Is Pricey Parking The New Normal?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Just how much are you willing to pay for off-road parking? According to recent reports, a Knightsbridge-based estate agency is currently selling a single parking spot for a whopping £275,000 in London - that’s £40,000 more than the cost of an average home in the UK.

The prized spot is situated just a short walk away from Hyde Park, and is housed in a veritable fortress underneath the Albert Hall. Whilst it may sound like an extravagance reserved for millionaires, the offer highlights a growing problem in the nation’s biggest cities, with a combination of rising petrol prices and costly off-street parking forcing the cost of city driving through the roof, with fewer drivers able to afford the daily commute.

In fact, 78% of Britain’s drivers are now spending more than £150 a month on parking alone, with drivers in the south paying as much as £33 for just three hours in a secure car park when out shopping, for example. The problem has spurred a whole industry dedicated to helping drivers find a precious spot, with sites such as ParkLet selling spaces across the UK for around £45 a month.

The problem looks set to worsen, with an ever-increasing number of cars hitting Britain’s roads each week - and it seems that the only members of society not affected are the politicians, as this week saw both PM David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne lambasted by the press for flouting parking rules, with Osborne parking in a disabled bay and Cameron leaving his chauffeur-driven Jaguar in a 30-minute bay for almost three hours.

If you're concerned about a lack of secure and affordable parking in your area, and how this may affect your car insurance, there are a number of simple steps you can take to make your car less of a target for opportunistic thieves when out and about; including parking in a well-lit, highly visible area, ensuring no valuables are left on display in the car cabin, and removing or concealing anything left in the boot.

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