Vallie’s expansion follows a successful pilot in the City of London last year; the parking app startup plans future smart carparks for self-driving cars
Vallie, the UK’s first on-demand valet parking service, is available across all of central London for the first time from today. Customers are able to forget about parking and simply drop off their cars at their destination of choice, and hand over their keys to a pre-checked Vallie driver, who will take their car to a pre-approved, secure car park. The Vallie app updates customers on their car’s location throughout the parking experience and cars are returned to any chosen destination within 15 minutes.
Vallie’s expansion follows a successful pilot in the City of London late last year in collaboration with the Barbican’s car parking facilities. The first month of the pilot (16 November – 15 December) saw over 500 app downloads and 75% of first orders coming back for a second order within the month. The wider expansion will see Vallie working with a number of commercial car parks across the capital.
As well as on-demand parking via the Vallie app, Vallie now offers advanced booking via www.vallie.co.uk, and a suite of additional services, including MOT checks, electric charging, petrol refills, screenwash refills and car washes, all of which the co-founders say are increasingly in demand.
Usage data from the City of London pilot shows that Vallie was most popular amongst 30–55 year-old working professionals, and that peak drop off time for parking was during the morning rush hour at 8.15am, and the peak return time was 6.45pm at the end of a long working day in the city.
Pushpakumara Arachige, a Vallie customer and Group Head of Ethnic Sales at Lebara Play now uses the service regularly when driving in London. He says, “I go to London on business two or three times a week and have been using NCP and street parking – which is always a nightmare. It takes ages to find a parking space in London. Since Vallie came along, I just use the app to get my car picked up and dropped off where I like, which saves me a lot of time and hassle.”
Vallie uses a simple payment structure of either £5 per hour or £25 per day. The daily charge represents an average 20% savings based on the daily rates of NCP car parks in the same area. The hourly charge is comparable to on-street parking in London; for example, the City of London charges £4.80 for one hour of parking on the street.
Vallie is the UK’s first on-demand, app-based parking service. Similar services have been successful in several cities in the US and China. US leaders Luxe and Zirx have raised more than $25M each and Zirx has received investment from BMW iVentures, BMW’s venture capital arm.
The US on-demand parking app startup Luxe has announced this month that it has partnered with electric car startup Tesla to provide charging services as well as on-demand parking, car washing and technical checks for Tesla car owners. “The partnership indicates a near future where car parks will become connected hubs that will charge, maintain and fix semi- and fully-autonomous cars while storing them.”, says Vallie co-founder and CEO, Nash Islam.
Islam adds that, “We are excited to be scaling up our secure, convenient and affordable solution to parking challenges across London. 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.”
Vallie was founded by Nash Islam, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, previously head of mobile operations at Google, together with Oxford graduate Robin Doble, formerly a trader at Barclays and founder of app-based car-washing service GoWashMyCar. The pair came up with the idea because they found parking in London so difficult. Prior to Vallie, it has taken on average 20 minutes in London (6 minutes, 45 seconds across the UK) to find a parking spot, and the average motorist in the UK wastes 106 days of their life looking for parking.
All Vallie drivers are highly qualified and hired following stringent interviews, a driving test and background checks. Vallie drivers are insured for up to £100,000 damage on the car and up to £10 million third-party liability while driving. All cars are parked in reputable commercial car parks with CCTV and secure barriers.
For more information, please visit www.vallie.co.uk