MM Awards

AA: Drivers would still choose to pay for parking by cash rather than mobile

Tyrone Stewart

PayByPhone70 per cent of drivers are not willing to use ‘pay-by-phone’ parking bays, and say they are more likely to drive by and find a different parking spot.

According to a survey of more than 16,000 AA members, majority of drivers would still rather use the cash option for parking payment. In addition, 70 per cent of drivers also say they are sceptical about using the systems due to administration fees. Despite this, 64 per cent admitted it is often a challenge to find the right change for parking on machines that do not give change.

When broken down, the AA-Populus Driver Poll found that 71 per cent of men would drive off and park elsewhere versus 69 per cent of women. And 79 per cent of pensioners, understandably, are more likely to find another spot. Similarly, low-income drivers are 79 per cent more likely to move on versus 68 per cent of high earners.

“Not only can it be a struggle to find a space but now, when you do find one, you may be required to talk to an automated system to pay the charge – not ideal if you have an appointment or just want to get in and get out quickly,” said Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA.

“More than half of drivers (52 per cent) don’t care how they pay, as long as it is easy to do so. Putting administration fees on parking, not yet accepting the new £1 coin, having to enter your registration number or failing to provide change are all stumbling blocks our struggling high streets cannot afford if they deter potential customers.

“All providers should make it easier to pay for parking. Not everyone has a smartphone to pay via an app and not everyone is keen to talk to a robot to pay for an hour’s stay. For the elderly and low-income drivers, pay by phone feels almost discriminatory.”

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