A record number of homeowners living in towns and cities are set to benefit from the sharing economy this year as an estimated 130,000 student cars arrive at universities up and down the country.
Despite many universities and colleges severely restricting student cars on campus, research from the online parking marketplace, YourParkingSpace.co.uk, suggests that an estimated 33% of the 420,000 students who were accepted at universities this year will take their car with them, and many of those will be turning to sharing economy platforms to find somewhere convenient and affordable to park.
Harrison Woods, of YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said, “A lot of students rely on their cars. With rising tuition fees, more young people than ever are choosing to stay living with parents and are commuting to university, and for those who do choose to move away they often need their car to hold down a weekend job or get to placements relevant to their degree. Many don’t want to face the gauntlet of trying to find on-street parking every morning which is often an impossible task near to universities. With council owned car parks charging as much as £1,900 for an annual parking permit it is no surprise that they are seeking parking alternatives.”
Orla Burke, who lives in Oxford has been renting out her spare parking space to students for the past two years and makes £108 per month. She said, “Parking in Oxford is very limited and there is almost no free on-street parking that I know of, so students have to get one of the very limited university spaces or find parking elsewhere. I had a spare space and it made sense to share it with someone that needed it.”
Sharon Uden rents a parking space for her daughter who is studying at the University of Surrey in Guildford. She said, “There is no parking on campus at my daughter’s university and the council and train station car parks are very expensive. I also had concerns about the security of the car. I managed to find and easily book a space in a quiet cul-de-sac just a five-minute bike ride from my daughter’s residence, the landlady has been extremely helpful and I am reassured that the car is much safer parked on a private residence.”
In some university towns and cities, the unprecedented number of vehicles clogging up local streets has led to students and residents clashing, with residents in Exeter launching a campaign earlier this year for the city to follow in the footsteps of Nottingham and Cambridge and issue a city wide ban on student cars.