CASH-strapped homeowners are missing out on millions while their parking spaces sit empty all day.
Around 60,000 driveways and allocated spaces owned across Edinburgh are currently lying idle – and it is estimated they could generate £9 million a month, or around £105m a year, if put up for hire.
Hundreds of residents across the Capital have already signed up to lease their private parking spaces via a website.
Driveway rental costs in the city have risen by more than eight per cent over the last year to an average of £100 a month, said Parkatmyhouse.com. The most popular spots include the city centre, the Royal Mile and in streets near Murrayfield, Easter Road and Tynecastle stadiums, which net up to £20 a day. Less desirable locations still generate between £5 and £15 a day, considerably more than Glasgow’s £3.50 to £10 range.
A spokesman for Parkatmyhouse.com said the rentals were most popular in cities with parking problems.
He said: “We also have significantly more customers in Edinburgh than Glasgow, which may be reflecting the fact that parking in Edinburgh can be very tricky.” In England earlier this month, new Westminster guidelines were released backing the practice after reports of council officials threatening to fine homeowners for not seeking permission.
Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said it was understandable why renting driveways would appeal to motorists and homeowners.
He said: “In a city like Edinburgh where parking is a huge issue and where you are starting to see some really expensive parking areas changing hands, this sort of thing becomes attractive.
“Even in these times when fuel is expensive, people’s first preference tends to be the car rather than public transport, if they can find parking spaces.”
He added the scheme might not prove popular with the city council as it would take away income from street parking. No-one at the council was available for comment.
Winner in the space race
Mark Fraser, 31, an analyst for the NHS, rents his allotted parking space at his home in Meadowbank.
He has been hiring out his spot for nearly five years and estimates he has made £1000, charging on average £5 for the day or £15 for the week.
“I don’t have a car so I thought it would be a way of generating an extra bit of money,” he said. “At the moment there are a lot of people here for the Festival that maybe haven’t got parking.
“It is much cheaper for them than paying car park rates and gives me a bit of extra income.”