Amsterdam slid from 25th most expensive city in the world to 29th, according to a recent Mercer study, as Dutch News reports. The one cost with which Amsterdam tops every other major city in the world is parking.
Other Dutch cities did not even make it into the top 50, with Berlin being a ‘cheap’ European capital at 49—is East Berlin dragging that number down? The top three of the Cost of Living list this year are Tokyo, Osaka and Moscow, in that order.
Car owning visitors to Amsterdam* are out of luck though. According to Parool (Dutch), quoting a study by Colliers International, Amsterdam proudly leads the list of most expensive cities in the world when it comes to parking, with a daily rate of 70 USD. The second city on that list, London, only charges around 55 USD a day.
Parool mentions that it is mostly the cities with major financial institutions that have high parking rates. The paper paraphrases the Economist saying that parking rates are among the few goods and services not influenced by the global economic crisis. Funny bunnies! Parking rates are set by governments, not by markets.
Of course, cost is relative. One Amsterdam councilwoman recently proposed (Dutch) to raise the price of parking in the city to 10 euro an hour. With a parking rate of 210 USD, Amsterdam could seriously have a go at the top 10 list for the galaxy. Glad to see the city’s politicians are setting their aims so high.
A spokesperson for the city admitted that the rates are high, but on purpose: “We are doing this to keep the city clean.”
(* = Car owners in Amsterdam can get a parking permit relatively cheap for the neighbourhood they live in, at around one euro a day. ** = Paid parking lasts 15 hours in the expensive zone, from midnight to 9 am parking is free there.)