Over the past year or two, these posts have covered a wide range of subjects, from flying cars to insurance scams. But one subject we haven't yet covered is car parking. And the reason is simple - what is there to say? Let's face it, it's a pretty dull subject. But, the other day, we heard a fact concerning car parking which we actually found quite interesting, and it made us wonder if there might be more of the same.
So we looked into it. And there was. Like most subjects, even the world of parking has its curiosities. So we've decided to break our long silence on this much-ignored topic, and share with you some of the more fascinating facts about parking across the world. We’re the first admit that it's possibly not the most useful or intellectually stimulating post you've ever read, but we hope it will entertain you during a coffee break. So, if you’re sitting comfortably. . .
1. The world’s first parking meter
The first parking meter to appear on the planet was the Park-O-Meter, installed in Oklahoma on 16th July 1935. Charging 5 cents per hour (about $1 in today’s money), they didn’t go down well with the public at first, but retailers loved them. This was because, with the ever-increasing popularity of the automobile, downtown business owners found that employees took up all the parking spots, leaving none for customers – who went to establishments with better parking facilities. In fact, they proved so effective that, five years later, there were more than 140,000 parking meters across the United States.
2. The world’s most expensive parking spots
According Colliers International, in 2018, the most expensive parking spots in the world can be found, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Central London. Around Trafalgar Square and the City, parking spaces can cost up to an average of £1014 per month. Other close contenders for this title include Hong Kong, Japan and China.
3. The world’s largest car park
This can be found in Edmonton, Canada, in the world’s largest Shopping Centre. It holds a ginormous 20,000 cars, with 10,000 more in an adjoining car park. That’ as Cilla would have said, is a lorra lorra parking spaces!
4. The most expensive car ever to get a parking fine
The most expensive car on record to receive a ticket was a £15 million vintage Ferrari. It had been illegally parked during a photo-shoot in London in April 2016. We’re guessing that the owner didn’t have too much trouble paying the £120 ticket, but whether she/he managed to handle the final fate of the vehicle with equanimity is a different question. Why? Because it was towed away and crushed. Ouch!
5. The UK’s worst cities for parking
A study back in 2017 by data services company, Inrix, found that London (surprise!) is the most frustrating city in the UK, in terms of parking, as people spend as many as 67 hours per year trying to park, against a national average of 44 hours per year. The study also found that London and Birmingham share the honour of having the highest parking space wastage, at 20% each. Brighton, on the other hand, was found to have the most efficient parkers, with just 11% of space left unused on “full” streets.
6. The most annoying parker in the UK
One of the worst cases of parking reported in 2017 was that of a driver, in Spalding, Lincolnshire who had parked his car across four (yep, that’s right: not two or three, but four) parking spaces. The motorist was concerned about another driver scratching his vehicle. Writing on the Facebook community group Spotted Spalding, where someone had posted pictures of his white Seat, Mr Silva said: “Nothing quite like parking and taking up four spaces. Start spending hundreds of pounds on your car and then you’ll understand where I’m coming from.”
7. That old chestnut – are men or women better at parking?
A National Car Parks (NCP) report found that women are actually better at parking their cars than men. So, how did they arrive at this stereotype-inverting conclusion? Well, in its study, NCP ‘assessed’ 2,500 people’s parking, and rated them on factors such as speed and accuracy. They found that, that although women took longer to park on average (21 seconds versus 16 seconds for men), they spent this extra time well. More than half the women managed to park centrally in the bays, compared to just a quarter of men. All in all, NCP gave women a better ‘parking coefficient’, despite only a 205 of women actually believing that they were better parkers.
8. The world’s weirdest parking law (at least, we assume it is!)
In Florida, if you leave your alligator (or elephant) tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid, just as it would for a vehicle.
Finally, here's another fact: if you're looking for a fantastic-value used car, you won't find a better place to look than the DesperateSeller.co.uk used car section. Whatever you’re looking for, from a Renault Scenic to an Alfa Romeo Giulia, you'll find it here