As restrictions on our movement are relaxed, people will still be reluctant to use public transport as freely as they did before the COVID-19 outbreak
Demand for renting private parking spaces in or near city centres has increased dramatically in the past few weeks, according to ParkLet, the UK’s largest parking space letting agent. The company, which initially experienced an 82 per cent slump in demand at the beginning of the UK’s lockdown period, has since seen a 47 per cent rise above normal April volumes (and similar for May), as the country’s employees avoid using public transport and instead switch to driving to and from their workplace. With traditional city-centre parking often being overcrowded and overpriced, it appears many commuters are looking at alternative options such as renting private parking spaces.
Luke Kelly, managing director, ParkLet commented: “Working from home is simply not possible for everyone and therefore those who do need to go out to work are trying their best to do so in the safest way possible. Due to the pandemic, many public transport services are operating on a reduced timetable, and so buses and trains can be overcrowded or not running at regular times. This means that driving to work is a safer and more convenient alternative. In fact, the Prime Minister actively encouraged the public to ‘avoid public transport if at all possible’ as he addressed the nation on Sunday [10 May] and that follows many other discussions about the possibilities of new working patterns and staggering rush hour: using a car to commute may be the only option some people have.”
Employers renting spaces for employees
As well as seeing demand from individual tenants, ParkLet has also been contacted by a number of larger employers who are looking to book spaces on a long term basis for their staff. Many corporates have been using taxi services to transport key members of staff into the office, sometimes at significant distance and therefore cost, so renting out multiple parking spaces is financially attractive for employers too.
In fact, with many large employers currently operating rota systems to maintain social distancing, the parking spaces are also rotated amongst colleagues with one employee perhaps using a space on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and another on Tuesday and Thursday.
Kelly continued: “As restrictions on our movement are relaxed, people will still be reluctant to use public transport as freely as they did before the COVID-19 outbreak. However, given the fragile state of the economy, concerns about unemployment, and our desperate need for social interaction, many employees will want to get back into work as soon as they can but may choose to travel there in the comfort and security of their own vehicle.
“As our town and city centres have become increasingly developed and congested, finding convenient and affordable parking spaces near offices and other places of work has long been an issue for employees and employers alike. However, many land and parking space owners can monetise their idle bays giving them a small additional income, whilst also providing a solution for commuters.”
Driveway rental industry
The parking space lettings industry took off around 20 years ago as technologies evolved and made it possible for a single letting agent to efficiently manage thousands of spaces. Many commuters have benefited from cheaper tariffs, saving around a quarter of the fees charged by the major car park operators: typically in London a car park operator may charge as much as GBP200 per month, whereas a private space within the same area would be available for GBP150.
ParkLet reports that the most lucrative locations to let out a parking space outside of London are Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton, based on calculating an average of both current contracts and over 20,000 advertised spaces on Park Let’s website.
Factors that affect parking space pricing
ParkLet was the first parking space letting agent to launch an interactive parking space pricing tool at www.parklet.co.uk/parking-rental-price-guide.aspx, to help property owners determine how much their own space could be worth as well as to help tenants discover the prices and locations of currently available spaces.
The price guide tool gives vehicle owners three separate prices (low, medium and high) in each area or postcode, dependent on factors such as proximity to facilities or congestion zones. The company also provides details of which security measures are in place including key-pad entry, patrols, CCTV and electronic gates. Spaces with an electrical charging point are more recently highly sought after, as drivers switch to electric vehicles.
ParkLet provides a fully managed letting service including matchmaking the tenant and landlord, preparing contracts and monthly rental collection. ParkLet’s rental prices are on average 25 per cent cheaper than other comparable season tickets, and tenants can choose between a 5 or 7 day rental week as well as paying for parking at a daily or hourly rate.
For further information, visit www.parklet.co.uk or call 0330 056 3399.
0207 099 0945
ParkLet was established in 2004 to offer an effective marketplace and management service for the letting of parking spaces and garages.
To date the company has arranged over 25,000 rental contracts and today the business has in excess of 17,000 spaces advertised to let. Landlords include residential clients with a single driveway, national car parks operators as well as owners and managing agents of apartment blocks, companies with surplus spaces and individuals or organisations with empty garages or lockups. All parking spaces and garages are promoted equally.
Spaces are available for tenants to rent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
For monthly contracts ParkLet charges landlords 20% (+VAT) commission of the gross monthly rental fee plus a one off GBP25 administration fee in the first month.
For daily and weekly contracts, ParkLet charges 30% and 25% respectively (+VAT), with no admin fees.
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