CARDIFF, Wales, September 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
New research released from car insurance expert Confused.com has revealed that the cost of parking has grown from being a necessary inconvenience into a leading factor in the deterioration of UK high streets.
Parking prices rose 12.5% over last year alone, forcing Brits to spend close to a whopping £8bn a year on parking their cars, but this parking spending spree might be about to grind to a halt. Confused.com has found that over-priced parking is now proving to be too great a turn-off for the majority of UK shoppers with over two thirds (69%) of Brits reporting they intentionally avoid shopping areas with high parking prices.
If the retail sector, and indeed Britain, is to return to economic prosperity, the consumers' road to the high street needs to be as simple as possible. An overwhelming two thirds (65%) of Brits confess that more affordable parking would see them return to the high street.
However, the hope of parking without paying extortionate rates looks to be a faraway fantasy across the country as more than three quarters (78%) of Brits currently spend up to £150 on parking each month. While this might seem steep, it's a far cry from the prices people in the Knightsbridge area of London face. Drivers in the city centre have to live with the country's most expensive car park which charges £36 for 3 hours' parking - an average of £12 an hour.
While the overall cost of motoring is rising, motorists need to look around for the ways they can save on daily necessities. Confused.com has launched Confused.com Parking mobile app.
The Confused.com Parking app could save drivers hundreds of pounds a year by allowing them to check out the prices of nearby car parks. For example, shoppers using Birmingham's Royal Angus street car park twice a week could save themselves £888.00 a year by making the five-minute (1.3 mile) drive down the road to the Livery Street multi-storey car park. This cost of laziness is symptomatic of the entire country, with motorists in Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh all guilty of paying over the odds in the name of convenience.
With so much being spent going on parking charges, it's unsurprising that more than three in five (64%) Brits list the price of parking as a key consideration when deciding where to go shopping. With over half (57%) of all parking spaces in the UK being 'pay-to-park', a staggering 82% of people start the spending before they even make it to the shops.
Moreover, British shoppers are frustrated that the car parks they're forking out for simply aren't up to scratch. More than one in five (21%) Brits feel that the current services don't offer enough space, and with a paltry third (33%) of UK car parks offering over 100 spaces, it's not surprising that 60% of motorists spend between six and 20 minutes every trip searching for a space.
Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com, said: "In today's difficult financial climate, people have had to find ways to save every penny possible. Over-priced parking charges are a problem that every motorist in the country has to deal with, but hopefully our Confused.com Parking app will help people throughout the UK save money when it comes to parking their cars. The fact that the app is so easy to use should also help them save time by finding parking spaces more easily."
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include property insurance, car insurance for women and life insurance.
Confused.com press office