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If you have to travel by car every day, whether that is for work or pleasure, there’s nothing more frustrating than car parks. Driving is especially troublesome in city centres and finding a car parking space is like finding a needle in a hay stack. What makes matters worse is that because the situation is so bad, you tend to find people just dump their cars wherever they feel like. There is one thing however, that could make the whole car parking experience a breeze every day.

If you’re a regular commuter – whether that is by rail, road or air – you’ll waste a lot of your time looking for somewhere to park, however, quite a few city centre, airport and train station car parks are now offering the option to pre pay or book your parking space. If this sounds like heaven to you then all you have to do is visit one of the car parks and ask for a pre pay card, or apply online. The card and its balance are then valid for twelve months and you can top it up whenever you like. You can top up at one of the machines in the car park, or at the lodge in the car park where the attendant will top it up for you. If you pre-book your space then the whole process is pretty much the same and there’s no fighting for a space once you’re in there.

The amazing advantages of such a scheme may not be obvious at first but doing this could save you so much time and effort. Pre paying for your car park means that you don’t have to queue to pay; you tend to find that the biggest and busiest car parks are the ones with only one pay machine and it’s just not practical. Another huge advantage is that you don’t always have to carry small bits of change around with you, you can top up your account whenever you like and you can credit your card with an amount that is convenient to you, so there’s no more panicking to find the exact change or sacrificing the extra 50 pence that you end up paying because you don’t have the exact amount.

It’s not only convenient but it’s amazingly simple too; when you enter the car park you simply swipe or scan your card and take note of the available balance. When you exit you go through the same process and your card will be debited the amount that corresponds to how long you have been parked, the screen will once again tell you your remaining balance. Don’t forget though, if – as you enter the car park – your balance is shown to be low, you should remember to top up your card before you leave. If you don’t, you could be left in the embarrassing situation of having to leave your car while you go and top up your card and the likelihood is that you wouldn’t be anyone’s favourite person.

This article was written by private car park owner Chris Johnson who would happily recommend www.totalparking.co.uk for their car parking monitoring and solutions.