Car Parking NYC

When it comes to car parking NYC visitors should ask themselves why they're driving their own vehicle in the country’s most busy city in the first place. Most NYC visitors discover almost immediately that taking a cab or using the subway adequately meets their transportation needs. Car parking costs in New York can be very expensive, you know. But if you absolutely need to park in New York, then read on to get some tips.

Paying for Parking

There are parking meters all over New York City and for car parking NYC residents have learned to always have a stash of quarters ready. The vast majority of New York City parking meters will take only quarters, though some special meters called muni-meters are beginning to accept credit cards while other meters allow users to park with their prepaid NYC Parking Cards, which can be bought online. On some parking meters, it will cost you 25 cents to park for 10 minutes, so you'll be using up that stash of quarters in no time.

In New York City, your best bet for quarters are banks and grocery stores. You can try to exchange your money in some random street store, but you'll probably have to purchase an item to get some change.

Your Cheap Options for Car Parking NYC

There are other places you can park your car in and they won’t charge you as much as the regular parking areas, but do so at your own risk.

  • Empty Street Blocks. If you ever happen to come upon an entire block devoid of parked cars, be aware that something is up. Remember, if it's too good to be true, then it probably is a bad idea. Almost always, there's a pretty good reason why it's empty. Even if you cannot fathom the reason behind it, and you can't see any "No Parking" street sign, your best bet is avoid parking there entirely.
  • Sneaky "Cheap" Parking Garages. Quite a few parking garages put up signs that offer great rates for all day parking, only to find out their definition of "all day" is just a few hours. Clarify the rules with the parking attendants to be sure, and if possible get it in writing.
  • Cross Walks and Fire Hydrants. NYC drivers should be especially aware of parking rules concerning crosswalks and fire hydrants. When crosswalk parking, your tires must be absolutely outside the crosswalk markings and never park 15 feet or less within the proximity of a fire hydrant. Breaking these rules will probably result in a ticket or a towing.

Tickets and Towing

Parking illegally will cost a ticket, no matter what time it is. So even if it's the weekend or it's past midnight, don't forget to feed the parking meter if you know what's good for you. Aside from the ticket fines, you'll also have to pay the towing company's storage fees, which cost more than a hundred dollars a day. These towing sites are closed in the evenings and on weekends, which will really muck up your schedule.

But this is New York City, after all. You'll probably have a great time, though hopefully without too much difficulty when it comes to parking your car.


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