Cash no longer king for parking

Card and contactless payments are the preferred choice for motorists paying for parking

Just one in nine UK drivers are still choosing to pay for parking with cash, a new study has found.

A new survey has quizzed 2,393 British motorists, finding card payments are the preferred method for 39% of respondents.

Dedicated parking apps followed as the second-most popular choice, taking 31% of the vote, while 19% opt to make a payment over the phone. Just 11% use loose change and notes when parking their car.

For those who opt not to pay with cash, not carrying any was one of the main reasons for 43% of respondents. The speed of contactless payments was a factor for 41%, while 36% said the parking machines they use no longer accept change or notes.

The average respondent pays £27.50 a month in parking chargers — with that figure rising to £80 for those who pay for parking at work.

Some also admitted to purposely not paying for parking, with 13% saying they had failed to do so on at least one occasion. Of these, 41% blamed broken machines, with 26% saying they struggled to operate them when they were working.

George Charles, a MoneySavingHeroes spokesperson, who commissioned the study, said: “With technology constantly updating, it’s hard for some people to keep up with all of the changes, especially the elderly who are still driving.

“Many parking stations offer both cash and card payments when it comes to parking, but some now only offer the option of paying by card.”

Car park operators have embraced cashless payments methods in recent years, as it reduces the costs associated with managing hundreds or even thousands of coin-operated machines for their parking facilities. The popularity of these alternative offerings is only likely to accelerate this transformation.

Ryan Hirons
Articles by Ryan Hirons are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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