Friday, May 11, 2007

Car parking on the cheap

Last week’s Business Telegraph had a fun story on the back page.

(Google throws up various other versions, but I’ll stick with the one they printed.)

Car parking on the cheap

An Irishman walks into a bank in New York City and explains that he is going back home on business for two weeks and needs to borrow $5,000.

The official tells him that the bank will need some form of security, so the Irishman hands over the keys and documents of his new Ferrari, which is parked outside.

Everything checks out and the bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan.

An employee of the bank then parks the Ferrari in the bank’s underground garage.

The bank’s president and its officers are intrigued by the idea of a $250,000 Ferrari being used as collateral against a $5,000 loan.

Two weeks later, the customer returns, repays the $5,000 and the interest, which amounts to $15.41.

The bank official says: “Sir, this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multi-millionaire. So why would you bother to borrow $5,000?”

The Irishman replies: “Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for just $15.41 and expect it to be there when I return?”

Is there a Belfast equivalent, a city in which paying £1 an hour seems common place?

I did manage to get two days parking in the short stay car park at Belfast City Airport this week for ... a fiver!

Just after Christmas I posted about bmi’s offer for silver and gold car holders ...

Now, bmi have negotiated a deal with the airport to allow diamond club gold and silver members to park in the closer short stay car park but just pay the cheaper long stay car park rates.

The downside is that you can’t just stick your credit card into the machine at the car park entrance and then on the way back out again. You need to take a paper ticket, not lose it during your travels, and present it at the airport information desk along with your diamond club card before leaving the terminal and heading back to your car.

The information desk’s parking ticket reader broke as the ticket of the man in front of me was put into the machine to be read.

So they had to revert to manual ticketing, phoning up security to let them know the names of customers who needed to be let out of the car park without a ticket, and could only take cash payment as the ticket reader doubles as the credit card reader!

Instead of £18, a throwaway at £5. And it didn’t need a bank loan!

No comments: