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5 Tips To Pay Less For Parking

Parking is a struggle felt by urban Americans all across the country. You’re already late for work, and can’t find a parking spot. Then, you’re forced to leave your car in a lot that charges $10 or more for just a few hours. If you’re reading this in disbelief that anybody would ever actually pay that much for parking, consider yourself lucky. This is basically the norm in bigger cities with limited parking space.

Nobody likes to pay the price of a gourmet meal just to park their car in a lot three blocks away from their destination, but there are ways to put the brakes on it. Be kinder to your feet, car, and wallet with these five tips for paying less for parking…

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

Be On Time 

Being on time is often easier said than done, especially in a city with endless traffic, but the most effective way to save on parking costs is to simply budget your time better. Showing up on time, or even a bit early, means you’re more likely to take your time finding street parking or a space in the good garage, rather than pulling into the first pricey lot you can find.

Although that extra $5 may not seem like much when you’re running late for work or an event, the costs add up over time. Stop overpaying by not oversleeping, and your bank account will thank you.

Use Apps

Even parking spots have their own smartphone apps these days. Download SpotHero or Parkmobile to reserve your parking spot in advance, check the time left on your meter, or even add extra money directly from your phone. These apps can save you time, money, and those annoying walks back to your car to feed the meter.

Photo: Pexels/Splitshire

Carpool With Friends

Carpooling is not just for high school kids, but also for adult coworkers wanting to save money on gas and parking. By using this budget-friendly option, you get a buddy to talk to every morning on the commute to work, and you get to split parking fees to cut down on expenses.

Ask Work About A Parking Plan

If you live in a big city like Los Angeles or Chicago, you know that a morning parking spot is less of a right and more of a privilege. Some are lucky enough to be provided with parking permits, but the rest scramble and honk their horns for longer than they’d like to admit.

There has to be a better way, and it can’t hurt to ask your workplace if they offer pre-tax parking plans. It’s possible that your job could provide an employee parking benefit, in which you receive a designated spot. In this case, both you and your employer would contribute to the payment for the space.

Photo: Pexels/Tetyana Kovyrina

Learn To Parallel Park

If you have a larger vehicle, this may apply to you, but learning to parallel park can be your ticket to better parking. You’ll be able to squeeze into the tiny spots you always used to pass while driving, providing you with an open space and a shorter walking distance to work. This great option can only save you time and money.


Finding a place for your car to sit during the busiest times of the day can prove challenging. However, by using a little strategic planning and some clever resources, like apps, you’ll find yourself a place to park, and all the while saving some money too.