Remember when you could park a car in downtown Auckland without feeling as if your wallet had been mugged?
Parking used to be a doddle. Now it's just another cost of car ownership that makes us feel we've committed a heinous crime against humanity by daring to buy and use our own vehicle.
Every little bit that gets added on to the cost of driving a car in the city is an insult -- and the next insult we're facing is another hike in parking fees.
The Auckland Council is investigating pumping up prices in the city carparks that it controls. Apparently, this is among proposals to tackle congestion. What we need is a proposal to stop utter bollocks being disguised as doing society a favour.
Get more people using public transport and it moves the problem into the suburbs. As more people elect to use 'park and ride' there'll be a need to buy housing around train or bus stations to make way for more car parking. And they'll need to start charging to use those parks to finance that.
And it's not as if parking has improved in town to reflect the exorbitant fees.
First, you have to play concrete-post roulette as you negotiate your way around multiple, utterly identical levels without giving up and locking yourself in the boot.
Then, if you're lucky enough to spot a spot, you've got to try to squeeze your vehicle into it. Carparks used to be a standard(ish) size. They're shrinking as quickly as car owners' wallets are.
The council's carparks are cheaper than many privately owned buildings, but that's a whole different story.
• Will spiralling parking costs discourage you from driving your car into town and encourage you to join the growing legions of public transport users?
Let us know below or facebook.com/DrivenNZ