APCOA PARKING Study: Search for parking space devours time and money

- Stuttgart, Germany, EU

The search for parking space in Germany on average requires 10 minutes, in Italy even fifteen. This is the result of a recent opinion poll among car drivers, commissioned by APCOA PARKING, Europe’s leader in parking management. According to the study, the price drivers are paying for their search for a parking space is surprisingly high: a search, ranging over 4.5 km on average, costs car owners 1,35 Euro. Moreover, as usually two people are sitting in a car, each search for a parking space sums up to twenty to thirty minutes of lifetime consumed.

Covering unnecessary distances searching for a parking space usually amounts up to average costs of € 1.35, and comes with an environmental impact of 1,3 kilogramme of CO₂ emissions. Extrapolating the entire traffic of search for parking space, this adds up to an astronomical sum. International polls show 30 % of all car drivers are hunting for parking space in congested city centres. In some city quarters this may result in an annually driven distance by cars equivalent of 14 times the circumference of the earth.

„We knew traffic resulting from the search for parking space is being underestimated, but this drastic result really surprised us,” says Ralf Bender, Chief Executive Officer of APCOA PARKING Group. For years the company has been advocating improved parking traffic guidance systems in 12 European countries, and made sure all its car parks were programmed into the traffic navigation systems of the major providers. “If car drivers would directly steer for the next car park, they would save an enormous amount of time and money.”

Car park instead of fines

16 Euro is the amount a German car driver annually pays on average for parking violations. With 36 Euro the Danish are heading European league tables. A total of 24 % of all car drivers recently questioned by APCOA PARKING admitted illegal kerb parking within the last six months. After the coming into force of a new schedule of penalties in Germany back in April, visiting down town areas may well become very expensive for parking offenders. On the other hand, expenses for parking in car parks are perceived to be much higher than they are in reality. On average German car drivers are paying a moderate 60 Euro per year for parking in car parks, according to the survey.

Car parks are the trend direction

The overall judgement of Europeans on the parking conditions in their city centres was not very flattering for cities and municipalities: 42% of all interviewees described local parking conditions as strained, or even chaotic. With 70 % of all persons questioned consenting to this judgement, the situation in Italy seems most critical.
62 % of all interviewees said they preferred parking in car parks from kerb parking.
Ralf Bender: „By introducing systems for contact-free access and cashless parking APCOA PARKING is going to make parking even more customer friendly.”

APCOA PARKING infographic

Click here to download the infographic

For more information about the study, please contact Tilman Kube at tilman.kube@apcoa.eu or visit the APCOA website.


With more than 40 years of operational and innovation experience, and an annual turnover of €700 million, APCOA Parking Group is the leading European parking manager.

The Group currently manages around 1.3 million parking spaces at more than 7,300 locations across 12 European countries. It is also a market leader in the aviation parking sector, with more than 30 European airports having already chosen APCOA to manage their parking facilities.



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