Motorists are avoiding pay-by-phone car parks because they’re too confusing

UK drivers are more likely to search for another car park rather than be forced to use a mobile phone to pay, as cash remains more popular.

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What do you think of paying by phone?

New research from the AA reveals that 70 per cent of motorists would look for an alternative car park rather than have to pay-by-phone, while two-thirds of those surveyed find having the right change an issue, with many machines refusing the 12-sided £1 coin or not giving change.

The AA says drivers are put off by admin fees and voice-controlled phone payment systems – which are often slow and time consuming.

Several councils revealed to the AA that they plan to introduce new pay-by-phone systems, but Jack Cousens, AA head of roads policy, said: “Parking in town centres can be troublesome at the best of times.

“Not only can it be a struggle to find a space, but now when you do find one you may be required to talk to an automated system to pay the charge – not ideal if you have an appointment or just want to get in and get out quickly.

“More than half of drivers don’t care how they pay, as long as it is easy to do so.”

He also said that additional fees, failing to update machines to take the new 12-sided £1 coin and having to enter number plates are acting as barriers to consumers that ‘’struggling high streets cannot afford’’.

In response to the AA’s survey on parking payment methods, a spokesman for the Local Government Association which represents local authorities, said: “Councils offer a variety of ways to pay for parking, and paying by phone can be a quick and convenient way to do so.

“As the AA’s own research shows, 76% of councils in England have already converted the parking machines they are responsible for to accept the new £1 coin. Others are well on the way towards doing so.

“Having a range of options to pay for parking, for residents and visitors, is the best way for councils to serve the needs of their local communities.”

Tell us your views…

Do you avoid car parks that force you to pay-by-phone? Or do you believe they’re more convenient and quicker? Let us know in the comments below.

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