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Drivers Still Prefer Using Cash When Paying For Parking

A new survey, conducted by the AA, has discovered that drivers still prefer paying for parking via cash – as opposed to using chip-and-pin or contactless…

Cash for Parking 

We live in an increasingly digitalised age, with physical currency increasingly losing its relevance. Which is why, perhaps, it’s surprising that a significant number of people still prefer paying for parking with cash. A survey conducted by the AA found that 46% of all drivers prefer the method over the alternatives – despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, there are differences based on age and socioeconomic factors.

Older drivers prefer to rely on the tried and tested method of using cash when paying for parking. Some 14,600 drivers were included in the survey and, concerning those aged 65 and over, 56% preferred the method. Some 62% of low-income households also prefer using cash. Conversely, cash was the least favoured option for drivers aged between 18 and 24. Nearly half (49%) of this demographic prefer contactless methods.

Managing Budgets

According to the AA’s head of roads policy, Jack Cousens, cash remains popular as it helps people manage their budgets. He explained, “many households prefer to physically see their budgets and doing so gives them a heightened sense of how much their cash can go. Removing cash parking machines from town centres can have a knock-on effect to the local economy, as would-be shoppers decide to take their business elsewhere”.

He continued, “with parking income the equivalent of three quarters of council tax revenue for some authorities, council leaders will not want to lose a valuable source of funding. Considering the low levels of support for pay-by-phone options, councils could drop this option altogether. But they won’t as many add transaction fees to the hourly rate, which helps boost their coffers”.

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