Do you live or work in a crowded city-center – like downtown Baltimore or San Francisco? Then listen up! You might be interested in a new approach to parking cars called driveway-sharing, where homeowners literally rent out the extra space in their driveway or garage to people who need a parking spot. And the practice is becoming increasingly popular in areas where parking is really expensive, or very hard to find.
Urban planner David Shoup says it’s a great idea. He points out that drivers in the U.S. and Canada spend an average of 8 minutes cruising city streets looking for a parking space. He also believes that hunting for parking causes 30% of all urban traffic congestion.
Some homeowners advertise available parking spots on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. And now there are several companies that help connect homeowners and prospective renters, too, like Parking Panda. They list available spaces and prices, book the rentals, and automatically deposit the money in the homeowner’s bank account.
Renters love it because they can get a reserved parking place for work, or for a meeting, one that’s often less expensive than public lots.
And homeowners love the extra income, and the fact that they don’t have to be there to collect the money when the renter shows up.
If you’re considering driveway-sharing on your property, check your homeowner’s liability insurance. Some policies won’t cover a home-based business, which means, you might be on the hook if a renter’s car is stolen from your property, or they hit a pedestrian while trying to park.
If you’re interested in renting your parking space or driveway, here are a couple sites: Parkingpanda.com, and parkingspots.com.