Finding spaces to park your car likely takes more time than it should. Until we have car-free towns and cities, it’s good to find alternatives to expensive multi-storey car parks. Ask your council to redesign car parks (in the US, cars face diagonally which is easier to get out of tight spots, so less chance of a bump or scrap). Councils could also install solar lights to save energy and make cost savings, to pass on.
The easiest solution is to join a car-sharing club. Ideal for people who drive less than 10,000 miles a year (as long as you can find ones that accept pets, wheelchairs and/or children), you pay the joining fee then just use the car hourly when needed (the company pays for the car, MOT, road tax, insurance, cleaning and breakdown). As each car is used by around 20 people daily, this frees 19 car parking spaces up that would otherwise be clogged with cars through the day.
If you own your own car, JustPark is a good app that earns passive income for people with unused driveways, parking spaces and even unused car parks at weekends. You can make tax-free income of up to £1000 by renting out spaces that would otherwise go unused. Also good to rent out to people near airports, to save them paying astronomical fees. Some offer long-term parking with even bigger discounts. You can also rent out electric vehicle chargers, to make a pretty penny and save the planet too.
how to get free parking
Some people say that free parking encourages car culture. The truth is that bad town planning often means people have to drive to supermarkets etc, as they are not within walking distance. Supermarkets often give free 2 hour parking, but after the weekly shop (especially with a buggy or wheelchair), it’s unlikely you then have time to nip into town to enjoy a cup of tea at an indie cafe, before getting fine. And if you pay for parking, avoid machines don’t give change. TaxPayers’ Alliance says the hundreds of thousands of pounds earned each year, is a form of indirect taxation.
Remember that if you have a Blue Badge (for disabled drivers and carers), you get free parking in some disabled bays. And there is a government ‘grace period’ of 10 minutes, so you can challenge a fine (for late returns, if taking an elderly person or dog back to the car).