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Mini Cooper to soon feature JustPark easy parking app

It looks like the classic frustrating search for a parking spot could be consigned to the past with an app called JustPark, which lets users search, book and pay for free spaces while at the wheel.

Originally launched in 2006 as Park At My House, JustPark started out as a platform for individuals or organisations to rent out driveways or spaces within car parks, and now has 500,000 drivers with access to 100,000 parking spaces. One church in King's Cross has made £200,000 from Eurostar passengers requiring a convenient place to leave the car.

JustPark's tie-in with the Mini and the inclusion of commercial car parks in its offering extends the original sharing economy model into the mainstream market. By plugging their smartphones into their cars, drivers can identify and navigate to a pre-booked space, all from the car's dashboard display.

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The company's first investment came from BMW's venture capital arm, which led to the deal with Mini, the original concept having being quite tough to pitch in the beginning – somewhat due to wariness about renting one's personal driveway to strangers.

According to a JustPark estimate, UK drivers spend 106 days of their lives looking for space to park, which is probably a less shocking statistic than at first glance, considering we'll all spend at least 100 times that figure staring at technology just like JustPark itself.

Saying that though, it's probably worth it, unless you enjoy laps of multi-storey car parks.

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Image: Brian James, Flickr