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Rent your parking space

Earn cash from your driveway

Is your driveway paved with gold? If you live in a big city, near an airport or a train station, it might be.

Online parking marketplaces let you rent out car parking spaces - some earn £200/mth or more. Plus if you're looking for a space, they're a handy way to find cheap parking too.

While every effort's been made to ensure this article's accuracy, it doesn't constitute legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act on it, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk. We can't assume responsibility and don't accept liability for any loss which may arise as a result of your reliance upon it. Thanks to Crosse + Crosse Solicitors.

Rent out your parking space

Depending on your area, you could net up to £200/mth (more in some places, eg, parts of London) just for letting somebody park in your drive or garage. The most covetable spaces tend to be in city centres, but you can still make serious cash elsewhere.

If you live by a big transport link such as an airport or railway station, or even a footie ground, it's worth a quick valuation.

To get an idea of what you might be able to make, clever online tools can give quick estimates. You can see what those nearby are charging for long-term stays (eg, a month) with Park Let’s price guide tool, or for short-term stays (eg, a day), try the tool on Just Park*.

These are purely rough reckoners though, and won’t necessarily give the highest prices. Use the results to help you decide whether it's worth progressing to the next step.

It's also worth noting we’re talking about off-street parking spots on your own property here. Sadly, it breaks almost every council’s rules to simply sell on your residents' parking permit.

Top 'rent your parking space' sites

Nearly all the big parking sites are free to list on, so there's nowt to stop you listing everywhere. But the amount you'll end up with will vary depending on the site's commission, plus any other fees.

Going with one of the bigger sites may mean less hassle and more visibility, plus higher demand should mean you can charge more. But remember the site will take a cut. Before you list, make sure you read the safety tips below too. Here are the biggies:

Park at my house

Strong all-rounder, broad reach

JUST PARK*

One of the more established players, Just Park* has good user feedback. Listing a space is free. Plus it doesn't charge you commission, so you get the full amount you've asked for if you're successful - instead, it marks up the amount you've asked for by 10-25% (depending on the space) and takes the extra.

Handily, it sorts out contracts, and processes all the payments, transferring earnings to your PayPal or bank account. It also ensures you'll still get paid even if the driver doesn't turn up. You can rent out spaces by the day, week or month, and add any number of restrictions on when it's unavailable. All users can (and tend to) leave feedback.

Unlike the other big "rent your parking space" sites, it has a free app for iPhone to help drivers find parking on the go. It also advertises all its spaces on Parkopedia, AA Route Planner, Your Parking Space and more, so the broad reach should help.

Fees: 50p fee to withdraw earnings under £25, otherwise free to transfer to your bank account.

Park Let

Good for long-term rents

Park Let*

Another website with a very comprehensive service and good user feedback, is Park Let*. It's a good one to use if you're looking to rent out your car parking space for a longer period, such as a week or a month, however it is one of the most expensive.

It doesn't let you rent out your parking space by the day, though there's a section where you can advertise daily rates and owners can contact you directly.

The company works like any other letting agent, dealing with all the contracts and processing all the payments itself, so you do get a bit extra for the cash. Listing is free, so its fees are only payable if you succeed in renting out your space.

Fees: 20% commission + VAT, and a one-off £25 + VAT admin fee taken out of your earnings.

Your parking space

Low cost but limited service

Your Parking Space

When looking at price alone Your Parking Space is a winner as it doesn't charge anything for you to list your space.

It makes money by charging the tenant extra by marking up the amount you've asked for (depending on the space) and takes the extra.

You'll need to work out how much you want to charge (for a guide have a look at similar spaces near to you) but it will then organise the rental, answer questions from the person renting your space and automatically send out payments to you.

Fees: Free to list a space.

 Park on my drive

Basic features, but low fees

Park On My Drive

Park On My Drive is basic but cheap. It's free to list your parking space but it takes a £10 cut per space, per year, from your earnings - though this isn't deducted until the first booking is made. This means if you don't ever manage to rent out your space, you won't have to pay any fees.

