If you work in a big and bustling city, prime parking spots are hard to come by. You don’t want to park on the street in a questionable spot because restricted spaces can bring you a costly parking ticket.
And lots of luck if you’re parking in somewhere like Philadelphia on nights both the Phillies and Eagles are playing. In that case you might turn to parking in a garage, but rates there can reach $30 or higher.
What to do? Well, you can turn to the same option you look toward on so many other occasions- technology. We’ll start with Google Maps.
Google Maps plans to start offering text alerts that inform you about parking spot shortages at your destination. The app is looking to make an educated guess about your travel time, based on the number of available spaces and cars in the area at the time. Google Maps also includes the time of day and occurrence of other events in the area.
They keep things simple in their list of categories: easy, medium and hard. The Google Maps app lists easy areas as those with plenty of parking, medium spots may not be easy for locating spaces, and hard streets have limited parking spots available.
Conditions that factored into Google Maps’ data on parking information were uncertain. Another app for your consideration is BestParking. BestParking has seen coverage in The New York Times, New York Daily News, and The Wall Street Journal. The BestParking web site calls the app a search engine that directs drivers to the best and cheapest parking spaces in 105 cities and 115 airports in North America.
BestParking finds the best available parking spots in your area so you can comparison shop with other parking outlets. The app sorts its spaces by price, letting you know where the cheapest and most expensive spaces are. BestParking has 850,000 monthly users.
Another way to find up to the minute parking spaces is through the free app Parker. Parker will send you prices, hours and parking spots for over 24,000 lots and garages. Parker even directs you to the nearest parking spot through GPS, and runs a timer so you don’t have to think about a parking ticket. It has also been reviewed well by Forbes and Mashable.
Parker filters spaces to only show you ones you need. It even lets you know on which side of the street they are located. Walk to car directions can return you to your car after your time is finished. The app can find you available parking spots in more than 30 cities and universities in the U.S. and U.K.
And popular parking reservation app SpotHero lets drivers find easy, affordable parking in over 2,500 lots, garages and valets across the U.S. SpotHero uses inventory information to locate parking spaces. You pre-pay for a parking spot and follow the directions on your parking pass. SpotHero allows drivers to save up to 50% on the drive-up rate in some garages.
The free parking app known as ParkWhiz helps customers in more than 200 cities to find their “happy space.” Drivers can book a parking space in advance on ParkWhiz, and can cancel it up until their reservation time. ParkWhiz guarantees that customers will get the best parking rates or they’ll refund you the price difference if the other location doesn’t have a Price Advisory.
Your odds are good on finding a spot at ParkWhiz; they claim to have 3,815 different parking locations and 800,045 spots on a given day.
Some of these parking applications work with Internet-connected meters on the streets or in garages. Others use motion sensors, Bluetooth or car-tracking cameras. If you find a reliable app in your city that fits your needs, it can save you a lot of stress in big city traveling.