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Make money renting out your driveway
It just shows how car-dependent we still are in this country, that just a simple bit of concrete outside your house could potentially make you thousands each year!
Who would have thought that you could make money out of something as mundane as your driveway?
It's true. In London and other big cities, garages and parking spaces can cost tens of thousands of pounds to buy or rent each year. If you live in a sought-after area, or near an important train station, sports arena or major attraction, you could attract a lot of people who need to park there but don't want to pay the extortionate rates offered by commercial car parks.
It's a win-win situation really. Not only can you make money from your driveway, but the car owners get to save money on the cost of parking.
How do you do it?
It's now very simple to rent out your driveway, thanks to the internet. Before you might have had to take out an ad in the local paper or put a card in the newsagent's window.
Now there are websites like Parkatmyhouse.co.uk and Parklet.co.uk where you can advertise your driveway. Other websites have been getting in on the act recently such as Gumtree.com but the first two are the most likely places to get people to rent your space.
Both Parkatmyhouse and Parklet are free to join. Parkatmyhouse charges 15% (including all taxes and fees) when you successfully rent out your space, and not until then. Parklet also charges a 15% fee but they assume that people will rent from you continuously so they look on it as a 15% fee of a monthly rental. Parkatmyhouse will allow you to rent to anyone for any space of time. It could be a day or a week or a year.
It's quite easy to upload the details of your parking space onto either sites. With Parkatmyhouse, just follow the instructions on the websites: put in the postcode of your driveway, a description of how large it is, how many cars it could take, how much you want to charge and any additional facilities you have such as CCTV or special lighting.
Parklet offers a more bespoke service, offering to create a proper contract for you and the person renting from you, handling all the negotiations and viewings for you, rather like an estate agent would. They often deal with companies that have spare parking spaces in their car park as well as helping private clients.
How much can you make?
It really depends on what you're offering, where you live and how often you can rent out the space.
Anthony Eskinazi, who owns Parkatmyhouse, says that in London the potential is huge. "We've just had someone who has rented out a covered parking space in the centre of London and is making £17,000 a year from it," he says.
On the whole, people letting out their spot can expect to earn around £30 a week. However, this can go up a lot in some areas, especially near major public transport hubs or right in the city centre. Some spaces around sports venues are going for £10 a day.
When you're deciding how much to let out your space for, think about the demand for parking in your area. Have a look at the competition: see what local car parks are charging and undercut them. Look around on the parking websites to see what other private owners are charging and that will give you an idea of what you could ask. You can always negotiate a different price if someone contacts you wanting to rent.
How to make even more cash
If you live relatively near an airport or other major transport centre, you could make yourself some more money by offering extra services.
I've come across people who live near Heathrow airport who have set up their own private shuttle service. They meet people at the airport, take their car off them, park it at their house while they're away and then go back to meet them when they return. They even offer a valet service so that the clients get a nice, clean car when they get back!
If you decide to offer a service like this you could suggest an all-in price for the whole deal or charge different amounts for the different services. Again, look at the prices charged by commercial operations who do something similar and undercut them.
If you're good on the net you could even set up your own website offering this particular service. Just make sure you get it nice and high on the search engines so that people find out about you.
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