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Researchers say: illegal parking is worth it!

Researchers from Scandinavia and Germany have examined whether it is worth paying for parking tickets and came to a devastating result for the entire parking management industry.

Parking space management is a hot topic for Germans. Professor Stefan Gössling, who has taken a closer look at the management together with other researchers, also knows this. Not only because many motorists do not want to pay for their parking space on the side of the road, but also because it is not clear whether it is of any use at all. His study, which analyzed all parking offenses from 2019 in Freiburg, has now come to the conclusion: illegal parking is worthwhile, parking tickets do not pay - mostly.

The reasons given by Gössling and his colleagues are obvious: On the one hand, the amount of the fines is too low , on the other hand, the controls are too incomplete. According to the researchers' data, it is on average cheaper for most drivers not to walk to the ticket machine or the parking meter at all, but to accept paying a parking ticket. "Because that almost never happens," says the researcher from the University of Lund.

Parking sins are usually not filed

More than 80 percent of the time the parking spaces in the city centers are not monitored, on the outskirts it is even almost 100 percent. From a financial point of view, it makes no sense for drivers to pay the parking fees.

That hasn't changed with the fact that the fines for parking offenses have increased fivefold in some cases with the bus fee amendment in June 2021 . The data analyzed in the study relates to 2019, when illegal parking cost 10 euros. If the researchers have their way, the fines would have to be increased to around 100 euros in some cases, so that it would no longer be worthwhile for drivers to park without a ticket.

More checks are needed

But that alone wouldn't help, Gössling and his colleagues are sure. The number of controls would also have to be increased significantly. This is the only way to increase the risk for parking offenders to be caught and to ensure a rethink.

By the way, anyone who now derives a free parking ticket from this is wrong. Basically, even in the case of supposedly minor violations, such as the parking sin, the driver's license is at risk. In the case of repeat offenders and those who are permanently unteachable, the authorities can also confiscate the driver's license. True to the motto: This driver is obviously not willing to follow the rules of the road, so he is not allowed to drive either. The best excuses as to why a ticket was issued without authorization can be found in the picture gallery above.


Rules are all well and good, but if they're not enforced, they're not worth the paper they're written on. So if politicians really want to do something about parking offenders, they have to act: Higher fines and more staff. There is no other way.


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