Don't let your parking space go to waste - Spend & Save - Money - The Independent

Don't let your parking space go to waste

Charging motorists to park in your home's drive or garage can be lucrative. Chiara Cavaglieri reports

Ask any motorist in Britain what their biggest bugbear is and, after potholes and pouring rain, parking usually comes close to the top.

Anyone would think it was a great British hobby given the amount of time we spend doing it: according to a recent poll by parking company NCP, parking accounts for 152 hours of our time annually. But while Britain's roads become more congested, a new service is emerging that solves the problem of parking spaces while generating a lucrative second source of income.

More people with a garage or driveway to spare are renting the space to drivers looking for a hassle-free spot. With limited spaces and car parks charging through the roof, an unused parking space or garage is a precious commodity in busy cities.

Finding a tenant can be as simple as putting an advert in the local paper or on a listings website such as Gumtree.com, although many people find it easier to use one of the many websites exclusively dedicated to this revenue stream. It is free to list a spare parking spot or garage on Yourparkingspace.co.uk, for example, and Parkonmydrive.com charges £10 a year which is taken only once you've made a booking.

Other websites take commission on successful bookings, but the flip side of this is that you can expect more help with arranging bookings and drawing up contracts which set out the details of the arrangement. Parkatmyhouse.com, for example, takes 15 per cent in commission but offers professionally drafted contracts to download and a secure online PayPal payment system. Parklet.co.uk also takes a 15 per cent share plus a one-off administration fee of £25, but for this the company negotiates with tenants, sets up contracts and will collect payments on your behalf.

Ed Bowsher, the head of consumer finance at Lovemoney.com, says renting out a parking space can prove a valuable way of raising extra cash. "If your front drive is near a busy railway station, you might be able to charge £500 a year or more. Spaces near an airport or a sports stadium can be even more lucrative. Some drivers are prepared to pay £10 a day for these highly valued spots."

Charges aside, potential earnings will depend largely on the availability and demand for parking spaces in a given area, and how close the space is to transport links, sports or entertainment arenas. Average annual earnings for landlords based in Birmingham can be as much as £230 and more than double this in London, at £487, according to Parkatmyhouse.com.

But Anthony Eskinazi, the founder of Parkatmyhouse.com, says the best deals go to those who are prepared to do a bit of research. "Parking space owners can set their own prices, but it's worth checking that your rate is more competitive than nearby car parks or metered parking bays," he says. "If you have electronic gates and CCTV as well, you might be able to charge a bit more."

It also pays to be flexible. You may decide that you want to maximise potential earnings by letting your space every day and all year round, or you may want to let your space only on specific days. How easy it is to arrange this will depend on the site that you use. Parkatmyhouse.com allows its web visitors to let spaces by the day, week or month with as many restrictions as desired. By contrast, the website Parklet.co.uk allows consumers to let spaces on a five- or seven-day basis.

While the gains may be lucrative, they are not exempt from income tax, so it is crucial that full records be maintained showing how much money has been earned to be declared on tax returns.

Security is another issue to bear in mind and is often cited as one of the biggest concerns for prospective driveway landlords. It is wise to hold back from giving out an actual address until a booking has been confirmed and you have been given details of the make and model of the car. Parklet even issues tenants with special parking permits which must be displayed on the windscreen. Your home insurance could pose another problem so always speak to your insurer before you start advertising your space to make sure that your policy won't be invalidated.

It's important to have it stated in the contract that the tenant leaves their car at their own risk, as they would with a normal car park, and that they are liable for any damage caused to your property. You should also ensure that they hold third party car insurance so that they are liable for any accidental damage.

If renting out a parking space isn't an option, you can list anything from spare storage facilities to an unused garden instead on sites such as Spareground.com but, again, it's a good idea to draw up a simple contract outlining a few rules such as when they can use the space and how much you're going to charge.

Case Study

Bee Arnold, 31, All Saints Church, Islington

Islington-based All Saints Church began renting 12 of its private parking spaces to motorists through Parkatmyhouse.com three years ago.

By March of this year, it had raised more than £50,000 from drivers eager to find a space without the hassle that goes parking in the capital.

The church currently charges £11 for half a day's parking and £22 for 24 hours with all the proceeds going towards helping fund local projects in the Islington community.

Bee Arnold, a new minister at the church, says it has been easy to find willing car owners to fill the spaces.

"It seems to work really well for everyone. It's easy for us to do and the car park is pretty full most of the time so there's definitely a need for it," says Ms Arnold.

Another likely factor in its success is the competitive rates the church charges. "I have been speaking to one person staying at a local hotel where the parking was expensive and in the congestion zone. Ours is half the price so they parked with us and just walked five minutes to get to the hotel," Ms Arnold added.

The church has made £68,270 since parking began in 2007, and this year alone it has made more than £20,000.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Sales Executive

    £20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

    Payroll & Accounts Assistant

    £20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

    £280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week