Driving a rental car in New York City? It's wise to think ahead about parking.
Parking in NYC can be frustrating and expensive but, luckily, there are ways to chop costs down to size with just a bit of advance planning.
Finding an open parking spot on the street can be economical if you can swing it, but it can also be a time-consuming endeavor and there are regulations about where and when on-street parking is allowed. The most reliable way to find cheap parking is to reserve a spot in advance in a parking garage.
The Best Websites and Apps for Cheap NYC Parking
It's more expensive to park in a garage than to park on the street, but it will save you time and headaches, especially if you're in a hurry and don't know the lay of the land. There are over a thousand off-street parking garages in Manhattan, ranging from the tiny (fewer than a dozen spots) to the gigantic (over 3,000 spaces).
There are some excellent websites and apps that can help you locate street parking, parking lots and parking garages, and you can also reserve a spot at a discounted rate. It pays to use these resources, as prices can vary significantly by just a few blocks—or even on the same block.
Best Parking (website and app) offers a terrific overview of parking options, with an interactive map of the city's garages and information about parking regulations, garage prices and times. It's fast and easy to zoom in on a neighborhood or street and compare prices, and you can reserve a spot before you arrive.
SpotHero (app) lets you book and pay for your parking spot via your smartphone, and it also promotes its exclusive deals with parking facilities. You get 10 percent off with promo code FIRSTSPOT10 in the app or $7 off a first-time reservation of more than $8 with referral code KAPKM.
Parking.com (website and app) gives access to 185 discounted parking venues in the city, including commercial garages and private garages for hotels and office buildings.
Several of the larger New York City garage companies own multiple facilities and offer their own apps that let you snag discounted rates and coupons.
Icon Parking has more than 200 facilities in Manhattan so there's always a huge inventory of available parking places, and it also offers regular online specials and discount coupons.
Edison ParkFast manages 18 parking locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn and runs frequent promotions. Prices can be excellent.
Tips for Using NYC Parking Garages
- Most garages charge extra for oversize vehicles such as minivans and crossovers.
- Your ticket will have a return time. Ask a parking attendant what happens if you return after the return time on your ticket. Is there a grace period? At what rate is additional time billed? It may be safer to extend the time period rather than risk getting penalized.
- You can pay by credit card but it's handy to have some dollar bills in your wallet for the parking garage valet. The typical tip is a few dollars, handed to the valet when you pick up your car.