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Brits fork out nearly £8bn a year on over-priced parking places

-More than three quarters (78%) of Brits fork out up to £150 a month when paying for parking-

• The cost of parking in public car parks jumped 12.5% in the last year
• More than three in five (65%) Brits see the price of parking as a key factor when deciding where to shop
• The price of parking is hindering the recovery of the high street, with 65% of Brits admitting expensive parking puts them off local shopping
• launches new ' Parking' appto save drivers hundreds of pounds a year by helping them find the closest and cheapest car parks across the country

New research1 released from car insurance expert, has revealed that the cost of parking has grown from being a necessary inconvenience, into a leading factor in the deterioration of UK high streets.

Parking prices rose 12.5% over last year alone2, forcing Brits to spend close to a whopping £8bn a year on parking their cars, but this parking spending spree might be about to grind to a halt. has found that over-priced parking is now proving to be too great a turn-off for the majority of UK shoppers with over two thirds (69%) of Brits reporting they intentionally avoid shopping areas with high parking prices.
Every penny counts – for companies and customers…
With the UK in the longest double dip recession on record3, the need to throw British high streets a life-line by enticing shoppers back, has never been more pressing.
Shoppers can ill afford an extra penny or pound on over-priced parking spots, and with 20 high street shops closing every day throughout the country4, it is evident that businesses can’t stand to lose a single customer.
If the retail sector, and indeed Britain, is to return to economic prosperity, the consumers’ road to the high street needs to be as simple as possible. An overwhelming two thirds (65%) of Brits confess that more affordable parking would see them return to the high street. Therefore, offering affordable parking in place of the extortionate rates that face motorists today is an obvious answer.
The hope of parking without paying extortionate rates looks to be a faraway fantasy across the country as more than three quarters (78%) of Brits currently spend up to £150 on parking each month. While this might seem steep, it’s a far cry from the prices people in the Knightsbridge area of London face. Drivers in the city centre have to live with the country’s most expensive car park which charges a wince-worthy £36 for 3 hours parking – an average of £12 an hour! 

The UK’s most expensive car parks5

Car park City Price to park
National Car Parks, Pavilion Road Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 0HH £36 for 3 hours (2 hours = £18 / 1 hour =£10)
National Car Parks, Cadogan Place Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 9SA £33 for 3 hours (2 hours = £17 / 1 hour =£11)
National Car Parks, Berners Street London, W1T 3NE £32 for 3 hours (2 hours = £17 / 1 hour =£8.50)
National Car Park, Cleveland Street Camden, London, W1T 4JY £32 for 3 hours (2 hours = £17 / 1 hour =£8.50)
National Car Parks, Park Towers Hotel Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RN £32 for 3 hours (2 hours = £16)
National Car Parks, Brewer Street Soho, London, W1F 0LA £27 for 3 hours (2 hours = £14 / 1 hour =£7)
National Car Parks, Grosvenor Hill Mayfair, London, W1K 3QQ £25 for 3 hours (2 hours = £16)
Bryanston Street London, W1H 7AB £25 for 3 hours (2 hours = £12 / 1 hour =£6)
National Car Parks, Portland Place London, W1B 1QE £24 for 3 hours (2 hours = £12)
National Car Parks, Portman Square Marble Arch, London, W1H 7BG £24 for 3 hours (2 hours = £12)

The cost of laziness…
With times as hard as they are, Brits are constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce their spending. Since the beginning of the economic downturn, food has been one of the main areas to suffer a cut in spending. Today, 61% of weekly grocery budgets have been slashed to £50, but while we save with one hand, penny-pinching parking providers are forcing us to fork out with the other.
While the overall cost of motoring is rising, motorists need to look around for the ways they can save on daily necessities. has launched Parking – a mobile app which shows users the cheapest car parks in their area.
This will be fantastic news for the drivers who, with the Parking app, could save themselves hundred of pounds a year simply by checking out the prices of nearby car parks. For example, shoppers using Birmingham’s Royal Angus street car park twice a week, could save themselves £888.00 a year7 by making the five minute (1.3 mile) drive down the road to the Livery Street multi-storey car park. This shocking cost of laziness is symptomatic of the entire country with motorists in Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh all guilty of paying over the odds in the name of convenience.

How much money is there in a mile?
Car Park Price Distance to cheaper car park Car Park Price Potential saving by finding the cheaper car park
Royal Angus car park, Birmingham, West Midlands B4 6HY £10.90 for 3 hours parking 1.3 miles (5 minute drive) Livery Street car park, Livery Street, Birmingham, B3 2BJ Free £74.00 per month/£888.00 per year (for drivers using the car park twice a week)
Temple Meads Railway Station, Bristol, Avon, BS1 6EA £11.30 for 3 hours parking 0.7 miles (4 minute drive) Bristol First Hotel, Church Lane, Bristol, BS1 6BQ £3 for 3 hours parking £66.40 per month/£796.80 per year (for drivers using the car park twice a week)
Data Parking app6

Parking parasites turn car parks into drivers’ hell
With so much of our hard-earned wages going on parking charges, it’s unsurprising that more than 3 in 5 (64%) Brits list the price of parking as a key consideration when deciding where to go shopping. With over half (57%) of all parking spaces in the UK being ‘pay-to-park6, a staggering 82% of us start the spending before we even make it to the shops.
What’s more, British shoppers are frustrated that the car parks they’re forking out for simply aren’t up to scratch. More than one in five (21%) Brits feel that the current services don’t offer enough space, and with a paltry third (33%) of UK car parks offering over 100 spaces, it’s not surprising that 60% of motorists spend between 6 and 20 minutes every trip searching for a space.
Furthering the frustration is the worry over what awaits us when we finally find a spot. Nearly one in three (30%) of us confess to not feeling safe while in car parks, and in fact, almost a quarter (24%) of us have been involved in a car park fracas. These altercations between parking place prowlers mainly involve an exchange of heated words and gestures (53%), but more than 1 in 10 (11%) of these car park hostilities boil over into physical violence!
An appy driver is a happy driver!
Parking as we know it is proving to be a pesky problem for motorists and shoppers alike, but consumer opinion and a declining high street are evidence that something needs to change and quick. To help make parking more appealing to shoppers up and down the UK, has launched Parking,an app which will help shoppers find the nearest and cheapest car parks, wherever they are. The app is available to download here;
Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at, says:“In today’s difficult financial climate, people have had to find ways to save every penny possible. Over-priced parking charges are a problem that every motorist in the country has to deal with, but hopefully our Parking app will help people throughout the UK save money when it comes to parking their cars. The fact that the app is so easy to use should also help them save time by finding parking spaces more easily.”
For more information please contact the press office at Cake on 0207 307 3100 /

Notes To Editors:
1 Research conducted by OnePoll in July 2012 for with a survey base of 2000 respondents
2 Statistic taken from research compiled by NCP  
3 Research from Office for National Statistics (ONS) (
4 Research from Mary Portas Review Where car park prices have been listed as 2-4 hours, has provided details/costs of an average parking stay of 3 hours
6 Data sourced by Parking app based on 'normal stay' car parks
7 Annual saving calculated on a 3 hour shopping trip two times a week, based on car park prices data provided by
About was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services,utilities and more.’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the FSA.



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