With city centre parking at a premium, renting out an unused garage or driveway to commuters can be a good way of earning some extra cash.
But it is not just those living in city centres that are benefiting from a shortage of parking. You could also find your driveway in demand if you live near:
Why would anyone use your driveway?
From a commuter's point of view, renting your driveway or garage holds many benefits over public car parks.
The advantage of parking in your driveway for a commuter is that they will always be guaranteed a place to park.
For a start they will be paying a fraction of what they would be charged in a station or public car park.
Your driveway or garage will also offer a safer environment in which to park - not just from break-ins - but also those annoying little 'bumps' and 'dinks' that are a staple of using public car parks.
What's in it for you?
You benefit from earning an extra income, but having a car permanently parked in your drive will make it look as if there is someone in your house even when there is not.
This can be a major deterrent for potential burglars - especially welcome to the elderly or even if you are away on your summer holidays.
Will it affect your insurance?
When you decide to rent out your parking space or garage, you should contact your insurer to see if it will have any impact on your buildings or contents insurance.
No extra insurance should be necessary to protect you from any potential claims from your tenant.
The rule of thumb is that legally, your tenant is parking their car in your space at their own risk - just as they would in a public car park.
This is especially so if you are renting out a garage space as you will be providing a tenant with their own keys particularly if it is possible to gain access to your house through your garage.
Before allowing your tenant to start parking in your driveway, make sure that they have at least third party insurance, as this will cover you for any possible damage to your own vehicle.
If you a currently living in rented accommodation or have a parking space that is for resident permit holders only, then it is highly unlikely that you will have the legal authority to rent out any such parking space.
If you are unsure about the status of your parking space then it is best to contact your landlord or local council directly.
How do you go about it?
Most sites also have pre-drawn contracts available for download. They are similar to short-term tenancy agreements and should be signed by yourself and the person renting your space when you receive your first booking.
There are websites that will handle all the hassle of renting out your driveway or garage, such as ParkLet.
Those wishing to rent out a driveway or commuters looking for a space are encouraged to register their details online. From there it is a simple matter of one finding the other - a little like online dating.
Charges for these sites vary: some charge a commission fee of around 15% on the amount received for your parking space; others will let you advertise your space for free, but will charge you a levy when you find a taker for your parking space; and some sites charge nothing at all.
Should you use an online company?
If you want to cut out the middle-man then you can always advertise your space direct in the small ads, online at sites like Gumtree or even catch the eye of any passing commuters by erecting a homemade sign up on your driveway.
Any earnings your make from renting out your driveway is classified as additional income for which you will have to pay tax on.
To get an idea of what you can charge for your driveway you can use an online price calculator, like found on Parkatmyhouse.co.uk.
You can also calculate your price on what the competition is charging by checking out the nearest station or public car park.
A local solicitor should be able to help you with drawing up a contract. It should cover basic things like rent, damages, cancellation notice and any restrictions with regards to when your space is available to the tenant.