Walking an extra five minutes from the car park can save commuters £4 a day, study shows

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People who drive into a city centre every day for work can save around £4 per day by parking a bit further away, according to research by leasing firm Leasing Options.

The study of parking costs in ten UK cities, based on walking distance from the city centre, confirmed that drivers tend to pay a premium the closer they park to the city centre -- although prices stay much the same within a ten-minute walking radius.

However, parking a 15-minute walk outside the city centre yielded an average saving of around £4 per day compared with closer spots. This offers a good incentive for motorists to get some exercise while saving money on their daily park, Leasing Options said.

Perhaps not surprisingly, London was found to be the most expensive place to park your car. The average cost of a nine-hour stay in London was as much as £40.25 -- around 170% higher than the average across all other nine cities on the list.

Birmingham emerged as the cheapest place to park, with a nine-hour stay costing an average of £5.20 within 15 minutes of the city centre. Nine hours on the Ward Street car park, the furthest from the centre, cost just £3 -- the cheapest of all 40 car parks surveyed.

Besides parking 15 minutes from the city centre, other ways to cut the cost of daily parking include using park and ride, or carpooling with your colleagues. You could also ask your employer about a workplace parking scheme, which provides employees with a parking permit in exchange for monthly salary deductions.

And if you have a parking space at home that you don't use while you're at work during the day, you may be able to rent it out -- offsetting the cost of your own parking.

Do you use public car parks during the working day? How much do you spend on parking?

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