Searching for Parking Costs Americans $73 Billion a Year

INRIX-Study

INRIX today published a major new study combining data from the INRIX Parking database of 100,000 locations across 8,700 cities in more than 100 countries, with results from a recent survey of nearly 18,000 drivers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, including close to 6,000 across 10 U.S. cities. With the goal of analyzing and ranking the economic costs of “parking pain” in these markets, INRIX research found that, on average, U.S. drivers spend 17 hours per year searching for parking at a cost of $345 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions.

INRIX analyzed the parking market in 10 of the U.S.’s largest cities, and revealed that New York drivers endure the worst challenges. On average, drivers in the Big Apple spend 107 hours per year searching for a parking spot at a cost $2,243 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions, amounting to $4.3 billion in costs to the city as a whole.

Los Angeles drivers trailed New York with the most painful parking experience (85 hours – $1,785), followed by San Francisco (83 hours – $1,735), Washington D.C. (65 hours – $1,367), Seattle (58 hours – $1,205), Chicago (56 hours – $1,174), Boston (53 hours – $1,111), Atlanta (50 hours – $1,043), Dallas (48 hours – $995) and Detroit (35 hours – $731).

Table 1: INRIX Parking Ranking – Hours Spent Searching for Parking

table 1

Americans spend an incredible $72.7 billion searching for the elusive parking spot,” said Bob Pishue, senior economist at INRIX. “Our country’s parking pain has widespread impact – on drivers, cities, the economy and the environment. Thankfully, it’s a problem that can be improved through education, technology and partnerships.”

American Drivers Overestimate Parking Time to Avoid Tickets

The INRIX Parking Study surveyed drivers about how much extra time they typically add to a parking transaction to avoid a ticket. In the U.S., drivers add an average of 13 hours per year when they pay for parking. When combined with INRIX Parking rate data, the cost of overpaying for parking amounts to more than $20 billion annually. Drivers in New York City add the most extra time when paying for parking, averaging 96 hours a year, or an extra $896 in parking payments.

In addition, the survey also asked how many parking tickets motorists received annually. New Yorkers and Angelenos once again topped the list, this time with the most parking tickets per year at 1.31 and 1.05 respectively, although the average American gets one every five years. Interestingly, U.S. drivers spend eight times more a year overpaying for parking than they do in parking tickets.

Table 2: INRIX Parking Ranking – Extra Time for Parking Sessions and Parking Fines

table 2

U.S. Economy Bears the Brunt of Parking Pain with 39% of Drivers Avoiding Shops

Of the 6,000 U.S. drivers who responded to the survey, an alarming 63% reported they avoided driving to a destination due to the challenge of find parking, dramatically impacting local businesses and economic activity. Breaking it down further, 39% of respondents avoided shopping destinations because of the lack of parking, 27% didn’t drive to airports, 26% skipped leisure/sports activities and 21% avoided commuting to work. A surprising 20% of American motorists surveyed did not drive to the doctor’s office or hospital due to parking issues.

A Quarter of Americans Say Road Rage Extends to Parking

Almost two-thirds of Americas drivers (61%) reported they felt stressed trying to find a parking spot, nearly half (42%) missed an appointment, one-in-three (34%) abandoned a trip due to parking problems and one-quarter (23%) experienced road rage.

The search for parking, overpayments and fines is a $96 billion problem in the U.S.,” added Pishue. “To lessen the burden parking pain has on our economy and quality of life, drivers, parking operators and cities must adopt smart parking solutions.”

Research Methodology

INRIX combined rate card data from the INRIX Parking database of 100,000 locations across 8,700 cities in 100 countries with survey responses from nearly 18,000 drivers in 30 cities across the U.S., U.K. and Germany. Combining these datasets enabled INRIX Research to calculate the economic cost of three measures of parking pain: parking search, parking overpayment and parking tickets/fines.

Average 2-Hour Parking Cost refers to public, off-street parking within 1 mile of the city center.

The weighted average of on-street and off-street search time was multiplied by the average number of times per week respondents parked. Value of time was based on U.S. Department of Transportation figures. Parking search costs also include the value of wasted fuel and carbon emissions.

Overpayment was calculated by using the average amount of time (in minutes) that respondents reported they overpaid for parking each time they park to avoid tickets, towing, or hourly rates set above the amount parked. The cost of overpayment was estimated using the weighted average of on-street and off-street parking rates. Parking fines were based on reported frequency and assumed all local tariffs and discounts were applied.

Click here to see infographics.

About INRIXINRIX logo

INRIX smart parking solutions get real-time parking information to drivers on the go, curbing traffic before it starts. INRIX Parking also provides cities with actionable information they can use to improve parking management and policies. 

We engage cities, automakers, private parking operators, and parking equipment makers to create the ultimate parking experience for drivers. By combining raw data from existing parking infrastructure with acquired data from more than 300 million connected devices, we can guide drivers to the best available parking options.

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