Parking in the CBD: The most expensive cities

When fleet drivers spend their days hopping in and out of their vehicles - picking up deliveries, dropping off goods, attending crowded sites and meeting clients - parking can be a nightmare.

Not only does trying to find a parking space affect the productivity and stress-levels of drivers, there's often the substantial cost of off-street parking - something fleet managers are no doubt familiar with.

It doesn't help that how much a business has to pay for parking in city centres can differ dramatically between cities. A recent report by The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) found Brisbane has once again topped the list the most expensive cities to leave your vehicle in the short term.

The Queensland capital also achieved the same infamous reputation in 2011, when the last RACQ report found vehicle owners were charged on average $27.94 for a mere one hour's parking. Sydney was not far behind with a one-hour rate of $26.72.

The real price difference comes outside of these particular metropolises. Melbourne, by comparison, cost only $17.08 per hour, Adelaide $4.17 and Perth $4.68.

Parking in Canberra was almost one-tenth of the cost of Brisbane ($2.84). Meanwhile, parking in Hobart, Tasmania, was a staggeringly low $0.50 for the first hour - almost 58 times cheaper than Brisbane.

This led to a new Queensland state initiative in July 2014, with the launch of a website aimed at making inner-city off-street parking more affordable.

RACQ Executive General Manager Advocacy Paul Turner said at the time: "Unfortunately Brisbane's CBD has a reputation for having extremely expensive off-street parking, with RACQ research showing it can be amongst the dearest in the country short-term."

"Therefore, RACQ supports any efforts to reduce the cost of parking and provide genuine opportunities for motorists to shop, dine and be entertained in Brisbane's CBD and surrounding suburbs."

However, the latest findings show that there is still some way to go to make Brisbane more affordable and anywhere near the par of other state capitals. 

With fleet managers looking to cut costs where they can - from lowering fuel consumption to drivers spending less time on the road - any cost-saving initiative will require more support. Alternatively, other ideas will be needed to make it easier to do business in our CBDs.

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