Search for parking spaces costs UK £23.3bn a year, says Inrix


A new survey has revealed that UK drivers spend 44 hours every year searching for a parking space, which leads to costs resulting from wasted time, fuel and emissions of £733 per driver, and £23.3bn for the country as a whole.

Carried out by Inrix across the UK's ten largest cities, the survey also found that London is the worst city to find a parking space.

On average, a driver in the capital city spends around 67 hours annually searching a parking space, leading to annual costs of £1,104 per driver, and £4.3bn for the city as a whole.

Belfast ranked second with an average search time of 56 hours, costing £134m, followed by Leeds with search time of 47 hours and an overall cost of £297m.

Inrix chief economist Graham Cookson said: “If we add up all the costs in this research, so the time spent searching for 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 £30bn a year.

"Parking pain will only get worse until technology is fully embraced."

“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%. We have an information problem more than a parking problem. A problem that technology can help fix.”

Overpaying for parking is estimated to cost up to £6.7bn annually or £209 per driver.

The survey also found that nearly 64% of British drivers said they feel stressed trying to find a parking spot, while 16% said that they got into an argument with another driver over parking.

In addition, issues with finding a space had led 38% of drivers to miss an appointment and 26% to abandon a trip entirely.

Overall, the survey showed that 71% of motorists did not think there were enough parking spaces available.

Dr Cookson added: “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.”