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How can you benefit from parking fine instead of paying for parking?

The car parking situation in Britain's major cities is becoming increasingly desperate. According to The Guardian newspaper, UK city centre parking charges have increased by an average of thirty per cent over the last two years. Whilst this causes inconvenience for visitors and shoppers, it makes life even more difficult for those who work in our cities and have to park there every day. Little wonder then that motorists in Cambridge have come up with a unique and surprising way of avoiding the city's ever-rising parking charges.

Saving Money by Paying the Fine

The Mail Online recently reported that many motorists in Cambridge are now parking on the streets and risking a £25 fine in order to avoid the all-day Council car park charge of up to £42 a day. The rogue motorists calculate that they will save at least £17 a day, and possibly more if they are not spotted by a traffic warden.

Motorists in Cambridge are now parking on the streets and risking a £25 fine in order to avoid the all-day Council car park charge of up to £42 a day

A More Sustainable Solution

Although one can understand the response of some Cambridge motorists, their strategy for manipulating the rules does not really offer a long-term solution for anyone. Parking deliberately on yellow lines and in prohibited areas slows traffic flow and inconveniences others. It also makes life difficult for city centre businesses at time when many of them are struggling to keep their heads above water.

These admittedly enterprising Cambridge motorists have been able to exploit the lack of coordination between the local Council, who set the charges for their car parks, and the Department for Transport, who set the level for parking fines nationally. Now that this loop-hole has been publicised, one can expect that it will be closed fairly soon. A more sustainable solution is, therefore, required.

The Workplace Parking Scheme

By the nature of their location, city centre businesses are very rarely able to offer their staff a parking space on site. Most employees are expected to make their own arrangements, generally by parking in a car park, where they are subject to ever-increasing charges, or on the street, where they risk a heavy penalty.

The workplace parking scheme offers a solution that is both cheap and more reliable. At an operational level it gives the employee a guaranteed contract-parking space near to their workplace. At an economic level, it offers both the employee and the employer a very attractive proposition; it saves money for them both.

By the nature of their location, city centre businesses are very rarely able to offer their staff a parking space on site.

The workplace parking scheme is a registered 'salary sacrifice' arrangement. The employer pays up front for a number of contract-parking spaces and then recovers his or her initial outlay by monthly payroll deductions from those employees who wish to opt into the scheme. By purchasing in volume each parking space will be relatively cheap when compared with one purchased individually.

The big savings, however, come from the fact that the employee's payroll deductions are exempt from tax and NI, thus saving him or her a significant amount each month. The employer saves money too, as the deductions are also free from Employer's NI. In short, everyone gains.

Author: Eoin Olivers photo

Author: Eoin Oliver

Eoin Oliver is a web designer and blogger with six years of experience writing content and designing graphics for clients large and small. For the past three years Eoin has been focused on researching and writing about the childcare voucher scheme. When not hard at work, Eoin can be found in the company of his 4-legged companion Layla.

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