Tips for Parking in New York City

Plan ahead and do your homework

Whether you’re traveling into New York City for business, pleasure, or you’re moving into the city and bringing a car, it’s smart to educate yourself beforehand about the challenges of parking in the city. First rule of thumb: Don’t make the mistake of assuming you will automatically find parking conveniently located to your destination upon arriving in town. More likely, you will find yourself circling around the neighborhood, searching for a parking garage that has open spaces.

Instead, do your homework online before you even get into your car and point it toward the Big Apple. In many cases, you’ll be able to book in advance and very likely save money on parking. Many garages have early bird specials and lower rates if you arrive between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Or, if you’re coming into the city for an evening event, rates tend to go down again after 6 p.m.

CitiParking, Inc. offers specials and coupons throughout the year to its established customers. Call us at (888) 792-2484 to learn about these special savings.

Parking in NYC: What to avoid

While many people opt to park their cars outside of the city and take public transportation in, there are times when driving into the city is your only option. Parking in a garage is the best way to avoid getting a parking ticket or – God forbid – getting towed. You Do Not Want to get towed in Manhattan. Period. Some city cops have their own tow trucks and, if you’ve mistakenly parked in the wrong spot or haven’t put enough money on the parking meter, you could be in for a huge headache. If you are driving into the city for a parade, convention, or other large event, parking garages will post a sign that says “Event Rate.” Stay away from them. An event rate is a flat rate, usually double or triple the regular hourly and daily rates the garage charges. Some event rates can be as much as $60. Even if you’re only planning to stay for an hour, you will still be charged $60.

General rule of thumb: Stay away from areas near convention centers like the Jacob Javits Center, or other event venues. Also, plan on parking away from high traffic tourist hubs. If you are going to be spending most of your time in and around Fifth Avenue, you will pay less for parking if you travel the few blocks east or west of Fifth Avenue.

CitiParking’s garages are in locations that give our customers the advantage of being close enough to walk to tourist locations, but just far enough away to be more cost effective. It never hurts to be skeptical of garages that post an attractively low rate for the first hour. It’s important to know exactly what the rate will jump to after that first hour has passed. As we’ve already mentioned, its best to reserve your parking in advance, either by phone or online, and get a consistent rate locked in. And don’t forget that you are going to pay an additional 18.375 percent in state, city, and local taxes in addition to the advertised rate. It can’t be avoided, so be prepared.

Drive your smallest car in to the city

If you can, leave the oversized vehicles at home and opt for driving a more compact car into the city. It will save money on parking in NYC. You may also want to consider buying bumper and car door protectors. Garage attendants are trying to park as many cars as possible, often in very tight spaces. Having protective covers for your car can reduce the chance of getting dings and dents.

Tipping for parking in NYC

In addition to the bumper protectors, another good tip is – don’t forget the tip. Yes, it sounds like you’re paying “protection” money to keep the attendants from spitefully mistreating your car. But, for only a couple of dollars at drop-off and pick-up, you’ll be ensuring that the attendant takes care with your car. This is especially true if you are a frequent customer at the same parking garage, or you’re a long-term parking client.

Long term parking

When making your long-term parking plans, there are a few things to take into consideration. Location, rates, and accessibility. With so many public transportation options easily available across the city, your parking garage doesn’t have to be located within blocks of your residence. Look for competitive rates, don’t be afraid to negotiate, and read reviews online to see if you are picking a reputable place and one where your vehicle will be safe and secure. To learn more about CitiParking, Inc., visit our locations page and call us at (888) 792-2484 at to find out more about becoming one of our valued clients.