Where to Find Cheap Parking in NYC

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The Big Apple—so many sights, sounds, and opportunities. 

But before you get swept up in the excitement of the city, there are some practical needs to consider. For many people, the most annoying part of visiting New York City is finding good parking. 

Don't fear. We've written this article to provide you with the best ways to get cheap parking in NYC. In some cases, you might even be able to park for free! 

So keep reading for everything you need to plan a stress-free parking experience. Then you can go back to dreaming of all the New York spots you want to see. 

Using a Parking App 

There's an app for everything these days, and NYC parking is no exception. 

There are tons of parking apps available for New York City, so browse through at least a few before deciding which one(s) to use. These apps can give you updates on the parking regulations and openings near your location. 

If there's a special fee on certain days or there's a new deal on parking near you, apps might be the quickest way to find out. Some apps will also allow you to compare prices between different parking spots. 

Consider a Hotel 

If you're already planning on booking a hotel for your trip to the city, this can be an excellent way to get a good deal on parking. Check the hotel details to see whether your stay includes free or cheap parking spots. 

And if you're using a different method of lodging (like non-hotel room rentals), you can still ask whether parking is included. And if not, it might be worth it to reconsider your trip costs. For example, you might want to shell out more money for a hotel in return for budget-friendly parking. 

Finding Cheap Parking in NYC for a Long-Term Trip 

If you're going to be parking in the city for an extended period of time, you might have to be a bit more careful with your plans. For example, on-street parking might be cheaper for short stays but more expensive in the long run. And some spots might have time limits requiring you to move your car every so often. 

For long-term parking, garages or parking lots might be the way to go. It can get expensive, but you have options—read the next section for a key strategy. 

If you're going to need long-term parking regularly, you might want to invest in a parking pass that gives you a deal on garages or other spaces. These can be monthly or yearly, so search around and make a few calls. You just might find a great option that costs more up-front but saves you money over time. 

Strategic Parking Right Outside the City 

Sometimes the best way to park in New York City is to park outside the city. 

Sound strange? Well, consider this. You can park in New Jersey for cheaper-than-NYC rates, take a straightforward public transit option to the city itself, and not have to worry about your car until you get back. 

Check for parking near train stations and ferries that lead to the city. Chances are, you'll find great deals designed for exactly this purpose. 

Free Parking 

This might sound too good to be true, but stick with us—on the right days and at the right locations, you can indeed find free parking in the city. 

You'll have to either know the areas well, visit on a holiday, or not be afraid to drive around until you find the perfect spot. Parking apps can help you with this. At the very least, they'll help you double-check whether the spot you're taking is free of charge. 

Easier Meter Parking 

On-street parking is often cheaper than going to a parking garage. If you're going to be parked for a while, though, you might expect parking meters to be a hassle. For anyone out there who's ever had to rush out of a meeting, a performance, or a restaurant just to feed the meter, you know what we mean. 

But New York is a truly modern city, and its parking meters might be more advanced than the ones you're used to. Many meters will allow you to pay using your phone and a credit card. 

You can set this up so your phone will receive an alert when your meter time is about to run out. 

And even better, you can often add more time with the touch of a button on your phone. This way, you can relax in your seat and keep your car from being towed at the same time. 

The big bonus advantage here is that you won't need to carry around a bunch of quarters just to park. 

Parking Garages 

The good news about parking garages in New York City is that there are a lot of them. The bad news is that they might be full or more expensive than expected. 

If you make some smart decisions, though, you might be able to get away with a surprisingly pleasant frugal parking garage experience. 

Did you know you could book a spot in a parking garage ahead of time in the Big Apple? It's true, and this method could help ensure that you have the perfect parking spot when you need it. 

If you don't book ahead, you run the risk of showing up to the parking garage and seeing that it is at capacity. When this happens, you might have to make a more costly decision just because you need to park somewhere else quickly. So it is all up to you and how lucky (or skilled) you are feeling. 

Before your trip, you can also use an app or website to compare prices at parking garages near each other. This way, you can be sure you're getting the best deal when you pay to park in NYC. 

Happy Parking 

Lots of people joke about how impossible it is to find a good parking spot in New York City, but it doesn't have to be such a headache. With a bit of research, the right apps, and some clever strategies, you can make cheap parking in NYC a breeze.

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