New York is one of the busiest, most populous, and most touristy cities in the world. Many people come from all over the world to see what the city has to offer.
Thanks to the many transport links, it’s relatively easy getting to New York from anywhere, as is getting around.
Most people use the extensive New York City Subway, which remains the best and most convenient way to get around.
The city’s parking is notorious, however, for those who intend to drive around. It’s even worse than Chicago and Boston, two of the most traffic-congested cities in the USA.
Fortunately, this guide on how to find parking in NYC can help you navigate this situation. It includes a list of some of the best parking apps that can save you time and money when looking for a parking spot in the city.
Where To Park In NYC
There’s street parking in New York. But because of the constant traffic and congestion in the city, it’s almost impossible to find them.
Moreover, most NYC street parking, especially in the business districts, is metered (not the best idea if you want free parking).
There’s also the “alternate-side parking” rule, which blocks off part of the time for on-street parking several times a week. This rule (and the NYC parking regulations in general) can be frustrating, even for native New Yorkers. It makes the already bad parking situation in the city even worse.
Check out this NYC parking map to see which streets in New York you can park on and what the fees are for streets with metered parking.
New York has plenty of good, safe parking lots and garages too. But the trade-off there is exorbitant fees. Plus, for someone new to the city, finding those parking spots can be a frustrating, though not impossible, challenge.
Additionally, many NYC attractions, hotels, and serviced apartments provide parking to guests.
For example, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Museum of Art have a shared parking lot at 900 Washington Avenue. This amenity simplifies the hassle of finding parking elsewhere for guests.
Keep in mind that some facilities (mostly lower-end hotels and Airbnbs) don’t provide guests with a place to park. As such, you should be fully aware of the parking situation once you arrive in New York so that you can make the necessary arrangements.
Free Parking NYC
Most on-street parking in New York is metered, but the City Department of Transportation exempts Sundays. This means you can park for free at all metered parking spots in the city on Sundays.
In some neighborhoods of New York, there are also street parking spaces where you don’t have to pay. You can take advantage of this and avoid the stress of looking for parking in the business areas.
Note, however, that some of these designated parking spaces can only be used by certain people. You may have to pay hefty fines, and your car may be towed if you park in these spots. This can make your trip to New York much more complicated than it needs to be.
If you are unsure about the parking rules in a particular area, ask the locals about them.
You can also park for free in New York on major holidays and off-hours. In the latter case, look for areas with signs like “No parking 8 am and 7 pm”. This means you can park there for free after 7 pm and until 8 am if there’s no parking meter.
Another option is to stay at a hotel that offers free parking in New York, such as:
- 1Hotel Brooklyn
- Hilton Garden Inn Times Square
- Fairfield Inn and Suites (Midtown Manhattan)
- Hampton Inn Manhattan (Times Square North)
- Courtyard By Marriot SoHo(South Village)
- The Frederick Hotel (Tribeca)
- Residence Inn by Marriot (Downtown Manhattan)
- Casablanca Hotel (Theater District)
- The Westin (Times Square)
- Crowne Plaza (Midtown Manhattan)
Or you can park at a park-and-ride station. These are safe and convenient parking lots where you can leave your car and take other transportation to your destination. Stations are usually free, although sometimes you need a permit or have to pay to park.
There are many park-and-ride stations near New York City, most of which are near major highways and rail lines.
Visit this link to find a park-and-ride station near you.
Note that parking at park-and-ride stations in NYC is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where To Find Parking In Manhattan For Free
As in all of New York, the alternate-side parking rule applies in most Manhattan areas.
The rule usually applies on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in Manhattan. During these times, one side of the street must be clear for street cleaning for an hour and a half. Wednesdays and weekends are exempt.
On the Upper East Side north of 72nd Street, for example, there’s alternate parking on the north side of the street from 9 am to 10:30 am on Mondays and Thursdays, Tuesdays and Fridays -the same time on the south side.
Here’s the trick to finding a free parking spot in Manhattan: Take a place on the side for cleaning at 9:30 am, sit in your car, move it briefly so the street cleaners can get through, then retake your spot. Don’t leave before 10:30!
On Tuesdays, you can park your vehicle on the street until Thursday morning, when street cleaning is due. On Fridays, you have until Monday morning. There are apparent signs informing you of the street cleaning rules. You can also call 311.
Some prominent areas to find free parking space in Manhattan include:
- Lower East Side and East Village (area between East 4thStreet and 14th Street, east of Third Avenue)
- Municipal garage at 107 Essex Street
- Field on Broome Street between Essex Street and Ludlow Street
- Central Harlem
- Washington Heights, on every street west of Broadway
- Inwood, on any street of Broadway (don’t park there for more than 24hrs)
- Riverside Drive (from 96thStreet to 125th Street)
Note that all streets in Manhattan are marked clearly for parking. So be sure to find out the parking regulations for an area first before moving in to park. You can use the city’s parking sign’s locator to find parking regulations block by block. Make sure to adhere to these rules-the ticketing is zealous.
