Hospitality industry could profit from letting parking spaces to UK public

The demand for renting private parking spaces can be monetised by the hospitality industry, giving venues a much-needed source of income, according to parking space letting agent ParkLet.

A result of the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing, many UK employees are avoiding using public transport and switching to driving to and from their workplace. This has seen a surge in demand for renting private parking spaces in, or near, city centres.

ParkLet initially experienced an 82% slump in demand for parking spaces at the beginning of the UK’s lockdown period.

However, it has since seen a 47% rise above normal volumes as many commuters seek out alternatives to using public transport, such as renting a private parking spaces for their own vehicle.

Luke Kelly, managing director of ParkLet, said: “Hotel, restaurants, bars and pubs often have parking spaces for their clientele but they are currently vacant due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These spaces could be let to paying members of the public who need to get to and from work but are looking to avoid travelling on buses, trains and tubes.

“Many public transport services are also operating a reduced timetable, and so may be overcrowded or not running at regular times. This means that driving to work is a safer and more convenient alternative for many.”

According to ParkLet, in order to attract parking space ‘tenants’, tariffs are typically 25% cheaper than the fees charged by the major car park operators, but can still be quite significant; typically the average rental value of a parking space in London is £2,350 per annum, rising to £7,200 in particular postcodes.

Outside of London, the average price is £1,050 per annum, with Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and Brighton all driving the highest rents behind the capital.

ParkLet says the ‘season-ticket’ market is the most lucrative for the hospitality sector to consider as a formal contract is put in place and the venue generates income on a monthly basis.

However, the ‘daily’ parking market affords the venue greater flexibility if they do not wish to commit to longer term letting or need to adjust the number of spaces at any given time.

Luke added: “The beauty of parking space rental is that it is pure profit – there aren’t any additional costs and nor does it rely on staff, many of whom will currently be furloughed.

“Even before Covid-19, finding convenient and affordable parking spaces near offices and other places of work has long been an issue for commuters and as the restrictions on our movement are relaxed, people are still likely to be reluctant to use public transport as freely as they did before.

“That means the demand for parking spaces will continue, which could give the hospitality industry just the lifeline that it needs right now.”

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