How to Find NYC Parking the Easy Way
The Ins and Outs of Parking in New York City
Are you moving to New York City with a vehicle? If you think the traffic is bad, you are going to be in for a ride when it comes to finding decent parking. Here are a few ways to help make parking painless as possible in the big city:
How to Get a Parking Permit in NYC
Currently, government workers, the Department of Education (DOE) workers, clergy, non-profit organizations and people with severe disabilities are eligible to apply for parking permits. A permit will give you access to parking in all 5-boroughs (Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens).
If you are applying for a disability parking permit, you can download a copy here: https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/parking-people-disabilities
Teachers, clergy, and non-profits can download applications here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2182/parking-permit
New York City residents and commuters aren’t eligible for parking permits. However, if you are a resident or commuter, you can purchase parking cards to park all throughout the city.
Pre-Paid Parking Cards
If you are moving to NYC with a car or you’re planning to commute into the city, the first thing you’ll need to buy is a pre-paid Parking Card. This card gives you access to parking meters, selected electronic single-space meters (located in Long Island City and Manhattan, and City municipal parking fields.
Costs: You can purchase cards in the amounts of $20, $50, and $100.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) accepts payments by phone, online credit card payments or by mail via money order or check. All parking cards are sent out by mail or FedEx.
Download an application here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/categories/transportation/driver-resources/index.page#parking
Finding Safe Street Side Parking in NYC
If you are struggling to find safe parking in the Big Apple, you might want to consider leaving your car in a local 24-hour parking garage. You can get parking for as low as $10-15 per day and for as much as $20+ per day. Some parking garages charge by the hour in increments of 4, 8, 12 and 24-hours.
If you are parking in certain areas in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island or The Bronx, you may be able to find off street parking with no problem. However, if you’re moving to Manhattan, it will be more of a hassle.
Avoid Parking Scams
Before choosing a parking garage, make sure you shop around to avoid scams. Recently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has been cracking down on construction companies and real estate developers who have been putting up fake parking signs. More than 80 residents have been given parking tickets for as much as $115, according to Eyewitness News. The good news is the companies that are trying to swindle residents out of their parking spaces have been fined as much as $300.
If you’re wondering how people can get away with fake signs – it’s easy. The DOT gives out construction signs to construction companies and developers to help accommodate their workers. Unfortunately, many take advantage and place signs up in areas where there are no construction sites close by. For example, there were illegal signs placed up on streets where the construction site was all the way on a different block. There was even a fake sign that had black tape plastered across the front.
If a sign seems suspicious to you (a faded sign or a sign with tape), take a photo of the sign, notate the street address, find somewhere else to park and contact the DOT to see if the sign is legitimate.
If you’re going to park in the city overnight, be on the safe side and park in a parking garage. There are two ways of going about this: If you’re moving into a high-rise, you will more than likely have access to a parking garage close to your building or within the building underground.
Some residents pay a monthly fee and some do not, depending on the type of building amenities. Keep in mind, every high-rise parking garage is different.
Protect Your Car
If you are parking in a garage, make sure you purchase a bumper protector to protect your car from dents, scrapes, and bangs. Some parking valets are known for bumping cars up against walls to squeeze in as many cars as possible.
Safety and Security
Never leave anything valuable in your car, that goes for jewelry, Smartphones, loose change, books, newspapers, toys, groceries, etc. Don’t ever leave your windows open, even if you’re only going to be gone for a minute. Make sure your doors are locked always. Be smart when you park.
SUV’s and Large Vehicles Pay Extra
Do you drive a large SUV or a pickup truck? Plan on shelling out more money for parking – it can be very expensive. And, don’t forget to include taxes. Taxes can rank as far up as 18.375%.
Save Money with Monthly Fees
There’s no question, parking garage fees can really add up, especially daily parking fees. Your best bet is to invest in Monthly parking. There are NYC parking garages as low as $75 per month and as much as $252+ per month, it all depends on where you park. If you park in a garage on the Upper East Side, you’re obviously going to pay out the roof.
Quick Tip: Ask your tax accountant if you can deduct your parking expenses, especially if you’re a business owner.
To find parking fast, consider downloading a free app like Park Whiz or Parking Panda – On-Demand Parking. These convenient phone apps provide you with the nearest parking garages. For example, Park Whiz provides the best parking deals and they even allow you to book for parking in advance from your phone.
For on-street parking, you may want to download the NYC Parking Meter and Alternate Side Parking Notification app. This app helps you prevent parking tickets from expired parking meters – it even gives you the heads up on parking rules. By the way, you can find more detailed parking rules here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/alternate-side-parking.shtml
Quick Tip: If your prospective parking garage has a valet (or a parking attendant), it is good parking etiquette to tip. In New York City, a valet is more likely to take care of your vehicle if you tip each time you drop off and pick up your vehicle. Seriously, some people find that they experience less damage to their vehicles when they tip compared to when they do not tip.
Hopefully, the parking tips in this article will help give you a clearer prospective on how to park and relieve the stress of parking in New York City.