Tips for Parking in the City
If you live in the city, work in the city, have been to the city, have ever seen a city or have ever even heard of cities in general, then you probably know that parking in a city can be a nightmare.
Not all of us have great compact city cars like the 2016 Chevy Spark, which comes standard with a Rear Park Assist and Rear Vision Camera to make city driving and parking a breeze. For many of us, finding and claiming a good parking spot can turn a nice drive into town into a frustrating and costly chore.
For the city-savvy driver, however, there are a few easy tips and tricks to keep in mind that just may save you the trouble – and, hopefully, a little money.
Look for Free Parking
Ok, this may sound obvious, but it’s honestly the most overlooked option for most city drivers. In many neighborhoods, there are often scattered, semi-hidden residential streets on which parking is free, even if the next street over is full of metered spots. Just make sure you don’t need a residential permit if you don’t see any meters.
Make sure to pay attention to all parking signs – often, even paid spots and meters may be free to park between certain hours at night or on weekends. This goes for some garages and lots too, which may simply open the gate at night for those who want to park.
And on that note:
Parking Garages are Your Friend
Don’t be afraid to check out the covered or underground garages available in your city. In many cases, these can actually be cheaper per hour than touristy streetside lots, especially if you’re going to be parked for a while. Some garages may also have cheaper night rates, so look for those if you head into the city after dark.
Some of the safest and least expensive garages are actually not specifically for parking, like hospitals, public transportation hubs and government offices. Try to find a building or station near you that offers parking and check their rates – you might be surprised to find you can save money parking there over a streetside meter or hourly lot.
Combine Driving and Public Transportation
In most cities, the closer you are to the city center the more you can expect to pay for parking. If you can, try finding a spot somewhere in the outskirts, where hourly rates can be significantly cheaper, and taking public transportation the rest of the way. This method can definitely be more time consuming, but if you can’t afford parking downtown this can be a cheap and relatively easy solution.
Some public transportation hubs also offer weekly or monthly parking passes, many of which can be cheaper than similar spots you’d find in the heart of the city. By taking advantage of this, a regular commuter could cut their transportation costs – and frustration levels – drastically.