China Driver Survey 2021

China Driver Insight - Strong demand for premium in-vehicle parking services


Highlights from Parkopedia’s first China Driver Survey:

  • Nearly 90% of drivers consider parking to be a highly stressful experience. A lack of parking information, difficulty navigating in parking facilities and vehicle safety concerns are the main sources of pressure.
  • Automatic guidance and recommendations for parking is a vital function that car users expect to have in their vehicles with the majority of drivers also expecting parking payments to be managed automatically by their vehicle systems
  • Digital payments are hugely popular in China with less than 1% wishing to make their payments using cash.
  • Nearly all drivers surveyed are willing to pay a surcharge to receive digital parking data and integrated parking payments in their vehicles
  • Most drivers want to have access to live parking space availability. In general, checking availability only occurs when approaching a destination or at departure.

21 April 2021 - Shanghai, China

Motorists in China reveal they want premium in-vehicle parking services including parking data, in-car express parking payments, reservations and EV charger data according to a new survey by Parkopedia, the world’s leading parking service provider. The study, which surveyed 1,600 drivers across Tier 1 and 2 cities in China in March 2021, offers a deep insight into driver behaviours and preferences for the automotive and parking industries looking to develop parking products.

China Parking and EV Update

The majority of all car-users that took part in this study use parking for home and office parking, shopping entertainment and school runs also said that they feel pressure from parking (88.5%). The lack of parking information available, difficulty navigating facilities, and vehicle safety concerns are amongst the top parking pressures, with car owners aged 48 and over worrying the most about being overcharged for parking, but the least for damage to their vehicles and finding a parking location 

Cost is also not the most important factor when selecting parking locations. Availability (61.9%), walking distance (45.6%) and vehicle security (36.5%) are the top factors. Compared with Parkopedia’s 2019 Driver Survey in Europe and North America, Chinese drivers are less sensitive about parking fees. This was the top factor in 2019 for European and North American drivers, whereas it only features as the 4th most important for Chinese drivers today. 

Owners in different age brackets also have significantly varying concerns when it comes to selecting EV charging locations. 18-27-year-olds are more worried about the number of chargers and a parking discount for charging vehicles, whereas 28-37-year-old car owners are significantly more concerned about charger speeds when selecting a location. Higher age groups generally factor in the costs much more in determining their locations when compared to younger drivers.

When it comes to service expectations of a vehicle parking system, automatic guide and recommendation services were rated as a vital function that car users expect to have in their vehicle parking systems, with over half of all respondents also expect parking payments to be managed automatically by their vehicle systems.

Digital Parking Services and Data

The survey indicated there is a high demand for vehicle-based digital parking tools, with  65% of drivers using their vehicles to find parking and 47% using this service over 3 times per week. The majority of Chinese drivers also want live dynamic parking availability that is connected to the vehicle systems for when drivers approach a destination or on departure which is where 77% of all searches take place.

Current parking information services are available on smartphones and vehicle systems, with integrated vehicle systems the preferred choice due to strict traffic laws restricting the use of mobile phones in vehicles. Nearly half of the respondents show no preference between on-street and off-street parking. However, 82% of these would favour on-street parking if more information was provided digitally.

1 in 7 drivers are still not sure if their own vehicles even have parking information services available, but those who are aware, generally have a positive experience using these services. In addition, the study revealed more than 95% of all respondents are willing to pay a surcharge to receive digital parking data. Nearly 40% are willing to pay 5-10 Yuan per month for premium parking information.

Demand for in-vehicle parking payments

Over 40% of participants have already activated parking express payments, with the majority (86.3%) having positive views on the function. Providing single sign-on solutions and e-invoices were the top features required to improve existing payment services, with flexible payment methods, a more efficient process and reservation services also requested by drivers. Amongst those who have not yet activated parking express payment services, the key motivations to make drivers activate express payments is by using seamless technology, trustful service and parking fee discounts. 

Digital payments are hugely popular in China with less than 1% wishing to make their payments in cash. Premium brand vehicle owners value time savings more with digital payments for parking, whereas joint brand and local brand owners are more motivated by discounted parking fees. Only a small number of vehicle owners have experienced reservation services in China. Confirming availability (75.2%), saving time (74.6%) and trusted service (55.1%) are key motivations towards mass adoption of reservation services.

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