Driving Around Looking for a Place to Park Costs Us Billions


Kirkland, Wash. – If you live in a major population center, chances are you’re wasting plenty of money trying to find parking.

INRIX, a tech company based out of Washington state, revealed some interesting facts in a recent study about parking. The company gathered data from the US, United Kingdom and Germany. This study pinpoints just how much we’re actually paying in money and time to find a place to park.

Trying to Find Parking Is Very Expensive

Looking for a legal, suitable parking spot is costing people plenty of time. INRIX found that Americans are spending 17 hours a year, on average, looking for parking. It’s worse in Germany at 41 hours a year, and a whopping 44 hours in the UK. That’s a whole work week.

Not surprisingly, the bigger the city you’re parking in, the more time you’re likely to waste. For example, in New York drivers spend an average of 107 hours a year hunting down parking spots. London fares better at 67 hours, while drivers in Frankfurt are blowing about 65 hours annually trying to find parking.

What’s a little more time in your car? This study concluded that the cost is $72.7 billion a year in gas and economic costs in the US, £23.3 billion in the UK, and €40.4 billion in Germany. In other words, drivers are wasting time and money by the truckload, just hunting down parking spots.

Overpaying for Parking

Do you chance running a meter out, or do you buy plenty of time? Depending on where you live, there’s no option to add time to your parking meter remotely. Rather than risk getting a ticket, you might decide to buy more time than you think you’ll need, just in case.


You might want to rethink that strategy.

INRIX says that drivers are wasting $20.4 billion a year in the US by overpaying for parking. In the UK, that figure comes in at £6.7 billion, and it’s €4.4 billion in Germany.

Most drivers would rather overpay for parking than chance getting slapped with a hefty fine. But INRIX concluded that in the US, the average driver is overpaying $97 a year for parking, while the average parking ticket costs come in at $12 a year.

A variety of apps for smartphones and even vehicle infotainment systems promise to take the headache out of finding parking. INRIX owns an app called ParkMe.

Yet, in a survey of drivers, the company found that 43 percent of respondents say they’d pay nothing for smart parking technology. Perhaps once they see how much time the average person wastes, they’ll think differently.