We all know this problem. You have just arrived at your destination, but now have to find somewhere to park. Where can you put the car? The search for a parking space in German cities is often a test of patience: on average, drivers must plan to spend 10 minutes to find a vacant parking space. This not only costs time and money, but is also frustrating and damages the environment – our living space. Can we make this more efficient?
Finding a parking space initially sounds like an easy task. But the reality is that it can be a real challenge in German cities. Drivers not only require a lot of time, but also a considerable amount of patience and concentration to find a vacant parking space. On average, those looking for a space drive 4.5 kilometers before they find a suitable place to leave their car. This is costly. People not only lose an average of 10 minutes, but also 1.35 euros in additional costs each time they search for a parking space. According to the market research company Inrix, the average time spent searching for a parking space in Germany amounts to 41 hours and the additional costs incurred to 900 euros per head per year. This means that in total, the additional cost of traffic created by the search for parking spaces in the country comes to over 40 billion euros each year. Money that could be much better spent elsewhere.
The most popular mode of transport in Germany is the car. A study from the DLR Institute of Transport Research from 2021 shows that car use in Germany is consistently high and currently even higher than before the coronavirus pandemic. A trend that appears to be growing. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, as of January 1, 2021, 66.9 million vehicles were registered in Germany, the majority of which being cars (around 48.2 million). A number that has increased in the last few years. On a global scale, Germany has one of the highest degrees of motorization and the largest vehicle densities. It is therefore no wonder that during rush hour , the search for a parking space accounts for between 30 and 40 percent of inner-city traffic. This has consequences for people and the environment. In addition, Dekra discovered in a study that 40 percent of all car accidents in Germany were associated with parking and maneuvering. Making the search for a parking space more efficient and reducing traffic associated with this is therefore worthwhile for numerous reasons.
If we calculate all the costs associated with looking for a parking space through overpayments and parking tickets, we come to a figure of almost 45 billion euros per year.
Dr. Graham Cookson, Chief Economist at INRIX