29 July 2016 - Free workplace parking boosts UK employees’ incomes by a total of £5bn-£7bn a year according to a management briefing issued today by Alphabet, the Business Mobility company.
Alphabet estimates that each of Britain’s four million workplace parking spaces saves users around £1,500 a year compared to using a public or private car park.
Over 60% of commuters drive to work but parking the car in a space away from the office can cost £4,000 a year in London and over £1,000 annually in other cities, found Alphabet.
Happily, commuters needn’t fear tax bills on their parking perk. If an employer provides (or pays for) parking ‘at or near work’, there’s no tax charge.
“Many people and businesses will be surprised at how much their favourite space in the office car park is really worth,” said Alphabet’s Head of Marketing and Business Development, Mark Gibson.
“Workplace parking tends to be a very underrated asset. It’s good for morale, good for productivity and good for staff safety. We see it as an asset that employers should want to maximise.”
Despite this popularity, space in many office car parks is under pressure from rising numbers of users. Local planning laws also typically restrict new commercial buildings to one vehicle space per 4-6 employees.
To help businesses get to grips with workplace parking issues, Alphabet has produced a free white paper. It covers a range of strategies for dealing with space pressures, including charging employees to park at work.
“Only a very small number of employers have launched ‘pay-to-park’ schemes to-date, but we think they may become more common over time.” said Mr Gibson.
The paper also looks at ways in which new technologies like Connected Car are helping to free up spaces.
“One multi-user ‘connected vehicle’ in an advanced corporate carsharing scheme such as AlphaCity does the work of several conventional cars. More effective usage of the car asset reduces the requirement for the number of parking spaces” said Mr Gibson. “This isn’t happening some vague time in the future, it’s happening today. Our AlphaCity customers drove over 800,000 carsharing miles around the UK last year alone.”
Other areas covered by the briefing paper include taxation, salary sacrifice arrangements for parking costs and what’s next for local authority Workplace Parking Levies such as the one running in Nottingham.