Scottish residents drive bargain on parking spaces
HOMEOWNERS in Scotland who feel the pinch are turning to a new way of making money from their homes – renting out their driveways to visitors.
People living near airports and city centres can earn thousands every year by letting strangers park outside their homes.
The company behind the trend says it hopes to attract new customers for the Edinburgh Festival.
Entrepreneur Anthony Eskinazi says: “I have been up to the Festival several times and my sister puts on a show every year. The parking restrictions in the city centre seem to be increasing every single year.
“The particular problem with Edinburgh is that there are a lot of flats in the city centre and there aren’t that many private driveways or garages.”
Mr Eskinazi set up Parkatmyhouse five years ago and the business now has 150,000 customers offering more than 60,000 parking spaces at 40,000 locations, including about 300 in Edinburgh and 300 in Glasgow.
In London, where the business was first created, renting out your car parking space has become big business.
Customers who live near sports stadiums can earn about £400 per parking space per year; airports around £1,000 per parking space per year; transport hubs earn between £1,500 and £3,000 per year; near high streets and schools earn between £100 and £500 per year depending on the desirability of the location. Parking spaces offered by parkatmyhouse.com typically range between £5 and £20 a day depending on the area. The most expensive space on the site is one at an underground car park in the heart of London, which rents out for £600 a month.
Parkatmyhouse.com takes 15 per cent of all transactions.
Mr Eskinazi says: “Our highest earning customer has made more than £200,000 since we started. It is a church near King’s Cross, which has several parking spaces and which gives all the money to charity.”
For most users, the service just means a useful source of extra cash. Gillian McMahon is a 31-year-old teacher from Paisley and has a new baby. She owns a flat one mile from Glasgow Airport and decided to rent out the parking space separately.
“It is quite good because it is undercover and has a lockable post that comes up as well. It is no skin off my nose to have somebody use it.”
Since she started using the internet site she has rented it out several times and earned several hundred pounds.
“I have had a mixture of long term and short-term users. It is about a mile from the airport so it has been used by some people going on holiday.
“One man rented it out for weeks at a time. He had a nice car but didn’t live in a nice area so he decided to park it here.”
A spokesperson for the Fringe said it was keen to find ways to ease traffic problems during the festival.
“The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is committed to doing all we can to make the greatest arts festival in the world as sustainable as possible.
“We encourage visitors to Edinburgh to consider public transport options and our website, edfringe.com, has advice on car sharing options, which can both reduce costs and emissions for people coming to Edinburgh from across Scotland and further afield.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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