Parking Paranoia Causes Consumers to Overpay, Leave Stores Early to Avoid Fines

Vancouver, BC – December 15, 2015 -- Research released today from parking payment app provider PayByPhone shows that North American drivers found the hassles of parking to be the real “Grinch” putting a damper on holiday shopping this year. Drivers are so wary of getting a parking ticket that half of them cite it as a major source of anxiety at the holidays. In fact, 59 percent of respondents said they purposely overpay for parking by an average of $.75 each time to avoid fines.

PayByPhone surveyed drivers in six major North American cities, including Boston, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, uncovering unique insights into the parking and shopping habits of drivers. Here is a sampling of some of the most compelling:

  • Fines not worth the risk: 70 percent of North Americans say they would get out of line at stores to avoid getting a parking ticket. San Francisco and Seattle respondents were the most risk adverse at 78 and 72 percent, respectively.
  • Overstaying time can equal fines: 36 percent of respondents have received parking fines in the past because their time expired. Locally, 60 percent of Vancouver respondents said they overstayed at least some of their parking meter time (vs. 48 percent average in the other cities).
  • Counting change: 59 percent of North Americans purposely pay for more time than they think they’ll need to avoid a parking fine. San Franciscans clocked in with 65 percent overpaying to avoid fines.
  • Stress across gender lines: Overall, more men (51 percent) than women (45 percent) cite the risk of getting a parking ticket as a major source of stress.
  • Remote control: 57 percent of respondents agreed that being able to add time to the parking meter remotely would reduce their stress levels during the holidays.
  • Crowded roads: 29 percent of San Franciscans drive less because of the hassles of driving and parking and 23 percent report receiving more than one parking fine in the past 12 months -- more than any other city, particularly Miami with just 10 percent.
  • Sleepless in Seattle: 31 percent of Seattle respondents have felt unsafe when paying for street parking, yet 70 percent continue to pay with credit cards, which can take additional time to process and requires returning to the meter, credit card in hand, to refill the meter.
  • Untapped Tech: Despite the plethora of apps available to help drivers find and pay for parking, only one out of every ten drivers reported using such apps. 

“The holidays can be a time of stress but paying for parking doesn’t have to be part of the hassle,” said PayByPhone President Kush Parikh. “PayByPhone gives shoppers and retailers peace of mind by making paying for parking a pleasant experience versus a painful one.”

PayByPhone makes parking easier by giving consumers the ability to pay for parking using their mobile phone. Available as a mobile app, online and via phone, key PayByPhone service benefits include:

  • Save time parking. No more fishing for coins (which 78 percent of Bostonians report still using) or waiting in line to pay. Once you’ve registered for the service, PayByPhone lets you go about your day paying for your parking on the go with just a few taps in the app or via a quick call using the 1-800 number.
  • Get alerts before time expires. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed said they try to keep track of time left on the meter in their head. PayByPhone reminds you of exactly how much time’s left  via text message.
  • Avoid fines by adding time right from the app. Don’t let an expiring parking meter cause you to leave an event early or abandon your holiday shopping at the register. With nearly 57 percent of those surveyed agreeing the ability to remotely add more time to the parking meter would reduce holiday stress (with NYC and Vancouver in the lead at 61 percent), PayByPhone lets consumers easily add time to their parking session with just a few taps.

Put the paranoia in park this holiday season, regardless of where you live, with PayByPhone. The PayByPhone app is available as a free download in the Google Play and Apple App stores. Users can also register and use the service online by visiting


The poll was carried out between November 24 through December 4, 2015 by SurveyMonkey. The sample was approximately ~1,500 Adults from Boston, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver metro areas who have driven and/or parked a car within the last year.


PayByPhone is one of the fastest growing mobile payments companies in the world processing more than four million parking, tolling, public transit, bike share and EV charging transactions a month in cities across Europe and North America.  Through the company’s mobile web, smartphone and smartwatch applications, PayByPhone helps millions of consumers easily and securely pay for parking and other transportation services without the hassles of waiting in line, having to carry change or risking costly fines.

By helping transportation agencies and parking operators tap into the latest advancements in secure mobile payment, Big Data and location technologies, the company helps them reduce infrastructure costs while increasing revenue and compliance through the delivery of services integrated with consumers’ always on the go, mobile digital lifestyle. To learn more, visit us or download our app for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.

Courtney Geesey-Dorr
415-963-4174 ext. 65