to parking issues. While 71% of drivers said there isn’t enough parking available, occupancy for spaces can be as low as 50%1. We have an information problem more than a parking problem. A problem that technology can help fix.
“To lessen the significant burden parking pain has on our economy and lives, smart parking solutions are available for drivers, parking operators and cities to help reduce search times, congestion and pollution as well as negate overpaying and fines altogether. Still, more needs to be done to drive adoption. Parking pain will only get worse until technology is fully embraced.”