Average Cost Of Parking In New York
The average daily parking rate in NYC is around $45 to $50, but it could be as low as $20 (meter parking) or as high as $125 (high-end garage parking with valet).
An hour of parking, however, will cost you between $1.25 and $4.50 for meter parking and $20 to $30 for garage parking. The cost for garage parking in prime spots (especially in the Financial District) can be as high as $50 per day.
Paying hourly or daily parking at NYC garages and lots is impractical.
So if you plan on staying a month or more, opt for a monthly package. It is an easy way to save money on daily parking in NYC. The average monthly parking rate is about $500. This breaks down to an average of $17 per day.
Best Time To Find Parking In NYC
The best time to park is Sunday – when parking meters aren’t in effect, and there are no street cleaning or “no-parking” signs.
Also, traffic is always light on Sundays in New York, making it easy to get around.
Major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Christmas are excellent times to find parking in New York. The city lifts most of its parking regulations, such as metered and alternate-side parking.
On minor holidays like Columbus Day, alternate-side parking (street cleaning) rules are suspended, but no other restrictions. The alternate-side parking suspension calendar is available here. You can also find regular updates on the same on Twitter at @NYCASP.
If you want to park on a typical weekday, I recommend finding a parking spot between 11 am and 12:30 pm when most streets have been cleaned. Though getting a spot will be tough, at least it will help you avoid ticketing.
Parking in a lot outside the city will cost you $10 on average.
Can You Park On The Street Overnight In NYC?
You can park overnight on most New York streets and in garages. However, if you plan to park overnight, find a safe street with no prohibitive parking signs such as “No Parking Anytime.” You’ll have to reserve overnight parking early to guarantee your spot in parking garages and lots.
Best Parking Apps NYC
Many apps can help you find, book, and pay for parking in New York City. These apps can save you an average of 30 minutes to an hour that you’d otherwise spend circling the city to find a parking spot.
Parking apps aren’t new in New York City. The technology has been around for a while, and even the state transportation department is using it to ease parking in the city.
Here are some of the best parking apps in New York:
With this app, you can search for parking spaces on the street, in parking garages, and lots right on your phone. You can even reserve a parking spot in advance, so you don’t have to stress when you arrive.
SpotHero shows a real-time map of parking spaces near you, letting you know if a spot is available.
It also offers regular discounts on parking prices. The best are the discounts on reservations, which can save you up to 50% off the regular prices.
The real-time map comes with a navigation tool that shows the addresses of all the parking lots near you, their hours of operation, and the number of spaces available. The app seamlessly guides you to the parking lot by showing the easiest route on the map in real-time.
ParkWhiz helps you find, compare, and choose the best parking spot in New York City.
Like SpotHero, you can reserve a parking spot in New York City by phone, pay in advance and save up to 50% off standard rates. There are no surprise prices, making ParkWhiz a popular parking solution for locals and non-locals.
Icon Go is another excellent app connecting businesses and individuals with reliable parking in NYC.
Icon, one of the city’s largest parking vendors, owns the app. It is currently the only instant parking in New York City, with over 200 safe and convenient parking spaces in Manhattan.
Additionally, Icon offers a park-and-ride service in partnership with JOCO premium e-bikes. Using this service, you can park your vehicle and pick up a bike anywhere in the city. Moreover, the app offers online and SMS vehicle requests, EV charging, and regular discounts.
Other apps include SpotAngel, ParkNYC (the official NYC parking app), BestParking, ParkMe (the best app for finding metered parking), and Parkmobile.
Avoiding NYC Parking Tickets
- On its official website, the New York City Department of Transport outlines the city’s parking regulations. This includes rules regarding alternate-side parking, parking fees and payments, parking tickets, safe driving and more.
Check out the webpage and additional links provided to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.
New York Safety Council also offers a comprehensive guide on parking ticket violations.
You can also find guides on this topic on the websites of various NYC parking apps. See these links on SpotAngels and iconParking to learn more.
- Take advantage of parking apps like ParkMe to find metered parking, pay and replenish your meter using the phone. This app even shows you when the meter is running out. Furthermore, you can set a reminder on the app for alternate-side parking any time you park in NYC.
- New York has a lot of residential parking lots, as mentioned earlier. These will save you money on parking fees and minimize the risk of getting a ticket. While at it, don’t forget to pay attention to local parking regulations.
- Ensure your vehicle registration and insurance are up to date
Parking in NYC can be quite a hassle. Nevertheless, I hope you have gained valuable insights from this guide to help you manage your trip without too much stress.