There’s only one thing worse than trying to find something, and that’s starting off the process not knowing if it’s there to be found in the first place - A bit like heading to the supermarket on a Saturday hoping to find a bottle of Prosecco for under 9 quid....And of course, before you get their you’ve also got to find somewhere to park. And so this meandering analogy is brought sharply back on course. For there is nothing worse than the primary stress of your own punctuality for an event when its combined with the anxiety of whether or not you’re going to find a space when you get there.
Well now there’s an answer, and like so many other solution to first world problems, it comes in the form of a smartphone App…..Although if you ordered an Samsung 7 perhaps “Smart” is pushing it as description - Portable spontaneous fireworks display unit is probably more appropriate.
Next to Apps that book you a cab and tell you how many pushups and step you’ve conned it into thinking you’ve done today, Parking Apps are pretty much the biggest growth in mobile comms of the past couple of years. Way more advanced than simply using GPS to guide you to the nearest multistorey, the best of the bunch will tell you about on-street parking, how much it costs, how long you can stay and some will even tell you whether there are currently free bays.
On a recent trip to London in the Driven Long Term Test BMW i3 electric car, we tried out ParkRight one of the biggest Apps of its kind for Britain’s capital - Electric cars can park free in City of Westminster on streets metred bays for up to 4 hours - Our first appointment of the day was just over the border in the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington’s domain where they charge full whack whatever fuel you’re not burning. ParkRight correctly identified and directed us successfully to a string of spaces literally where the Westminster Bays ended and Kensington & Chelsea’s began. It also managed to find us empty spaces in Covent Garden later on in the day.
Not only does this cut out the stress and anxiety of driving and parking, but it also means you can feel warm and fuzzy inside at the thought of all the ickle penguins you’ve saved not spitting out your nasty smog driving round and round the same streets looking for a car sized hole with a metre on it.
If you do have to pay for your parking you can even reluctantly punch your card details into your phone and the App will take care of that for you too.
There are lots of these Apps around and not all are just for London - Some do some things. Some do all, so here's just a couple of them.
www.myringgo.co.uk/apps - Not only will it find you a space in more than 230 towns and cities, you can also use it to pay for a space too.
www.car-parking.eu - Not so much parking App as it is a website, nevertheless it gives information on where to park, cost and free parking locations across the EU.
www.westminster.gov.uk/parkright - Our favourite for the capital and it's run by the capital. Shows cost, number of bays and in many cases, whether there are spaces available. You can also pay through this App too.