Wollongong residents can now rent out their garage or driveway to people looking for a place to park.
On Wednesday, the website Divvy launched in Wollongong.
The site allows people to lease out vacant car spaces on a monthly basis. Divvy operates in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but chief executive Nick Austin said Wollongong was the first regional market the company had entered.
‘‘The key reason for selecting Wollongong is parking is such an issue, and it has all the physical hallmarks for this solution to work really well,’’ Mr Austin said.
‘‘It has major transport hubs which have a lot of commuters coming to daily to travel out of Wollongong. Also there are a lot of residential houses around those areas where the parking is sitting vacant during the day.
‘‘So it’s really matching up parking in the areas where it’s desperately needed.’’
Those looking for a space and those with spaces to rent must become members of the site, which then puts them together, and also looks after the payment arrangements.
Mr Austin said people could rent out their driveway, a garage, parking space in a unit or business.
‘‘As long as someone can park there it can be leased out,’’ he said.
He also estimated there were thousands of ‘‘vacant, but hidden’’ spaces in Wollongong.
‘‘That figure’s been researched using ABS statistics looking at residents and businesses in the area that do not own a car at all,’’ he said.
‘‘Also the statistics of the number of people who drive to work every day, therefore leaving their car spaces vacant.’’
Wollongong City Council’s manager of property and recreation Peter Coyte said council was aware of Divvy’s operations in the city.
He said there were no council regulations to stop people renting out a parking space.
‘‘If the driveway is on private property then that is up to the owner of that property,’’ the spokesman said.
‘‘If the parking space is between the roadway/gutter and the property boundary then council will issue a penalty infringement notice as this impedes access to council’s footpaths.’’
While council itself has a number of parking spaces, it would not be looking to rent them out as a source of extra income.
‘‘Council’s leased car parking provides a safe and secure space for a driver who has security of a parking space,’’ he said.
‘‘Under our lease now it is not allowed to be subleased to another driver. This concept would flout the security of the car parking space.’’
Mr Coyte said, as well as the CBD metered and leased parking spaces provided by council, there were further spaces created by retail businesses such as Woolworths and GPT’s Wollongong Central.
‘‘Council is continuing to investigate other parking options for the city, including the addition of 30 more spaces to the Stewart Street East car park in 2015,’’ he said.