We spent a few days in an apartment on Shanklin Esplanade recently. It had glorious views and was close enough to the seafront to hear the waves and eavesdrop on the runners jogging past.
The downside was that the apartment didn't have parking. Rather irritatingly, there were several empty spaces in the parking area below the flats which remained empty all week but none which were allocated to the flat we had rented.
On the plus side, it was a chance to test out my claim that the Isle of Wight Council's Weekly Tourist Permit for visitors is poor value for money.
The seven day pass was advertised on the parking sign as £52.90 when I arrived, although when I went into the parking app it actually wanted more than £60. Presumably it had added on an extra day for the remainder of the evening, even though it was past 6pm and should have only added £1 (by the way, this blog post is really quite tedious if you aren't interested in penny pinching - feel free to leave immediately and do something more interesting).
It's worth noting that the price of the weekly pass has increased in the last few years. In 2014, the price of the tourist permit was £39.25 so it should have been £44.65 by 2020 and only slightly more by 2021 once we take inflation into account (Bank of England inflation calculator).
The pay as go option is about £8-9 a day, so to save any money with the weekly pass you'd need to use it pretty much non stop.
I was convinced we wouldn't get value from it or at the very least I could kid myself that paying a few pounds a day is better than coughing up £60 in one go.
And the result?
In total, we spent £39.20 on pay as you go parking, so a saving of about £21 compared to the £60 which we would have paid for the parking permit. The reasons were:
The parking app wasn't perfect. In some car parks the evening rate lasted until 10am whilst in others it expired at 4.30am, even though that's not what it said on the signs. I ended up overpaying instead of setting an alarm to wake me up in the middle of the night. You also pay 20p every time you use the app, which I've included in my calculations.
So, my conclusion is that you are better to pay as you go as long as a) you don't mind a little bit of hassle to save a few pounds b) you're organised enough to not forget to keep topping up and c) you don't mind paying for parking on your phone. A couple of times, the car ended up 200m from the flat because the nearest spaces were taken. I could extend it from a distance rather than walking to the car and searching under the seat for more change.
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