Drivers spend an average of 44 hours a year looking for a parking space

Three gold cars from Saudi Arabia (left-right) a 6x6 Mercedes G 63, Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and Lamborghini Aventador have received parking tickets on Cadogan Place in Knightsbridge, London.

According to new research, the average driver spends 44 hours each year looking for a parking space. In London, motorists spend a shocking 67 hours trying to park annually.

It is estimated that this equates to £733 per year wasted on simply finding a parking space, calculated from the value of the time lost, the money spent on fuel, parking fines and overpayment.

The research has come from a study by Inrix, a traffic information supplier. It also estimated that businesses and high streets also miss out from the parking inconvenience, the study suggesting that two-fifths of drivers avoid driving to the shops because of the struggle to find a parking space.

This is a point expressed by Edmund King, the president of the AA. He told the Daily Mail: "A lack of provision will kill off the high street as shoppers vote with their wheels and go to out of town retail outlets where parking tends to be easier and free."

As well as London, cities such as Belfast (56 hours), Leeds (47 hours) and Bristol (46 hours) are all notorious for the times it takes people to park.

Inrix calculated that the overall cost of time spent searching for a space, overpaying for parking time and parking tickets is more than £30 billion a year in the UK.

The study was based on analysing data from parking locations as well as survey responses from nearly 18,000 drivers from the UK, US and Germany.

Dr Graham Cookson, chief economist at Inrix, said: "To lessen the significant burden parking has on our economy and lives, smart parking solutions are available for drivers, parking operators and cities to help reduce search times, congestion and pollution as well as negate overpaying and fines altogether."

By Ted Welford

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