Once you pay you get a dedicated calendar page, where people can book out available dates. Plus it provides a parking space rental agreement to print and fill in, though you'll need to sort out payment yourself. It also has a review system and you can upload photos of your space.

Fees: £10 per space, per year (includes VAT).

No fees, but you'll have to DIY

Gumtree

You can list nigh-on anything on the free classifieds site, and car parking spaces are no exception. If you live in a popular area, you stand a decent chance of finding a tenant, but you'll have to work out contracts and payments yourself.

As Gumtree is a sprawling site, hardly anybody will just come across your ad in passing, so it's vital to make an accurate listing which stands out in searches. Handily, it also has free apps for both iPhone and Android.

Fees: Free.

Successfully rented out your parking space? Let us know how much you've made in the Rent Your Parking Space forum discussion.

What to watch out for

Renting out your parking space isn't all plain sailing. There are income tax and insurance issues to be aware of, as well as the need to manage your possible liability. Plus be considerate to any neighbours you share a driveway with.

Govt says planning permission not needed in England. Some more officious local councils have deemed renting out your space a 'change of use' to your property, asking for a £385 planning application fee. But the Government says renting out one parking space without planning permission is fine in England, provided it's not a nuisance to neighbours,

The Department for Communities and Local Government tells us it doesn't believe renting out a parking space is a change of use that needs planning permission, and has published new guidance to make this clearer on Gov.uk.

It says that if the council asks for a planning application fee, you should challenge it, and refer the council to the Government press release as well as its guidance on renting out a private parking space.

If a council still starts a planning enforcement notice, you've a right of appeal - and planning inspectors that deal with these are expected to follow Government guidance. For how to appeal, check on your local council's website at Gov.uk.

As this applies to England, it's worth noting that elsewhere it's still a grey area, so some local councils may ask you to apply for planning permission to continue doing it. See the MSE News story Government to stop councils' 'backdoor parking taxes'.

Here are a few more things to watch for:

Make sure you've got a contract

This person is a tenant

The income is taxable

Check your insurance and mortgage terms

Check with the landlord if renting

Find cheaper car parking

If you drive to work, pay for monthly car parking with one of the big chains, or just pay over the odds for your regular Saturday football space, you might be able to halve parking costs by renting a private space instead. Plus you can get a rough idea of savings in seconds.

Try Park Let's price guide tool, which lets you search for guideline UK parking prices on a map. Just drag the area of the map you'd like to park in under the 'X'. You'll only find the average though, so even if the saving's good, use it as a benchmark to beat.

Once armed with Park Let's best price, try comparing some of the sites above which can also be used for renting a space such as; Just Park*, Your Parking Space and Park On My Drive. If you're willing to dig a bit more, you could also try Gumtree. If they can beat the price, you might want to take the plunge, but always consider the following first:

How secure is it?

Can you park cheaper further away?

Time it to perfection

How will you pay?

Ensure you've a contract

Cheap car parking costs compared

To give you an idea of how much you could save on parking, the table below compares the cost of using an NCP car park with using a parking space found via the internet in December 2014.

NCP car park season tickets vs cheap parking sites
Location NCP monthly (3) Park Let Your Parking Space Just Park Gumtree Biggest saving
London WC1 (1) £350 £153 £312 £187 £136 £214
Manchester city centre (2) £207 £106 £150 £92 £80 £127
1. Within 1 mile of King's Cross St. Pancras station. 2. Within 1 mile of Piccadilly. 3. Based on nearest NCP monthly season ticket quote. Prices subject to availability.

As the table shows, by swapping NCP's season tickets for a private parking space it's possible to cut parking costs by more than half, with just a cursory search of car parking sites.

Successfully rented out your parking space? Let us know how much you've made in the Rent Your Parking Space forum discussion.