WANT to save money on your daily commute? Then try parking in somebody's driveway.
In normal circumstances this would be likely to end in a furious row, but an innovative online parking marketplace is opening the driveway gates for some residents to make money and commuters to make savings.
Rail commuters could save an average of £587 on the cost of their journey to work in 2017, despite train ticket price hikes, simply by shopping around for their parking, according to research by YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
The organisation says that railway passengers in the London commuter town of Guildford for example could save as much as £800 annually on parking, £680 by shopping around in Reading, £480 in Harlow and £400 in Tunbridge Wells.
Further north, those travelling from Leamington Spa in Warwickshire could save £440, while commuters in Warrington could save £720.
Train fares in Britain are going up by an average of 2.3 per cent increasing annual journeys for passengers travelling from Guildford to London Waterloo by £64, Tunbridge Wells to London Charring Cross by £80 and Leamington to London Marylebone by £144.
While the recent announcement that fares will increase yet again next year may have come as a blow to rail passengers up and down the country, Harrison Woods, managing director of YourParkingSpace.co.uk believes that by shopping around for parking, rather than heading straight to the train station car park, commuters can prevent the price hike from hitting their pockets.
"The growing popularity of people renting out their private parking spaces, including their front drives, means that residents are undercutting commercial car parks. By looking for a cheaper place to park commuters can make huge savings to the cost of a journey", he said.
Mr Woods explained that booking parking spaces in advance also allows commuters to be more flexible with their travel arrangements. Train stations cannot guarantee parking spaces, even for those who have bought season tickets, meaning that many have to arrive before 7.00am to get a space.
For some, even getting a parking season ticket can be a challenge, with stations such as Tunbridge Wells currently having waiting lists of over 50 people.
"Train stations can be notoriously difficult places to find a parking space, so by booking in advance commuters can guarantee to have a parking space waiting for them when they arrive". Mr Woods added.
Graham Towerner, who lives a seven-minute walk from Guildford train station has been letting out his spare parking space through YourParkingSpace.co.uk for the past eight months,
"I have rented out the space to many different people, most of them use it to leave their car when they're catching a train as it's in an ideal, nearby location," he said.
"One gentleman has it for a couple of days each week as he travels into London on the train for meetings so it's far cheaper for him than getting a season ticket at the train station car park. It's also very popular at weekends with people heading into the city for a day out. They often like the fact that they have a guaranteed parking space when they turn up, rather than risk trying to get a space at the station car park which can often be full."
Matthew McVeigh is another who is making savings and has been renting a space in the centre of Tunbridge Wells to park his car for the past year. "It's very convenient for me and works out a lot cheaper than using a local car park. I used the YourParkingSpace.co.uk website to find a space that would accommodate my Range Rover and the whole booking process was very smooth and simple."