THE humble driveway is providing lucrative income for householders in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Residents feature in the top 10 UK cities for making money by renting out unused spaces.
City centre parking is at a premium and can cost commuters thousands of pounds a year, but driveways can be rented for a fraction of the price.
While drives near the city centre are highly desirable, there is also a demand for those near attractions such as shopping centres, stadiums hosting sporting and music events, beaches, airports and railway stations.
Research by online parking marketplace website YourParkingSpace.co.uk today reveals driveways in Edinburgh can generate an income of just under £1,500 a year, putting the city in third place in the UK.
Edinburgh has around 300 driveways and garages advertised on the website, ranging from a parking space yards from the Scottish Parliament and Dynamic Earth going for £10 a day to a driveway in Saughtonhall close to Murrayfield Stadium advertised at £85 per month.
Residents with driveways and commuters are matched up by a form of “online dating” with spaces booked and paid for online and given star ratings.
Arrangements can also be made privately between householders and potential clients.
London topped the table with average annual driveway earnings at £2,040, followed by Manchester at £1,492.
Glasgow came in at eighth place with average annual earnings of £1,260.
Parking space rentals have risen by 40 per cent between 2012-13, with householders in major towns and cities able to make between £100 and £130 per month – equivalent to a family’s monthly gas bill.
Rentals in smaller towns generate around £60-£80 per month.
As well as saving money, commuters have the added bonus of the parking place always being available in a safe location, avoiding the “bumps” which can be common in car parks and on-street parking.
Some enterprising residents living near airports are also offering drops-offs and collections for holidaymakers. Others have expanded into car-washing.
Charles Cridland, founder of YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: “If you have off-road parking – be it a garage, driveway or secure gated space with CCTV – why not rent it out?
“Depending on where you live, that hardly used driveway could be very lucrative. The premise is simple – you register your driveway, accept bookings, and get on with your day.”
He added: “If you have more than one driveway available to rent, you’ve already doubled your money.
“We always advise our members to charge by the day, week or month as opposed to the hour, as it can be hard to determine the length of time people will need to use your space for.”
Mr Cridland added that householders should be aware that rental income is treated as taxable income, so earnings will need to be declared.
‘My drive has been empty for years, I’d let friends use it for free’
Noleen McCormack was amazed when a friend first told her she could make money by renting out her driveway.
Ms McCormack, 50, a schools’ crossing patrol woman, lives in West Annandale Street in Edinburgh, just half a mile from Princes Street, the Edinburgh Playhouse and offices.
She is advertising her driveway online for rent at £20 per week and said her phone has been inundated with calls.
“My driveway has been empty for years and I just let my friends use it for free to stop them getting parking tickets. I’d just casually say ‘oh, it’s all right to use the drive’ but never thought I could make money from it. Then a friend suggested to me that I rent it out.
“I just laughed at the thought, I didn’t think it was something people actually did.”
Ms McCormack, whose son Stuart is 16, said: “Stuart’s at that age when he’s into designer clothes so I’ll put the money towards that. I think I’ll also use it to get my hair done and get a few treats for myself.”