The search for a car park in Sydney has just become that little bit less draining thanks to two new services added to the NSW Government’s Park’n Pay app. The app was launched in October last year and allows motorists to search, pay and top up metered parking spots across NSW.
It now also allows electric-vehicle drivers to search Chargefox’s network of 130 charging stations, and access Parkhound, an Airbnb-style marketplace that helps you find and book vacant parking spots.
Parkhound works much like other share-economy providers, with more than 18,000 hosts listing their driveways, garages and parking lots for people to book, both short and long-term. “There are hundreds of thousands of under-utilised driveways and car spaces that sit idle right across the state. Both commuters and local residents can now easily make use of these otherwise wasted spaces via the real-time data in the Park’n Pay app,” Parkhound CEO Mike Rosenbaum says in a statement.
You can get an indoor parking spot on George Street for $425 a month, 24/7 access to an undercover park on Pitt Street for $62.50 per day or $562 per month. An undercover spot on Bondi’s Roscoe Street, not far from the beach, is going for $31.25 a day.
The catch? Parkhound requires the host to approve your booking before you park, and this can take anywhere from hours to days – not ideal for a spontaneous beach mission, but a solid stress-free solution for the more forward thinking or daily commuters looking for long-term options. Parkhound says that since its launch in 2015, its Australian hosts have parlayed their empty driveways and garages into more than $35 million in income. Parkhound takes a 10 per cent commission.
The extra parking options should come as some relief to Sydneysiders, who no doubt suffer from “anticipatory parking anxiety”. An NRMA study found that between 2014 and this year, CBD parking options have reduced by 47 per cent, with 142 spaces available per 1000 employees, down from 209. The study also found that Sydney’s CBD parking availability has dropped from 52,515 spaces to 45,424.
Parkhound is not the only car park-hunting service available in Sydney. Founded by a pair of frustrated beachgoers, Share With Oscar offers users a slightly more expedient experience, allowing users to lock in a spot immediately. Beachside parking from Manly to Coogee is going for as little as two bucks an hour.
The government’s Park’n Pay app is operating across 23 Sydney suburbs, with more locations being added in the coming months.