Yes, You Can Find Cheap Parking with These Parking Apps – Even The Most Expensive Cities

A Girls Guide To Cars | Yes, You Can Find Cheap Parking With These Parking Apps – Even The Most Expensive Cities - Parkingfeatured

Parking karma is right in the palm of your hand.

Whether you work in a busy city or pay one a visit, parking fees can be exorbitant. Parking in cities like New York, Boston, Chicago and Denver comes at a premium. New York City takes the top of the list for the cost of both monthly and daily parking. San Fransisco rivals New York for monthly parking, but not for daily rates. Can parking apps really help us battle this? Yes, they can!

Related: When Parking Garages Become and Travel Destination

Median Prices for 2 hours of off-street parking 

  1. New York: $37
  2. Chicago: $21.18
  3. Boston: $20.63
  4. Philadelphia: $16.55
  5. Washington, DC: $16.33

(report from Parkopedia)

Best Parking Apps For The Most Expensive Cities

Parking made easy with smartphone apps. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What are Parking Apps?

Like practically everything these days, “There’s an app for that!” A number of great apps help you save money and reserve spots right from your phone. You’ll get to your spot in a fraction of the time it would take you to find a parking space on your own. The apps typically provide more time to park rather than the 1-2 hour time limit you’ll often find on the street. Plus, you’ll also save upwards of 50% on parking fees.

How Parking Apps Work

Most parking apps have similar functionality. I frequently use Spot Hero in the Boston area, so I’ll use it for this example. Simply enter your destination and the times you plan to arrive and depart. The parking app shows you a map of partner lots in the area with their cost. Choose the spot that works best for you, and the app creates a scannable e-ticket to use when you arrive at the garage.

Best Parking Apps For The Most Expensive Cities

Screenshots from Spot Hero

What Else We Love About Parking Apps

  • There’s no ticket to lose or misplace.
  • You don’t have to carry cash or get out of the car to reach the parking machine with a credit card.
  • There’s less need to worry about theft or damage to your car.
  • Many apps offer airport parking
  • Some providers let you earn free parking through referral codes or affiliate links

Finding the Best Apps for Your City

The apps we tested have similar interfaces and were easy to use. Visit the app’s website for a list of participating cities. Some apps even help with on-street parking.

Related: Lyft and Uber Safety Tips: Apps and Advice to get you their safely

Off-street Parking/Garages

  • Park Mobile is available in over 350 cities. You can reserve spots ahead of time for sporting events and concerts as well.
  • ParkWhiz is another app with extensive coverage throughout the country. It’s a great choice for short-term parking, including some major airports.
  • Spot Hero offers daily and monthly rates in many cities and has a long list of airport options as well.
  • Parking Panda focuses on major cities and some airports
  • claims to be the most accurate parking app. They cover 48 states and 6 Canadian provinces
Best Parking Apps For The Most Expensive Cities

Small cars like this Fiat are great for city parking. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Finding on-street parking:

  • Parker gives you availability for parking spaces in real-time for both on and off-street parking. Although it also provides price information, the app does not allow you to pay for spaces.
  • Parknav predicts space availability. The app displays a map with color-coded streets according to the likelihood of finding a parking space.

We’re hooked on parking apps. Because that means more money for shopping in the city!

Our Favorite Parking Apps Help Save You Save Money In Cities Across America

Growing up in the New York metropolitan area, Jenn fondly remembers annual trips to the International Auto Show and... More about Jenn Mitchell