Kickstand vs UK Motorcycle Parking -Bike parking apps review

A few months ago I posted about the UK Motorcycle Parking app (UKMP). There’s another app on the stores called Kickstand that does a simialr job. I wanted to see if it’s any better so this is a comparative review. The apps are available for iOS and Android for free.

Information is added to their maps by crowd sourcing so the success of the app is going to be something of a numbers game. Entries don’t appear straight away; there’s some sort of vetting process behind the scenes. Apple doesn’t provide data on the number of downloads. Fortunately, Google does.

UKMP: 10k+
Kickstand: 100+

Both apps have just one review on the App Store, Both get 5/5. Generous but not very representative. Google is a bit more informative. Still, with such low numbers for Kickstand you have to take the stats with a pinch of salt.

UKMP: 3.9 (472 reviews)
Kickstand: 4.4 (7 reviews)


UKMP (left) relies on Apple Maps. I don’t know what it uses on Android and I haven’t got a suitable device to test it. I can’t figure out what map Kickstand uses. It’s not Apple. I thought it might be OpenStreetMap but none of the layer options on that service look like this one. The appearance is good though, and it has elevation information. Perhaps it’s an OS map of some description.

If you use dark mode on your device, UKMP follows the system setting but Kickstand doesn’t. All these screenshots are taken using light mode as it’s easier to compare.

You can see from the screenshots that UKMP seems to have more parking spots marked. Not surprising given the (Google) download difference. When it comes to choosing an app to use, this may be the clincher right from the off and it could be hard for Kickstand to catch up on content because of the network effect. But which is the better app apart from that?

Points of Interest (POIs)

UKMP does what it says on the tin - the points on the map are parking places. By contrast, Kickstand lets you select from three types of parking: official solo parking bays, on pavement and off road. It also allows you to add cafes/meet-up locations and beauty spots. (This actually leans in to our own ‘Places to go’ map, which is food for thought for me…)

I like Kickstand’s options for the type of parking. The other POI options make it a bit more than a parking app (which it is, really). The type of POIs you can add are limited although you could argue they’re the ones bikers are interested in. Kickstand lets you filter the map content so you only see what you want to see.

On both apps you tap the POI to see more details.

Kickstand does a better job here. It has much more information available. Unlike UKMP, you arrive already knowing what sort of parking space you’ll find and whether you can secure your bike. Useful stuff.

UKMP has the navigation button that’ll open up your phone’s map and set it as the destination. Kickstand provides an address but you’ll have to add it manually in your satnav. Sharing is the standard iOS function to send details to other people or apps.

Another notable difference is the ability to edit the details for a POI. I haven’t found a POI on UKMP where the Edit button is enabled, not even the one I added. Perhaps I’m missing something but it doesn’t appear to work and it shouldn’t be this obtuse. By contrast, Kickstand opens up the edit screen when you tap Suggest an edit allowing you to provide missing details or corrections. Reporting an issue has options to let them know the parking isn’t there any longer, it’s a duplicate entry or somethign else with a comment field.

Kickstand has no Streetview feature. UKMP does but again, I haven’t got this to work. It’s always greyed out. Streetview would be handy (if it worked); it would be.also a nice addition to both apps if you could upload a photo of the parking place.

Adding New POIs

To add a new parking spot in UKMP you first put the pin on the spot on the map, that add details as shown below. The app doesn’t give options for the type pf parking but you can add that to the description. Okay but you can’t filter on it. I’m not convinced the type options are all that relevant for bikes.

Kickstand is a litle more involved because it has that extra information. It’s still simple enough and has better parking metadata than UKMP.


Kickstand is the better app for the information it captures. UKMP has more parking spaces listed. In terms of pure usefulness, UKMP is going to be more useful if you’re simpley looking for somewhere to stick your bike.

Because UKMP uses Apple (or Google?) maps it contains all the additional data they come with, such as shops, bars, cafes etc. The Kickstand map has similar data but it’s clearly out of date. I can see establishments missing in my local area missing from their map and one that changed hands ages ago still listed under the old name.

I’m inclined to keep using and adding places to the Kickstand app as I like the way it works. Concerns about the amount of POIs and that map origin means UKMP will also be staying on my phone. If only someone could combine the best of both.

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