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Cash is king: three quarters of the drivers pay for parking with coins

Cash is still king for drivers who pay for parking, according to a new study from the BPA

Cash is still king for drivers who pay for parking, according to a new study from the BPA

When it comes to parking, cash is still king for motorists, according to the ‘largest study ever conducted’ into how motorists pay in parking lots.

The British Parking Association conducted research to see if drivers are starting to switch to online or contactless parking, but found that cash is still the preferred option.

Of all the payment options offered, the study shows that 75 percent of all parking payments are made with coins.

Card payments are used by 29 percent of drivers and passengers, while only 16 percent use a cell phone app, the report said.

The survey of 3,007 UK adults aged 18 and over found that less than a third (30 percent) are confident in using their smartphone to pay for parking.

It also found that where contactless card payments are accepted, this method and cash are preferred by motorists.

Unsurprisingly, given the poll was taken during the shutdown, when many don’t use their cars at all, respondents said they don’t often pay to park.

About a third said they paid to park less than once a month. If they did have to pay, nine out of ten indicated that it was ‘shopping’ or ‘recreational use’.

Previous studies by the RAC Foundation found that 94 percent of all parking operations were free, including travel to and from the workplace, and both studies confirm that paid parking occurs only where demand is greatest and that most public parking remains free.

The report comes after months of ongoing concern over cash handling during the Covid-19 pandemic over fears that the virus could be passed from user to user.

However, research from the Bank of England found that the virus cannot survive on high-level banknotes for very long periods.

MOST COMMON PAYMENT METHOD FOR PARKING
MEANS OF PAYMENT
Pay machine parking, cash payment75
Payment terminal parking, with credit / debit card29
Mobile phone app16
Text5
Online / website4
Others2
Registered with an online site, so the payment is automatically deducted every time I park2
I do not know1
Source: Survey of 3,007 UK adults over 18 years old. Results from 2,241 people who say they pay for parking. Users can provide more than one answer
When it comes to paying to park, 75% of drivers surveyed said their preferred method is cash. However, if contactless transactions can be made, this is becoming an increasingly popular option

When it comes to paying to park, 75% of drivers surveyed said their preferred method is cash. However, if contactless transactions can be made, this is becoming an increasingly popular option

When it comes to paying to park, 75% of drivers surveyed said their preferred method is cash. However, if contactless transactions can be made, this is becoming an increasingly popular option

In addition to fears of the coronavirus, the BPA said drivers should remain vigilant about paying for parking, regardless of the type of payment they use.

In recent months, the police have warned drivers about fraudsters preying on drivers at payment terminals.

Criminals posing as needy members of the public claim that POS machines swallowed their debit cards when they attempted to make a payment, before leaving with the debit and credit cards of unwittingly helpful drivers offering to pay for them out of sympathy.

The scam, first highlighted by This is Money over a year ago, claimed a number of victims in London’s Richmond, according to local police investigating a range of such crimes.

In some cases, criminals pose as parking attendants and tell victims they will be fined and take them to a ticket machine.

According to UK Finance, the victim is distracted when inserting the card before it is stolen.

The Richmond Council said last month it had received several reports of the scam being used at locations in Kew, Twickenham and Teddington in recent weeks.

It said fraudsters had successfully stolen thousands of pounds within minutes of getting away with a driver’s bank card.

Drivers are warned to remain vigilant when paying for parking, especially at POS terminals, following reports of fraudsters preying on unwitting drivers

Drivers are warned to remain vigilant when paying for parking, especially at POS terminals, following reports of fraudsters preying on unwitting drivers

Drivers are warned to remain vigilant when paying for parking, especially at POS terminals, following reports of fraudsters preying on unwitting drivers

BPA said, “Parking operators are aware that pay and display machines are vulnerable to thieves because of the cash they can hold, and thefts of tickets and cell phones can occur anywhere, so it always pays to be vigilant.”

Kelvin Reynolds, the association’s director of corporate affairs, added: “Drivers need not fear when paying to park at a vending machine. Whether you use a credit or debit card, cash or a smartphone app, drivers should always be careful.

As with all transactions, keep personal information private, never reveal the PIN, and never give a payment card to anyone else.

‘It is also encouraging to see that drivers like to walk further than in the past.

“With initiatives such as Park Active, which encourages walking and cycling from peripheral parking lots, these can help revitalize our shopping streets as the environmental and health benefits make them more attractive.”

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