Most Drivers Don’t Like Parking Apps

A recent survey that has been conducted suggests that the majority of drivers do not like using the many parking apps which are available in the UK. 80% of all drivers don’t like using an app created for the sole purpose of paying for parking, and would instead rather use cash or contactless card payments to park in a public place.

A Failing Modern Approach

The results of the survey concluded that a lot of drivers were worried about two things regarding these apps. First of all, they were concerned that the apps were more complicated than they needed to be, and secondly they were concerned about online fraudulent activity.

There are more than 30 different apps in the UK, and in order for drivers to park in certain places, they have to download the app. This requires them to submit personal information to set up an account and pay for the parking tickets.

It is currently uncertain how long the applications will remain in place as the government announced a national parking platform in October 2013, as a response to growing concerns regarding the way the parking apps were used. An official estimate given by the government suggests that the application will go live by autumn of 2024.

Expert Opinions

Speaking about the situation was Simon Williams, an RAC Spokesperson. He had the following to say:

“Paying for parking should be one of the simplest things any driver has to do, yet the reality has been anything but with people forced to download and register a plethora of different mobile apps depending on where they are in the country.

The roll-out of the National Parking Platform therefore brings about some much-needed simplification and should make drivers’ lives easier.

However, we remain concerned about the fact that some councils seem intent on removing all physical parking ticket machines in favour of app-only payment – something research tells us a clear majority of drivers are resolutely against”.

This coincides with a recent report published in June 2023 by the RAC. It’s suggested that up to 1/5 of all drivers are accusing the council in the local area of scrapping parking payment machines for the purpose of introducing the mobile app.

The survey said that 11% of all drivers had reported that their payment machine had already gone, with 8% reporting it was an intention of the local authority to do so.

London had the highest concentration of apps and missing machines, with 44% of all drivers, followed after by the East and East Midlands.

Generally speaking, reactions to the idea are pretty negative. Most drivers believe that they should have the opportunity to use parking payment machines instead of the application, and resent the idea of having to download and keep a mobile parking app in order to be able to park in public areas. They also say that elderly people may particularly struggle with this idea, as most of them don’t have a smartphone to download the app from.