February 10, 2024

Maeve’s rent went up $40. She found a novel way to cover it

By Amber Schultz
February 11, 2024 — 5.30am
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Rent rises, mortgage repayment increases and the cost-of-living crunch have been cited as reasons why more and more Sydneysiders are leasing out car spots to raise some extra cash.

Subletting a car spot has long been a source of extra income, but the rebound in demand as workers return to offices and a hot summer draws crowds to beaches has seen one car park rental app record an 111 per cent rise in CBD and Bondi region listings in the past six months.

The number of people listing a car space for rent for the first time also increased by 45 per cent between December and January across Australia, while the number of listings in Sydney’s CBD doubled in that period. Listings near Bondi Beach have risen 35 per cent since last winter.

Maeve McErlean makes up to $100 a week renting out the parking space at her Bondi Beach apartment.Credit: Flavio Brancaleone

Sydney’s CBD is the most expensive spot to park based on marketplace app pricing. Monthly prices for secure undercover parking range from $390 in Haymarket to $2080 in Waterloo. Sydney’s iconic beaches come a close second, with monthly prices averaging about $550.

Maeve McErlean makes between $80 to $100 a week renting out her parking space near Bondi Beach to subsidise a rent increase.

The parking space, outside her rented apartment just a short stroll from the beachfront, is rarely vacant. She offers weekly or monthly rates via a parking app with the most typical users tourists or visitors renting for a week or two.

McErlean, who doesn’t own a car, said the idea to rent the space via marketplace app Parkhound came as a way to handle a rent rise.

“My rent went up $40 a week, and my landlord was happy for me to rent it out to manage the rent increase, so I could stay here,” she said.

Sarah Potts has a regular tenant who has been renting her Bondi Beach driveway for months, making $260 per month again via a private parking app.


“[The customer] seems to be an avid swimmer and comes mostly just in the evenings or at weekends, so the space is free a lot of the time,” Potts said.

Beachside parking is coveted in Sydney. Waverley Council offers unlimited annual passes for Bondi and Bronte beach car parks for non-residents, costing $1970 a year. Fifteen people currently hold these permits.

Peak season: Demand for a space at Bondi has never been higher.Credit: Brook Mitchell

Other beach fronts, including Cronulla, Maroubra, Clovelly and Watson’s Bay, are free to park at, but their popularity has stirred controversy.

Last November, the state government intervened in Woollahra Council’s unlawful plan to limit parking to 15 minutes for non-residents in Watson’s Bay in an attempt to crack down on visitors from other suburbs using street parking.

Parking is also the most common thing people in NSW like to complain about. Data from council complaints aggregating app Snap Send Solve showed parking was the biggest gripe for NSW residents, with 49,629 complaints about parking submitted to their councils last year.

There are more than seven million registered motor vehicles in NSW, Transport for NSW data shows, with 155,000 vehicles added to the roads in 22-2023.

Amber Schultz is a reporter for The Sun-Herald in Sydney.Connect via Twitter or email.


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