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Driving Down The Real Cost Of Parking In Europe

APCOA PARKING Group has undertaken a study into how long drivers spend looking for a car parking space, and the impact that it has on their pockets and the environment.

According to the study, the real cost to drivers searching for a parking space across Europe equates to 1.35 Euros (approx. £1.15), which is based on an average travelling distance of 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles).

There’s also the environmental impact to consider too. The greater the distance, the higher the burn-rate of fuel, which increases the level of CO2 greenhouse gas being emitted into the atmosphere. And with a reported 30 million vehicle users** in the UK alone, the release of CO2 emissions could be as high as 39,000 tonnes for every 84,000,000 miles wasted trying to park.

Approximately 30 per cent of the total CO2 emissions produced from locating a parking space is due to the increasing number of vehicles trying to park in congested city centres. Although small by number, the Lamborghini Murcielago is considered to be the least green car on the road, while APCOA Parking’s Toyota IQ CCTV cars are some of the greenest vehicles, with a CO2 output of just 99 grams per kilometer (0.62 miles).

Ralf Bender, Chief Executive Officer for APCOA Parking Group, says: “We already knew that the time it took to find a parking space was underestimated, but results of the study were quite startling.

“For years, we have been advocating improved parking guidance systems (PGS) throughout our network of 12 European countries. These systems have major operational benefits for APCOA, as well as for our customers in being able to locate a parking space quickly. Through greater deployment of this technology, as well as cashless parking options, customers would save a huge amount of time and money,” added Bender.

On average, 42 per cent of all those polled described parking conditions in city centres as being strained, or even chaotic. This figure rose to as much as 70 per cent in Italy, whereby seven out of every 10 Italian drivers reported that the parking problem is now at a critical level.

Elsewhere, the study concluded that 62 per cent of all respondents said they preferred parking in dedicated off-street locations, as opposed to roadside parking.


With more than 40 years of operational and innovation experience, and an annual turnover of €700 million, APCOA Parking Group is the leading European parking manager.

The Group currently manages around 1.3 million parking spaces at more than 7,300 locations across 12 European countries. It is also a market leader in the aviation parking sector, with more than 30 European airports having already chosen APCOA to manage their parking facilities.

About APCOA (UK)

APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd. was established in 1971 as a parking management company, and became the first company in the UK to provide on-street parking enforcement in 1986. APCOA currently employs around 2,100 staff in the UK and a further 2,500 staff across 11 other European countries. To date, APCOA is the largest full-service parking management company in Europe, providing a wide range of management and on-street services on behalf of clients at airports, rail stations, shopping centres, town and city centres, hotels, hospitals and universities.

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