Driveways paved with gold: the UK's £3.8 billion industry

  • There are currently 3.5 million driveway landlords across the UK and four million prospective ones
  • Renting out a driveway could earn someone a whopping £1,090 every year
  • Parking space rentals are most profitable in Sheffield and London where they can provide an annual income of over £1,500

Driveways across the UK are collectively earning people over £3.8 billion each year, reveals new research from Direct Line Car Insurance.  Some 3.5 million people (seven per cent)1 currently rent out their parking space and this can provide an annual income of £1,0902.

A further four million Brits (eight per cent) would consider renting out their driveway in the future, which is understandable given it can add nearly four per cent to the average annual income (£29.009)3. 

Sheffield is the most profitable city to rent out a driveway and would cost a motorist £160 a month or £1,924 a year to park their car. Even after taking out fees from a parking agency4, Sheffield driveway landlords can still earn £1,539 every year, nearly six per cent on top of their average annual income. This is closely followed by London, where driveway landlords benefitting from the parking space shortage in the capital can earn £1,525 after fees. Leeds completes the top three, with driveways providing an income of £1,363 each year.

Table one: Regional breakdown of driveway parking fees


Average monthly fee

Average annual fee

Take home income (after agency fee)

Average income

Additional income provided by renting space







































































































United Kingdom






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Source: Direct Line Car Insurance 2018

Most people across the UK believe the positives of renting out driveways outweigh the negatives, with two fifths of adults agreeing that it is both a good source of additional income (40 per cent) and good use of unoccupied parking spaces (38 per cent). Almost a third (32 per cent) see it is a possible solution to the local parking shortage, while a quarter (25 per cent) think it is a reliable option for commuting as you can guarantee a parking space.

Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Direct Line, commented: “With the cost of parking so high and spaces in such short supply, it is not surprising that so many people are discovering alternative options. Given that the sharing economy has already changed the travel and hospitality industries, it is inevitable that motorists and homeowners are looking for mutually beneficial solutions.

“For homeowners, renting their driveway to others is a great way to supplement their income and for drivers, it’s a cheaper alternative to increasingly unaffordable town and city centre car parks. It also provides people with a guaranteed parking space and frees up vital spaces in high demand car parks.”

Guidance published on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website5 states that planning permission is not required for renting out parking spaces, as long as there are no substantive planning concerns such as a public nuisance to neighbours or conditions which restrict the space being rented out.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

1 Research conducted by Opinium among 2,005 UK adults between 31st August – 3rd September 2018

2 Parking analysis conducted using taking average prices for 20 driveways in 17 UK cities and 33 London Boroughs

3 Earning based on Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) report

4 Agencies involved in matching those renting a parking space and those seeking parking typically charge commissions such as “20% of your first month's payment and 3% thereafter” or “20% commission + VAT, and a one-off £25 + VAT admin fee.”

5 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website -

For further information please contact:

Emma Cava

PR Manager

Direct Line Group

Tel: 01651 831 715

Email: [email protected]


Nick Andrews

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

[email protected]

0207 282 1050

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting