Drivers spend 44 hours a year searching for a parking space


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Study finds drivers spend a shocking amount of time and money trying to find a place to park every year

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A new study has found the average motorist spends 44 hours and £733 a year on wasted fuel and emissions while searching for a place to park – a total of £23.3 billion across the industry.

INRIX – the world’s largest connected car services company - has published findings suggesting the average UK driver spends 44 hours searching for that elusive parking space. The company surveyed 7,035 British drivers across 10 of the UK’s largest cities.

The results show London was the worst place in the country to find a parking place. On average, the capital city costs drivers 67 hours a year, and £1,104 in wasted fuel and emissions. This results in the city as a whole incurring wasted fuel costs of £4.3 billion. This was followed by Belfast, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff.


Rank UK City

Annual Search Time

(hours per driver per annum)

Annual Search Cost Per Driver
Annual Search Cost Per City
 1 London 67 £1,104 £4.3bn
 2 Belfast 56
 3 Leeds 47
 4 Bristol 46
 5 Birmingham 46
 6 Cardiff 44
7 Manchester 41
8 Glasgow 40
9 Edinburgh 38
10 Southampton 35

However, is the problem a lack of spaces to park, or something deeper?

Dr Graham Cookson, chief economist at INRIX, commented: “While 71% of drivers said there isn’t enough parking available, occupancy for spaces can be as low as 50%. We have an information problem more than a parking problem. A problem that technology can help fix.”

Parking fine statistics

The survey also asked respondents how many parking tickets they received annually. The results found the average across the UK to be 0.7, amounting to £39 per driver per year in fines – or £1.2bn for all drivers.


Rank UK City

Parking Tickets

(per driver per annum)

Parking Tickets Cost

(per driver per annum)

Total Parking Ticket Cost
(per driver per annum)

1 London 1.12 £72 £284m
2 Belfast 0.32 £11
3 Birmingham 0.48 £17
4 Leeds 0.41 £14
5 Bristol 0.46 £16
6 Manchester 0.54 £19
7 Cardiff 0.41 £14
8 Southampton 0.35 £12
9 Edinburgh 0.43 £15
10 Glasgow 0.47 £16

So, what are the consequences for drivers?

According to the survey, drivers said they:

  • Felt stressed trying to find a parking space – 64%
  • Had gotten themselves into an argument with another driver over parking – 16%
  • Missed an appointment – 38%
  • Abandoned a trip due to issues finding a space – 26%

A huge 71% of drivers felt as though there were not enough parking spaces available, with nearly half (46%) admitting that they felt taking up two spaces is the worst parking “sin”.

These findings come as Admiral has released figures which reveal huge price differences between different airport parking prices across the country. To find out more, click here.

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