Finding downtown parking in most large cities can be tough due to high vehicle density compared to the availability of parking spaces. Add to that rush hour traffic and exorbitant parking fees, and the allure of public transportation may become apparent. (These are America’s worst cities to drive in.)
While some places offer free parking, many large cities charge by the hour for prime spots, and may even limit drivers to two or three hours in any metered space. To compile a list of the states with the most expensive cities for parking, 24/7 Tempo reviewed The US Parking report by Zutobi Drivers Ed, an online drivers education resource. Zutobi Drivers used data from the World Population Review to find the largest cities in the country, then used SpotHero to find parking rates for each city. Parking prices are for the time frame of 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Data is current as of Sept. 28, 2022.
Most cities that have higher parking fees tend to either be popular with tourists or have a relatively high cost of living. Some of the most expensive cities in the U.S. – including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C. – also have the most expensive parking fees.
While all cities on the list charge $10 or more for 3 hours of parking, the three cities with the most expensive parking – New York, Boston, and Denver – all charge over $15. Note that the rates given are the lowest rates available. Some areas in these cities may have much higher parking fees. The cheapest cities for parking, on the other hand, are Cleveland, Dallas, and Indianapolis. (Here are the most affordable metros for commuters.)
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