If you've got an unoccupied driveway, garage or land suitable for parking, why not make extra cash by renting it out?
Homeowners with parking spaces available in popular locations can rent them out to motorists via parking rental websites. Suitable locations include transport hubs such as central London or Bristol, or near railway and tube stations, airports and stadiums like Wembley or the O2 Arena.
There are a range of parking rental websites, offering different services and payment structures. For example www.yourparkingspace.co.uk charges a one-off £15 fee to space owners (refunded if you don't get a booking) whilst www.parkatmyhouse.com takes a commission of 15 per cent from the owner’s earnings.
One of the biggest parking rental websites in the UK is www.parkatmyhouse.com. It was set up five years ago by Anthony Eskinazi.
“I went travelling after graduating from university and ended up at a baseball game in San Francisco. My friend and I had been driving round the stadium for what seemed like hours, looking for a parking space. Then I spotted an empty driveway close by and it was like a lightbulb appeared over my head! I knew if I could work out a way of putting homeowners and drivers in contact with each other I had a business.”
The site now has 15,000 locations and 125,000 registered drivers.
How much can you earn?
Rental space owners near sports stadiums can earn £400 a year, near airports £1,000 a year and those in central London or near transport hubs can make between £1,500 - £3,000 per year. Rates do vary tremendously between locations and the best way to set yours is to see what other local space owners and local car parks are charging and decide if want to go in at the same level or price more competitively for greater custom.
Dealing with red tape
Some rental websites are designed to just make the initial introduction between motorist and renter whilst others allow you to carry out all the admin, bookings and payments via the site.
It's important to contact your home insurance provider to ensure that your policy covers you renting out your parking space. As far as theft or damage to the motorist’s car whilst it's on your property is concerned, most drivers should be covered by their own motor insurance, in the same way that they would be if they parked on the public road.
However www.parkatmyhouse.com provides a choice of legal contracts for the motorist and space owner to sign between themselves for extra clarity and peace of mind. Payment between motorist and parking space owner can take place with cash on arrival, cheque or online via PayPal.
Lisa Hyman lives in Camden, north London, near Lord’s cricket ground and rents out her parking space through www.parkatmyhouse.com.
She says: “I'd used the service myself for airport parking, and saw how well it worked. I set the price by looking at what other homeowners in the area were charging. Although obviously you need to honour agreed bookings, you can also be flexible with future pricing, putting it up if you're inundated with bookings or lowering it if they are scarce.
“I charge £10 a day for cricket fans visiting Lord’s and get about £200 per month from motorists wanting to park near the tube. I do all the bookings and arrange for payments to be made online, so often I don't even meet the motorists themselves – it's all very easy and hassle-free.”