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How to make money renting your driveway

Maria McCarthy / 06 September 2016

Finding a parking space just got a whole lot easier…

A house with a large, empty drive that could be making money by renting to people who need to park their car

Parking is one of motorists' biggest bugbears.

Not only is it expensive, but in popular  locations such as busy railway stations or city centres it can be difficult to find any free spaces at all.

Pre-bookable parking

However, you might be relieved to hear that the situation is being improved by the rising popularity of pre-bookable parking websites.

The idea is to connect drivers with anyone who has available parking  – for example, home owners with an unoccupied driveway or private parking space, pubs, churches, schools, or regular car parks.

The websites divide into two types.

Those such as ParkonMyDrive enable parking space owners to advertise their space, and then they and the drivers make payment negotiations and arrangements between themselves.

The other, more popular option is offered by websites such as YourParkingSpace or JustPark where bookings and payments are all made online via the site.

200,000 spaces available

JustPark is the largest company of its type with over 200,000 spaces available in the UK. Motorists can type their preferred location into the website or app and view possible parking spaces.

The price is displayed together with a description so they can check that it's suitable for them.

For example, some parking spaces might be quite narrow and hence unsuitable for a 4x4 or campervan.

If the driver has any questions about the space, they can message the owner via the website. 

It's also possible to read reviews from motorists who've used the space previously.

Book in advance or last minute

JustPark has an app that can be downloaded onto Android or  iPhones, making finding parking on the go much easier.

There are spaces that have to be booked hours in advance so the owner can ensure the space is free, perhaps by opening up a driveway gate or moving their own vehicle elsewhere, whilst others can be booked only minutes ahead.

Save on parking

The cost of parking on private residential driveways tends to be less than half that of traditional 'pay and display' car parks, and motorists won't run the risk of getting a parking ticket if they are running a bit late.  

JustPark also offers spaces in public car parks. Motorists usually benefit from a discount when booking these via JustPark and also know they have a guaranteed space reserved for them.

Plus, if they are delayed in returning to these locations, the JustPark app will prompt them to extend their booking and avoid getting a ticket.

Safe and secure

When it comes to theft or damage to your car when parked in the space, motorists are covered by their insurance in the same way as when they are on the public road. However, it is always advisable to check with your insurer in case you need to make a claim as a result of a someone parking on your drive (for example, a liability claim against you by the renter).

The parking rental websites tend to have a legal agreement designed to protect both parties, which both drivers and space owners enter into when using the site. They are available to download so you can study it beforehand.

Graham Rich, 50, who works in IT sales is a convert. "I travel a lot for work and by 8am my local station Mottingham in Kent is often full up. But I'd heard about JustPark via a friend and decided to try it out. 

"I downloaded the app on to my phone, found several spaces nearby and chose the closest – only two minutes walk from the station. I've used others when that's not available and found it to be about half the price of the railway car park.

"I generally don't meet the owner of the car parking space and that's fine with me – all the business side has been handled online and when commuting I'm busy and don't want to get involved in small talk. 

"I'm planning to use JustPark when going to events such as the theatre – it's now my first choice when booking parking."

Have you used someone else's driveway to park, or rented out your own? Let us know on our Facebook page! 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.