Finding a parking spot in the city can take just as long as the actual drive or cost just as much as a monthly car payment, but now—thanks to collaborative consumption—there are more promising options.
Peer-to-peer parking services pair drivers with people looking to rent out a private parking spot on an hourly, daily or monthly basis, monetizing spots that previously sat empty.
Most companies offer a mobile app to enable real-time discovery, which helps drivers quickly locate spots in neighborhoods where parking is a challenge.
For drivers, cheaper spots and more of them
“Circling for parking accounts for approximately 30 percent of San Francisco’s congestion”
—Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors
Chad Meyer—co-founder of Park Circa—discovered through beta testing in San Francisco that people were paying about $2 an hour for other people’s spots. Public spots that were previously unavailable were also being rented.
“People started renting out the space that blocks their driveway, which puts more parking spots back in the public market,” says Meyer.
He adds that so far it’s been a good experience, albeit a little new to people. Having signs to identify these spaces will help legitimize the concept, he says.
Nick Miller, co-founder of Parking Panda, says the cost for parking spots vary depending on location and timing of events, but averages $2-4 an hour and $15/day. Most owners rent their spots out about 7-10 times a month.
For instance, Mondiu Ladejobi lives close to Baltimore’s Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium. After letting friends use his parking spots for free, he now uses Parking Panda to earn some money during Orioles and Ravens games, when demand for parking spikes.
“ParkingPanda has unlocked value which a lot of homeowners in situations such as myself had no way of capturing previously,” Ladejobi says, adding that vacant parking spots around event venues are notoriously expensive.
Peer-to-peer parking companies now available
ParkatmyHouse: started in the UK and recently launched in the US. Instant bookings allow drivers to secure a spot without waiting for the owner to approve.
ParkingPanda: mobile app lets users search for spots. Currently operating in Baltimore.
Park Circa: mobile app lets users search for spots. Currently in private beta mode, but the platform is usable anywhere. Automated posting of spots to Craigslist is in the works.
ParkingSpots: integrates with Google Maps, offers spaces on a monthly or hourly basis. Prices are negotiable at the spot owner’s discretion, and spot seekers can sign up for alerts.
ParkingSpotter: puts owners and renters in direct communication instead of facilitating the transaction as a middleman. Renters can narrow search results according to walking time, cost and other factors.
Storably: offers parking spots and storage spaces such as basements and attics. Once the renter and owner connect, Storably sets up a month-to-month rental.