New York City is one of the most visited locations on Earth. It's the biggest city in all of the United States of America and home to countless monuments, landmarks, shops, restaurants, live entertainment venues, and so much more. You can do almost anything in New York City, and the city attracts millions of visitors from all over the globe each year, with many people also choosing to move to the Big Apple and build a life for themselves in areas like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Unfortunately, as with any big city, there are a few drawbacks to living and visiting NYC. One of the main issues is parking. Driving around NYC can be challenging, and parking can be even harder. There are more than 1,000 different parking facilities in Manhattan alone, and hundreds more around the other New York City boroughs, but finding a space at a good price isn't always easy. Read on to learn how to save money on parking in New York City and find the best NYC parking spots with our guide below.
The Rules of Parking in New York City
Our first big parking tip for New York City is to be familiar with the rules. So many people have paid the price for a lack of observation or awareness in the past, often having to pay fines or even having their vehicles towed away. Don't fall into the same trap. Be aware of the rules of each street and parking lot you choose. There are many different rules around the city like 'one-hour parking' or 'timed parking' areas, as well as places where you might think that parking is allowed but in reality, it isn't. Pay attention to all signs in the area in order to be sure that your spot is safe.
Free Parking in New York City
Since 2005, free parking has been available in New York City on Sundays. This only applies to street parking locations with meters, so it won't work in garages or lots, but it's a great way to save money. If you're visiting the city for a weekend or just looking for a spot on a Sunday, driving around the streets is a good idea. Free parking is also enjoyed on all major legal holidays like Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, and Christmas.
Do Your Research
Be sure to check out virtual maps from the Department of Transportation on New York City parking. These maps show individual NYC neighborhoods and all of the various parking spaces and streets, as well as showing you the rules for each area. You'll be able to see which streets offer parking at certain times of day and other important information to plan your journey ahead of time. It always pays off to do your research, and this is definitely true when it comes to parking in New York City. With the Department of Transportation maps, you can even look up individual street addresses and learn all about the specific parking rules and regulations in the local area to choose your spot before you arrive.
Hotel parking might be your best solution for parking cheaply in New York City. Some hotels even offer free parking for all guests, like the Comfort Inn Sunset Park, for example. Others will charge for parking, but the rates are often better than you would expect to find elsewhere around the city. New York City is blessed with an exceptional public transportation system, with subway trains and buses linking all parts of the city together in one effective and efficient network, so it can be an economically-sound idea to leave your car at the hotel and simply get around through the subway.
Take Advantages of Websites and Apps
Everything is easier with the internet, including finding cheap parking in NYC. Various apps and sites exist to make your parking adventures much more seamless and straightforward than ever before. Try ParkWhiz, Best Parking, Spot Hero, or Smooth Parking for highly detailed information on parking all around the city. Some of these apps and sites even offer live parking info, letting you know which areas are full up and which streets have free spaces waiting to be filled. You can even reserve your own parking spot ahead of time with apps like SpotHero, making the whole thing so much simpler.
Join Up with a Loyalty Scheme
Various loyalty programs exist for parking in New York City. These programs are perfect for commuters or people who come to the Big Apple on a regular basis. If you're traveling in and out of New York by car often, these programs can help you save a whole lot of time and money. One example is ICON, which offers big discounts to members every time they park in an ICON garage.