Driveway rentals are latest fashion
DRIVERS all over Swindon are halving their parking costs by renting someone’s drive rather than parking in council-owned car parks.
Commuters using the website, ParkAtMyHouse.com, to park in Old Town can pay as little as £4 a day when they rent someone’s drive – half the amount they would pay in one of the town’s long stay car parks.
This is despite driveway rents in Wiltshire rising by more than eight per cent during the last year to reach an average of £100 a month.
Kevin Robinson, of Covingham, has been using the site for 10 months after halving his parking charges by using the site.
“I work in Reading and parking is extremely expensive, so somebody mentioned ParkAtMyHouse to me so I signed up for it so I could park there during work,” he said.
“I used to use a car park which cost £7 a day which was still quite a long walk, and that was probably one of the cheapest. Now I pay £70 a month, which works out at about £3 a day.”
The 46-year-old, who works as a technical manager at Bullet Group, now rents out his drive in Nyland Road for £5.50 a day.
He said: “I’ve already recommended it to other people in the office and they’ve gone on there and signed up.”
Rates in Swindon, which are set by homeowners renting their drives, range from as little as £2 a day to £45 a day, with an average rate of £5.50 a day for parking around the town, compared to £6.30 which you’d pay to park for up to six hours in a council-owned car park.
The scheme has also proved quite an earner for homeowners, with around 500 people around the town getting involved and earning up to £6,300 a year.
Cliff Spanswick, of Chalkhills Wiltshire Limited, is a private landlord of 60 dwellings in Swindon and uses ParkAtMyHouse.
He said: “Parking is sometimes a problem for our tenants, especially in Victoria Road, and we have an obligation to our tenants to provide parking. We signed up to ParkAtMyHouse to keep all our options open to enable us to rent our parking spaces out if we can.”
Pete Shipp, who rents out his driveway in Old Town, has been registered on the site for 18 months.
“It doesn’t take much effort and it’s nice to have a little bit of extra money coming in,” he said.
According to the website’s estimates, based on a combination of the RAC ‘Spaced Out’ report and its own research as well as average rents recorded in the last 12 months, around 52,000 driveways owned by households across Wiltshire are currently lying “idle” and could be earning £47.8m a year.
Raghavendra Kagwad, 32, rents out his driveway in Sanford Street for £5.50 a day and has been registered on the site for two years.
He said: “it’s good to do. It’s good to know you can help people. It’s not all about all the money, it’s about helping people.”
Earlier this month Swindon Council was accused of racking up more than £7m profits from its car parking services in the past three years in a study by the RAC Foundation.
The research found the council made a surplus of £1,931,000 in 2011 to 2012 on top of £2,195,000 raised the year before and £2,958,000 between 2010 and 2011.
A council spokesman said: “We benchmark our parking charges and the prices we charge in Old Town and elsewhere are in line with other authorities, if not cheaper. Our car parks are also convenient as they are located close to shops and places of work.
"We have also reduced our short-stay parking prices in Old Town so it costs just 70p for one hour and £1 for between one and two hours. The same policy was introduced in the town centre where it costs £2 for four hours in our premium Pay on Foot short-stay car parks and has resulted in increased footfall.”
For more informationvisit ParkatmyHouse.com.
The most expensive driveway rents are in the town centre and Old Town.
Here are a selection up for rent from the site:
Euclid Road £4
Beckhampton Street £45
Kingshill road £6
Commercial Road £10.50
The most consistently expensive driveways to rent are in Parks by the football grounds with one available for £10.50 and another for £14.50
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