Parking Isn’t Always Hell

Photo Credit: JSmith Photo via Compfight cc

On the heels of our “Parking Is Hell” podcast, we received an email from Alicia Hickey — a data analyst at ParkatmyHouse.com, a website that matches drivers with homeowners who have unused parking spaces in their driveways or garages. According to Hickey, ParkatmyHouse gets more than 10,000  visits a day and has 15,000 spots worldwide, the majority in the U.K. She  explained the pricing model to us:

If you look at parking near, say, Harvard University, a ParkatmyHouse space costs as little as $2/hour or $24/day. One-hour parking at a nearby garage costs $9 for the first hour. Three hours parking at that garage will cost you $24 (the 12-hour rate). That’s $18 more than what the ParkatmyHouse space would cost for that same amount of time. It’s difficult to give the average price of a parking space; it depends on the location and the property owner, but parking with ParkatmyHouse will always be cheaper than parking with a meter or in a commercial car park.

Hickey also told us about a few big success stories:

One of our most notable success stories is All Saints Church located near St. Pancras train station in London. The church first registered with our website back in November 2007 and has since made the equivalent of $200,000 all of which is being used to fund local community projects.

And:

Some of our most successful users live near airports – many even offer free transfers to and fro. One particular user has made close to $70,000 providing airport parking. One bank manager living in a very affluent area finds having a car parked outside at all times increases the security of his home. Some elderly users are more interested in meeting people on a regular basis thanks to the service than making the extra money. A group of students living near an airport puts all the money earned through ParkatmyHouse towards household bills and buying kitchen equipment! (so far they’ve bought a George Foreman grill and a deep-fat fryer).

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  1. Luka says:

    True. There are tons of open parking lots across the US. Parking is only an issue in urban areas. Which begs the question: who thought it prudent to create tons of parking space?

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  2. Peter says:

    Just wait. Some busybody bureaucrat will discover this service and declare it “dangerous” for people to leave there cars in “unregulated” commercial parking spot. They will then require training and licensing and permits and inspections and most of all… $$$.

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    • Bob says:

      No, you’re not looking at this from a busybody bureaucrat’s perspective. I’ll give you an example in my town. I live in a college town, and whenever there’s a football game homeowners near the stadium will sell parking spots at their houses. Eventually, the city caught on to a potential untapped source of revenue and started requiring a permit from homeowners to provide game-day parking. So parking spaces at people’s houses became “regulated” commercial parking spots. No training required, just the licensing/permit.

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    • pr says:

      Indianapolis used to have a terrible problem of independent businesses sucking off airport parking revenue. The independents offered lower prices and enhanced service, like changing your car’s oil while you were out of town. It was a short ride to the conveniently located terminal building.

      The city solved that problem by building a new terminal on the other side of the airport, in between the runways. Now it takes too long for the independents to shuttle customers to the terminal, so they’re no longer a viable option, and the city can impose whatever “revenue enhancements” it deems justified.

      Problem solved.

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  3. Enter your name... says:

    Ah, the smell of unreported taxable income.

    I wonder how many of those people (in the USA) spend enough that they are required to submit 1099s to the IRS, so that the recipients will be compelled to pay the income taxes? My guess is that >90% of them don’t realize that they are required to if they pay more than $600 a year for renting the parking space, just like >90% of renters don’t realize that they must submit a 1099 to make their landlords report the income and therefore make the landlords pay their fair share of income taxes.

    (Mad at your landlord? Go to IRS.gov and order a 1099-MISC and a 1096. Fill it out as best as you can; if the landlord refuses to give you a tax id number or Social Security number, then send it in anyway, and the IRS will figure it out.)

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    • RPM says:

      NO! Some things a person with integrity just does not do, even to an enemy.

      Don’t mess with their family.

      Don’t mess with their car.

      And don’t rat on them to the IRS.

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  4. Dave S. says:

    I assume everyone making money off parking fees reports this on their taxes right?

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  5. Bob says:

    I see a big opportunity for ParkatmyHouse.com for people who live near sports stadiums. For example, in Miami, the Miami Marlins ballpark is in Little Havana, right in the middle of a residential area. Every time I go to a game, I see people on the side of the road advertising parking spots for the game, which are often $5 cheaper than parking at a lot or garage next to the stadium. If they used ParkatmyHouse.com, they would have a guaranteed “client” and wouldn’t have to stand outside waiting for someone to park at their house.

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