Seven ways to save on parking Car parking is stressful, it needn't be expensive
07 July 2011
With the cost of everything from food to insurance on the rise, we focus on how you can save on car parking.
A recent report by Halifax found that the buying a car parking space in central London could set you back more than £200,000. That’s nearly 25% higher than the national average price of a house.
While it’s unlikely that many of us mere mortals will be splashing that much on a patch of concrete, parking can be an expensive proposition. We take a closer look at the cost of parking - and reveal seven ways you can save.
1. Park and ride
A recent Which? survey found that parking costs in council-run car parks in cities vary widely, from £18 for four hours' parking in Westminster down to £3.50 in Bradford.
There’s a reason for this, of course, but there is also a clever scheme that lets you park outside many city centres and get a shuttle service in: Park and ride.
2. Choose the right airport parking
Airport car parks are a universal bug bear, with a week-long stay in Heathrow’s car park costing anything from £59 to £115.
In July this year we investigated and found a range of ways you can save, including booking in advance, using voucher sites and taking advantage of free parking when staying one night at a nearby hotel.
Take a look at this Which? Conversation blog for the details; you can even vent your frustrations by leaving a comment.
3. Appeal parking tickets
None of these methods to find cheaper parking are really much use if you come back and find a parking ticket on your windscreen. However, under some circumstances, you can reduce the damage this might do to your wallet.
Paying the fine straightaway often reduces the it, but better still - you could appeal against the ticket altogether. In 2008/09, for example, 87% of people in who appealed parking tickets issued by Westminster council won.
You can find a full guide to appealing parking tickets, including sample letters, on our the Which? Car website.
4. Rent a driveway
If you are parking regularly in the same area, renting a driveway can be a cost-effective solution. Websites around such as parkatmyhouse.com and yourparkingspace.co.uk could help you track down a place to park.
5. AA's iPhone parking app
The AA’s iPhone parking app (£1.79) not only helps you find the nearest car park - it could also save you time, petrol and money, money as it tells you how much particular car parks cost and whether spaces are available. Find out more via this link.
6. Hospital car park campaign
When Which? surveyed over 1,000 members of the public, we found that 70% of them had experienced problems with an NHS car park. Consequently, we sent Freedom of Information requests to 147 Hospitals to investigate the problem and launched a campaign for change.
You can see how your nearest hospital fared and join our campaign for improved hospital parking on our dedicated campaigns page.
7. Free parking
A little bit of research goes a long way with most things, and parking is no exception. Parking a little further away from your destination, whether it’s the office or station, can add a short 5-10 minute walk to your journey - but it could also save you a fortune.
Plus, any time lost walking is saved by not fiddling around with the parking meter.
Which? Money when you need it
You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.
Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.
Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.