Best parking apps 2018

These free smartphone apps take the stress out of hunting for a parking spot – find out which one works best and download it now

Words By Doug Revolta

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Finding a car parking spot in a busy city is the bane of many drivers’ lives. Battling the traffic and making sense of the confusing pay-and-display bays can make a long journey even longer. However, there are smartphone apps that offer a solution to this, making the process of finding a parking space much simpler and, hopefully, quicker.

Parking apps can display relevant parking information for your destination, including permit regulations, the cost of parking per hour and even how the single yellow lines are controlled. Many can provide navigation to the spot and allow you to pay for it through the app as well.

But of the many apps available, which ones work the best? We tested them to find out.

Name AppyParking

What Car? says...

Rated 4 out of 5

This provides on- and off-street parking information for London and 11 other UK cities. It’s a brilliant information hub of parking spots that essentially answers the most important questions: Where can I park? When can I park there? How much does it cost? It displays the information an interactive map that’s easily searchable and, while it initially may seem like quite a confusing layout, it doesn’t take long to get to grips with. It also lets you directly pay for the parking through the app itself and, once you’ve set it up the first time, it’s easy to keep using. A major drawback is that it doesn’t cover every city in the UK, but the coverage is comprehensive for those it does work in. However, while other apps offer greater coverage, few can rival AppyParking’s level of detail and ease of use in the cities that it does operate in.

Name Parkmobile

What Car? says...

Rated 3 out of 5

It’s likely you’ll recognise the Parkmobile name from pay-and-display machines around the country because, along with RingGo, it’s one of the most used apps. It is, however, not as good as rivals at searching for spaces. It’s most effective when you have parked up and want to pay for parking through the phone. It’s useful having a function that shows your previous parking history, and it’s really easy to add a new car to it, but really this works best as a quick payment app. You do, however, have to remember to hit the stop button when you’re finished parking rather than setting a defined time limit when you start, but it’s helpful that you’re able to pay by the minute.

Name JustPark

What Car? says...

Rated 3 out of 5

This is slightly different from other apps in this list. Rather than just showing information about pay-and-display bays and permit regulations, it also offers users the chance to pay to park in private spaces at households. You simply put in a postcode and it shows a list of available spaces let out by private properties, then you can click, reserve and pay for a spot before you arrive. It’s a very simple layout, but its database of regular pay-and-display bays is limited and, without also showing those rates near the private spaces, it’s difficult to work out whether you’re getting a good deal or not. You also can’t pay for regular pay-and-display spaces through the app.

Read on to find out what the best parking apps are

More reviews and verdict >

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