Imagine taking a trip into a major city near you – London, for example – because you wanted to go shopping and then have a nice dinner; but in this world, all parking is free. How nice would it be to simply pull up wherever you found a space and walk away from your car, without paying a penny?
Sounds great – right?
Well, now imagine you are coming home from work to your apartment in the city, but at the end of the day, you had to spend 40 minutes driving around, trying to find a place to park, and then had to walk 10 minutes back to your house, late. Doesn’t sound positive, does it?
In this article, we want to answer the question why parking isn’t free everywhere and share some insights on the key benefits for all motorists.
Top Reasons Why Paying for Parking is a Good Thing
The fact is, currently most of our parking experiences are free. According to the RAC Cost of Motoring Index, over 94% of the time spent parking is within a free parking space, whether at home or when visiting a business. And the total cost for the average household is quite low, with each car costing an average of £41.50 per year – in contrast to the average fuel costs per vehicle of £1,600.
According to reports from the British Parking Association, “In 2010/11, English councils had an income of £1.3 billion from their on- and off-street parking activities. After deducting running costs, the councils made a surplus of £511 million. After deducting capital costs, the surplus would fall to £358 million.” This is highly positive for councils, enabling them to put that money back into their local communities.
But the benefits don’t end with the council or operators and the money that is generated – which is why we want to explore the key benefits of paid parking, from both a motorist’s and business owner’s perspective.
3 Key Benefits to Motorists
1. More parking spaces are readily available
Effectively managed, well-priced parking provides better availability to motorists looking to park – by deterring people from parking without good reason and stopping common problems such as nuisance parking and abandoned cars, there are enough spaces for people legitimately looking to park.
With car parks generating revenue for operators, there is greater incentive to allocate additional spaces or even create new dedicated space for parking in urban areas.
2. Improved Security and Peace of Mind
Having a professionally managed car park gives you better peace of mind, knowing that there are multiple security measures that can protect you, your property and your vehicle whilst parked.
Our car park managers don’t just visit sites to patrol them: they are well-trained and passionate to ensure the wellbeing of everyone who visits the car park – from answering questions about the local area to helping unload heavy shopping into the back of a car.
3. Reduced Environmental Impact
This is a surprising benefit of paid parking. Deterring excessive use of cars by urban commuters means there are far less vehicles on the road creating pollution and additional congestion in the city. Because many people will prefer to leave their car at home and take public transport rather than pay for a parking permit, this has a great benefit to the environment.
3 Key Benefits to Businesses
1. Additional Revenue to Support the Business
The revenue generated from paid parking is a great way of funding improvements to both the business itself, and the start-to-finish service. Hiring more staff and offering better security and safety measures are just a few of the key operational benefits.
Added revenue also ensures that you can afford regular maintenance of your property.
By presenting yourself well from the first moment a customer interacts with your business, and ensuring the best experience possible, you are setting your business up for further success.
2. Access to Greater Technology
Another benefit of having a professionally managed paid car park is access to technology to support the car park’s effective management. Systems such as ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and digital permit systems generate fantastic benefits in all areas of the customer and business owner’s experience, also allowing better insights into who uses your car park, and when.
3. Your Customers Have the Space They Deserve
This is vital to ensuring a great experience for your customers in both residential and membership-based businesses, where customers rely on regular or daily access to their space. Having non-authorised parkers abusing a parking space can be frustrating. Our clients in the residential industry and their customers have seen great improvements in their car parks after investing in a professional management system, and they reap those rewards daily, always having space to park instead of previous arrangements, when they couldn’t find anywhere to park on returning home.