A SAVVY motorist saves nearly £1,000 a year by parking on other people's driveways instead of paying for pricey car parks costing up to £29 a day.
James Smith, 25, a musician from Milton Keynes was living in London and regularly travelling to late night music sessions and producers' homes.
But he struggled to make ends meet due to the excessive cost of parking near venues across London, which were difficult to reach via public transport.
"I was using public car parks or meters on the road and I was spending in excess of £70 a week on parking. I was blown away that I had to spend £25 to park for a day.
"Once I got five parking tickets in one month which cost me hundreds to pay," James told The Sun.
Leeds is the most is the most expensive UK city for public car parks costing an average of £28.70 a day, according to new research by AppJobs.
Are you allowed to park on people's driveways?
DRIVEWAYS are private property, which means owners can rent them out if they choose to do so.
But if you are thinking of renting out your driveway, be aware that once the car is on your drive then councils have no jurisdiction over it.
So if the owner refuses to move it, councils are unlikely to do anything if it's taxed, insured, has a valid MOT and isn't in a dangerous condition.
Police will acknowledge the car is technically trespassing, but they will classify it as a civil offence, meaning you would need an eviction notice from the courts.
You would then be forced to start the lengthy- and expensive – legal process in the courts.
For more information, we explain your car parking rights and the bizarre loophole that means anyone can park on your drive.
The first £1,000 of takings each year from this sort of activity is tax-free under the government’s property trading income allowance.
The rest you should declare via a self-assessment tax return where it will be taxed as your normal income tax rate.
You should also check if renting your parking space will invalidate your home insurance as it may increase your insurance risk, and therefore your premium, or you may need a separate public liability policy.
If you don't own your home, check if your landlord is happy for you to rent out the space.
If you're renting out your space, also check how payments are made via the rental website. It's best to withdraw cash as soon as possible to protect your money if the worst were to happen and the company went bust.
This is followed by Edinburgh at £24.60 a day and London, which costs £24.30 a day on average.
It was only when a colleague at James' part-time job in a call centre mentioned an app called JustPark that he realised he could save by booking private spaces to park on, usually on a home driveway.
"I used it the next day and it was so easy to do. If I had a music session I would often be at people's houses as even the best producers in the world work out of their bedroom.
"I would usually end up parking in their neighbour's driveway for just over a tenner.
"I travelled to all four corners of London to get to studio recordings, so I was using JustPark two or three times a week. It would cost £12 to £15 for nine or ten hours, sometimes for 24 hours.
"It was half the cost of parking on the street or in a car park."
James managed to save £850 in nine months last year, enough to buy his first ever guitar.
He said: "It was quite a cool feeling buying it as it is the first guitar I've actually bought myself. I own five guitars, but all the others have been hand-me-downs or birthday presents."
Without the savings from parking in driveways James says it would have taken double the time, if not longer, to save for the instrument.
AppJobs reckons commuters in Leeds could save £20.60 a day by parking on a private driveway, while commuters in Liverpool could save £13.10.
In London, the research found that the average saving would be £11.80 a day with the average cost of private driveway parking being £12.50.
How can I find driveways to park on?
WHETHER you're looking to find driveways to park on or you want to rent out your own, there are a few sites you can use:
- Gumtree – it's free to list your driveway
- JustPark – driveway owners pay 3 per cent of what they receieve to the site
- ParkLet – driveway owners pay up to 30 per cent (plus VAT) of bookings to the site, while an admin fee of £25 (plus VAT) may also apply
- Parkonmydrive – driveway owners pay an annual fee of £20
- Yourparkingspace – it's free for driveway owners to list their space
James said: "Working as a musician it's very hard to be able to budget and forecast as your next pay packet is never guaranteed.
"Because of the saving I was making in parking costs, I was able to put the difference aside each week."
And having his car parked on someone's drive meant he always felt his vehicle was safe.
"I parked in South London, West London, even Tottenham and I definitely felt more comfortable having my car on a private driveway than in the street."
Check out the boxes above for more information on how you can find driveways to park on, and for how you can start renting out your parking space.
Homeowners could make up to £2,300 a year just by renting out their driveway – these areas earn the most.
We spoke to one mum who makes £8,000 a year by renting out her spare room and driveway to strangers.
Meanwhile, another reader earned £500 renting out her driveway.
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