UK drivers waste around 4 days of their life every year just looking for somewhere to park. Motorists will persevere with this hideous driving challenge to avoid a hefty parking fine waiting for us on the window screen upon our return.
These days we no longer need to go through the stress of holding up other drivers when patrolling streets looking for a free parking space, which is usually awfully expensive for a restricted period, and no return caveat.
Most parking woes include getting our hopes up to then find a sign with short or maximum stay restrictions, residents permit holders only, or no parking between certain times.
Most frustrating of all, is the soul-destroying parking meter ‘out of order’, pay and display machines just accepting the correct change, or cash only when you have a credit card.
Thanks to available smartphone Apps, parking has become much easier, offering drivers the opportunity to find a parking space ahead of their journey with simple online payment options.
Some also offer live availability and advice on parking rules, so you do not get caught out when arriving at your destination.
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Local authorities issue an average of £850,000 a year in parking fines, the highest earners per annum show some London councils bringing in as much as 10 times that figure!
The London Borough of Newham issued 239,000 parking fines averaging £44.46 between August 2019 and July 2020, resulting in £10.62 million pounds of revenue.
It may come as no surprise to find that 9 out of the top 10 councils in the United Kingdom for parking fine revenue are based in Greater London.
Top 10 Council’s Total Parking Fine Revenue
- London Borough of Newham – £10,625,600.00
- London Borough of Haringey – £9,898,840.00
- London Borough of Ealing – £8,372,318.20
- London Borough of Redbridge – £6,484,034.21
- London Borough of Enfield – £6,071,032.00
- London Borough of Lambeth – £6,023,222.76
- London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham – £5,570,366.00
- Glasgow City Council – £5,484,781.03
- London Borough of Islington – £5,479,328.00
- London Borough of Brent – £4,662,650.00
- London Borough of Bexley – £4,361,000.00
Glasgow City Council is the only non-London authority, issuing 104,938 fines at an average of £52.27.
The data comes from freedom of information requests made by a well-known motor insurance policy comparison website.
Several parking Apps were tested and voted for by motor trade magazine Auto Express in a search for the best App of 2020.
They graded the smart phone Apps based on how easy it was to search and find available parking spaces, the number of spaces available on request, and their live availability.
Extra points were awarded for additional informative information provided, like simple payment options, filters, and advice on the best route to take.
Below is a 2020 overview of the Auto Express top three
- AppyParking – available for iOS and Android – www.appyparking.com
Rating: 5 out of 5
On testing, it had the best interface. You can scroll across the map with clever colour coding to show parking zones, it highlighted on and off-street parking with filters to help find EV bays or free parking. The only downside was on payment, you need to have an account with a rival App to pay.
- RingGo – available for iOS and Android – www.myringgo.co.uk
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The App offers a helpful alternative to paying for parking without using a meter. The map search is simple to use, offering colour coded live availability and highlighting parking bay restrictions. The payment facility was extremely easy to use.
- JustPark – available for iOS and Android – www.justpark.com
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Filters allow you to find the exact type of parking space you want at the best available price. Payment is taken directly through the app; you can also rent out your own drive or garage.
The final verdict on the top three smart phone Apps was they were all very close on performance, but AppyParking was named as the best performer based on its ability to meet the overall criteria, with JustPark and RingGo worthy runners up.