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Over-50s shun the high street because of parking costs

25 November 2015

One in three of the over-50s say they avoid shopping in their local town centre because of high parking charges.

Parking sign on a high street
Around one in three of the over-50s say they now avoid shopping in their local town centre because of the cost of parking

Online shopping has been blamed for the demise of some high street shops, but the cost of parking may have also played a part, according to research by Saga Car Insurance.

Many over-50s need to drive to their local shops for essentials or to meet friends and remain socially active. However, around one in three say they now avoid shopping in their local town centre because of the cost of parking; and one in five have stopped visiting their local high street altogether because it’s too expensive to park near the shops.

Read our guide to challenging a parking ticket.

Cashless payment

It may not just be the price that is putting some over-50s off using car parks. Some places have switched to only taking payment via mobile phones which doesn’t suit everyone, especially those who aren’t technologically savvy.

Two fifths of people are still keen to support their local high street and say they either walk or catch a bus to the shops. Furthermore, half of over-50s say they now drive to different places, such as shopping centres, where they don’t have to pay to park.

Think you know the law? Eight new rules that affect motorists. 

Curb excessive parking charges

Sue Green, Head of Car Insurance at Saga commented: “For many older people a car is key to maintaining their independence, being able to get to their local high street for essential shopping, picking up prescriptions or going for a coffee with friends should not be hindered by the cost of parking.

“If the Government wants to breathe life back into shopping in the ‘real world’, rather than online, they need to curb excessive parking charges and unnecessary restrictions and consider offering free parking to enable shoppers to visit the local high street.”

Car park scam warning. Find out more.

Keeping you on the road

Saga understands that its customers like being able to drive and don’t want to be off the road too long if they have an accident. So it has a unique team dedicated to helping older customers through the claims process so that they can get back on the road with minimal disruption.

Furthermore, if Saga Car Insurance customers have the legal add-on and are injured in an accident they can complete a free driver confidence course to ease them back behind the wheel.  

Click here for more information about Saga Car Insurance.


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.

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