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On-demand parking app arrives in London

On-demand parking app Vallie has launched in London, pitching itself as the perfect solution to those time-strapped drivers who don’t have time to find a parking space each day.

The app promotes itself as the “UK’s first on-demand valet parking service” and works across all of central London. Launched this week, the service asks customers to leave their cars at a destination of their choice and hand over their keys to a pre-checked Vallie driver, who then takes their car to a pre-agreed car park. The Vallie driver gives the customer updates on their car as its being driven, with each one returned to any chosen destination within 15 minutes.

All cars are parked in "reputable commercial car parks with CCTV and secure barriers," the business said. 

Alongside the main service, the app offers advanced bookings via its site as well as MOT checks, electric charging, petrol refills, screenwash refills and car washes.

Customers are charged either £5 per hour or £25 per day. The hourly charge is comparable to on-street parking in London, according to the service, while the daily charge amounts to a 20 per cent savings based on the daily rates of NCP car parks in the same area.

The launch follows a pilot in the City of London late last year in partnership with the Barbican’s car parks. In the first month alone, the pilot generated over 500 downloads of the app and 75 per cent of first orders came back for a second within the month.

The pilot revealed that the app was most popular among 30 to 55 year-old working professionals and that the busiest drop off period for parking was during the morning rush hour at 8.15am, while the peak collection time was 6.45pm at the end of the working day.

Moving forward, Vallie will work with a number of commercial car parks across the city.

“We are excited to be scaling up our secure, convenient and affordable solution to parking challenges across London,” said chief executive Nash Islam.

“We are also planning a future where parking is more effective, decreases congestion and cuts down on parking space, freeing the capital up for housing and green spaces. We think of Vallie as a DHL for cars, and in the future, want to create car parks that help manage the flow of traffic, while safely and cheaply storing and maintaining cars inside.”

Islam, who is an entrepreneur and former head of mobile operations at Google, co-founded the app with Oxford graduate Robin Doble, formerly a trader at Barclays and founder of app-based car-washing service GoWashMyCar. They came up with the idea after becoming frustrated with how difficult it is to park in London.

All Vallie drivers are made to do a driving test and undergo background checks. The drivers are insured for up to £100,000 damage on the car and up to £10m third-party liability while driving.

Featured by The Drum