BRITS are more stressed about finding a parking space than a trip to the dentist.
Two-thirds of drivers have even cancelled a family outing over the fear of not being able to locate a spot, according to a new study.
And almost half of motorists even break the law by dumping their motor in spaces they shouldn’t.
The shocking stress of parking was revealed by peer-to-peer parking service Spacehopper.
Firm director Alex Walker said: “Brits say they are law abiding, but in reality it seems that half of us have been forced to park illegally just to get on with our lives.”
But it doesn’t have to be that difficult, as there are plenty of things you can do to make finding a space easier.
From apps that find a spot to paying on your phone so you don’t have to hunt for change and reserving bays in advance to Google, here are the best ways to avoid the stress.
Park in a driveway
There are several companies, for example YourParkingSpace.co.uk, out there that allow homeowners to rent their driveways out for parking.
It means you can find a super convenient spot nearby – and pre-book it in advance.
Many will be a little bit outside the city centre, too, so you don’t have to dice with the traffic.
You can pay through the website or app and book it for as long as you need.
Search with Google
Google really can do it all – almost.
If you’re in London or Manchester you can now call up the Maps app and it’ll give you a rating for each area and the chances of finding a space.
It uses historical data to judge how busy it’ll be and allows you to find a road within walking distance where it’s likely to be quieter.
And in the future the app will actually be able to find you a parking space with this function on trial in the US.
Find a local business
Similar to a homeowner renting their unused drives, there are also plenty of office car parks that are empty in the evenings or at weekends.
In fact, Spacehopper estimates there are 2.6million parking spaces owned by businesses in the UK
And around a quarter of drivers work for a company that has at least one bay free on a regular basis.
You can book one of these out online and save yourself the hassle of hunting in car parks or streets.
Use an app
As well as Google, there are plenty of standalone apps – like Parkopedia – that have a bank of parking data to call upon.
You can find the nearest car park or on-street section to find out all restrictions and payments.
Some will let you know live availability and others will enable you to pre-book.
Pay-as-you-go on your smartphone
Fed-up hunting for change? Then make sure you pick an app where you can pay through it.
Many will help you find a spot and then allow you to pay with card through the system – Appy Parking is one good example.
Some councils also have links to apps like RingGo that allow you to park up and then pay via the app.
You can extend your time remotely if you’re running late, too, so no dashing back to beat the wardens.
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