Households with an unused parking space, driveway or garage should check if they could make money from it.
Research from parking rental website YourParkingSpace.co.uk has found that the average household earns over £1,000 a year from renting out its driveway - equivalent to 133 hours of work on the national living wage of £7.50 per hour for those aged 25 and over.
Of course, where you live will have an impact on how much you could earn. Houses with empty driveways that are close to train stations, town centres, shopping centres or sports and music venues are likely to be more in demand.
For example, Moneywise looked at one parking rental website and found one owner charging £625 per month for 24 hour access to a secure parking space in Aldgate, central London, while another was charging £50 per month for weekday use of their parking space near Kettering train station in the Midlands.
What to watch out for
Before signing up to rent your drive, first consider the implications if you don’t own the parking space or drive – for example, if you live in rented accommodation.
Four major companies we spoke to - JustPark, ParkLet, Parkonmydrive, and Yourparkingspace - don’t check if you rent or own the space. But they all recommend tenants confirm with the landlord or check their tenancy agreement before deciding whether to let an unused parking space.
Another factor to consider is that some websites will facilitate and hold payments, which means it’s safest to withdraw or request your earnings as soon as possible to protect yourself from the worst happening – which would be the company going bust and taking your profits with it.
It is also important to check with your home insurer as to whether it would cover any of the potential pitfalls to renting out your space. A spokesperson from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association comments: “It would be wise to let your home insurer know that you are operating a business from you home and explain exactly what you are providing and how often so that it can decide whether this increases the insurance risk.
“Not only might it consider that there is an increased risk of damage to or theft from your property it might also think that the liability risk (the risk of injury or property damage to someone else arising as a result of being on your property) might increase.
“It may be more appropriate to make sure you have a separate public liability policy and an insurance broker would be able to offer advice on this type of cover.”
The parking websites to consider
To help you on your driveway renting journey, Moneywise examines five major providers.
Fees: Vary depending on how much you decide to let your space for, there’s no minimum or maximum charge.
Let period: At owner’s discretion.
Paid: You need to liaise with the customers on how to pay and when. Gumtree has no in-built payment facility.
Gumtree is the most basic way of providing parking space rental. You can list your space on the classifieds site for a fee that varies depending on how much you plan on charging, and how visible you want your advert to be.
Fees: 3% of booking price.
Let period: Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly.
Paid: Weekly, monthly, quarterly via the website (more on this below).
JustPark has been operating for 11 years and was originally known as “ParkAtMyHouse”. It says it has over 200,000 spaces for rent on its website and that it’s served more than 1 million UK drivers.
Earnings accrue in your account on the site and can be withdrawn at any time, although automatic withdrawal can only be set to weekly, monthly or quarterly.
JustPark also charges drivers between 25%-35% on top of the fee set by the space owner. For bookings longer than two months the company charges drivers 20% on the first month then 3% on all subsequent months.
Fees: 20% (+VAT) of monthly rental fee.
Let period: Monthly.
Paid: Monthly via the website.
ParkLet has been providing a parking rental service since 2004. It has over 20,000 spaces listed nationally.
Renters are issued with a clearly visible permit so that when parking in your space, it is clear who they are.
According to their website, the company is in the process of developing an hourly, daily, and weekly rental service alongside the monthly one already in place.
Fees: £15 annually.
Let period: Half daily, daily.
Paid: Cash on arrival, cheque in the post, PayPal.
Parkonmydrive is a much more basic service, but it is cheap. It costs £15 per year to list your parking space but this is taken from your first booking so there is nothing up-front to pay.
You arrange directly with the driver for them to pay either in cash, by cheque in the post (which must be cleared before the rental date) or by PayPal. A Parkonmydrive spokesperson comments: “We differ from the other parking providers in that all members manage and collect payment directly for their own bookings, we just send the requests over to them to either accept or reject. Mostmembers collect cash on arrival, however we do have a new system in place for owners to accept their payments at time of booking through their PayPal accounts, as some prefer payment up-front.”
The website also offers a free owner/parker contract to give added protection to both parties.
Fees: 20% applied on top of the price you set – meaning you don’t pay a fee.
Let period: Hourly or monthly.
Paid: Monthly via the website or PayPal.
YourParkingSpace boasts 250,000 monthly users in more than 50 cities in the UK. The company launched in 2006 and underwent a significant re-launch in 2014.
Payments are made at the end of each month by bank transfer or PayPal.
Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace, comments: “Our recent research revealed that householders in almost 30 towns and cities across the UK earned on average more than £1,000 a year by listing their empty driveway on YourParkingSpace.co.uk.”
“I got my first rental within a week”
Sue Manderlin works in retail for a clothes store and has been renting out her own parking space close to Chelmsford town centre in Essex for a year through YourParkingSpace. She earns £80 a month from it. Her space is pictured below.
The 26-year-old first found out about the service when she needed to find parking herself for a football match. She says: “I first heard about YourParkingSpace when I needed parking to see England play France at Wembley in 2015. I continued to use it a few times before realising that I could rent my own space. I only wish I had realised sooner that I could have made money as well as spent money!
“I actually got my first rental within a week of advertising my space. YourParkingSpace was very helpful and it advised me to go for a lower price to attract some bookings, which worked, then I increased the price to £5 per day, and then a couple of months later, I got a phone call from someone at YourParkingSpace offering me a long-term customer meaning I’m guaranteed my £80 per month!
“The extra money I make helps pay my rent - without this extra income I’d inevitably have to move to a shared flat.”
How to successfully rent your space
Each website works slightly differently. However, there are a few key things you can do to make sure you start renting out your free space, and earning some extra income:
- Take photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, and clear photos of your space will go a long way to renting it.
- Describe your space. Make sure to give all the relevant details of your space. Misleading descriptions can lead to negative reviews, and like other online sites, this can be very bad for your ability to earn.
- Price competitively. On all the websites listed, you set the price for your space. It makes sense, however, to look at what other people in your area charge and adjust appropriately.