10 September 2021
Cash is still the number one option to pay for parking amongst drivers, but young drivers prefer to leave their coins at home according to a study by the AA.
More than two fifths (46%*) of drivers say that paying for parking for cash it their first choice, rising to more than half of older drivers (aged 65+ 56%) and three fifths for low income households (62%). Chip & Pin payments come second with contactless payment with a card or smartphone third. Paying via an app and by phone complete the top five.
However, younger drivers (aged 18-24) are ready to shun notes and coins in favour of cards and technology. Half (49%) say their first choice for parking payments is by contactless payment, with Chip & Pin second and apps third.
HOW DRIVERS PREFER TO PAY FOR PARKING (ALL DRIVERS COMPARED TO DRIVERS AGED 18-24)
|Rank||Parking payment preference (All drivers)||Parking payment preference (18-24 only)|
|1.||Cash||Contactless via card/smartphone|
|2.||Chip & Pin||Chip & Pin|
|3.||Contactless via card/smartphone||Via an app|
|4.||Via an app||Cash|
|5.||By phone||By phone|
The research comes as many local authorities across the UK changed their policies to allow cashless payments only during the height of the pandemic to reduce cash being handled by multiple people therefore reducing the spread of the virus.
Removing cash parking machines from town centres can have a knock on effect to the local economy as would be shoppers decide to take their business elsewhere
Some councils also said moving to cashless options reduced costs as it saved on repairs and meant theives could not steal the cash sat in the machine.
While offering cashless payments is popular amongst younger drivers, older drivers and low income households prefer to manage their budgets with cash and want the flexibility to pay for parking with coins and then spend any change in the local High Street.
The AA is asking councils to retain pay by cash parking machines to ensure drivers of all ages and backgrounds can access local shops and facilities.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said; “For now, cash remains king when paying for parking, however, a speedy transition to an increasingly cashless society is paving a way that could threaten to lock older drivers and low income households out of their town centre.
“Many households prefer to physically see their budgets and doing so gives them a heightened sense of how much their cash can go. Removing cash parking machines from town centres can have a knock on effect to the local economy as would be shoppers decide to take their business elsewhere.
“With parking income the equivalent of three quarters of council tax revenue** for some authorities, Council Leaders will not want to lose a valuable source of funding.
“Considering the low levels of support for pay by phone options, councils could drop this option altogether but won’t as many add transaction fees to the hourly rate which help boost their coffers.”
* AA Yonder Driver Poll, July 2021. 14,681 respondents