While public transport is a great way to travel around the city, many people still prefer to take their cars whenever possible. They can reach their destinations faster and don’t have to worry about bus or rideshare costs. Even so, some parking garages can be just as expensive as a round-trip Uber purchase.
Downloading a parking app before your next vacation or big night out can save you money. Here are the best parking apps available, according to Money Under 30.
This app is great at finding flexible and affordable rates for parking spaces in cities or near airports. When you search for parking spaces or garages, the screen splits between the results and a map guiding you to each one.
The prices remain steady even if you plan to park for a few hours at a time. SpotHero also finds cheaper garages and parking spaces that might not show up from a quick Google search. Money Under 30‘s writer could locate a parking spot in Philly for just $10.
Once you’ve found a spot, you can reserve it in advance through the app. There’s no fee to cancel a reservation, and you can change your mind a mere minute before you’re supposed to arrive. SpotHero also allows you to earn up to $250 of free parking with its referral program.
ParkWhiz can also find parking spots at lower rates than what’s advertised online. However, MU30 found that this app couldn’t quite match the deals on SpotHero. It also doesn’t have a lot of monthly rate options, so it’s best used for short-term parking.
This parking app does have a few annoyances, such as having to input your license plate each time you want to reserve a spot. You also can’t change your allotted timeframe after making a reservation.
Powered by ParkWhiz, BestParking features the most extensive selection of parking spaces in cities and garages. You can also find cheaper rates at some of the busiest airports, including JFK (New York) and LAX (Los Angeles).
It allows you to plan out trips more efficiently by seeing what options are available beforehand. You can also bookmark a few options while browsing and choose the best one later.
You can only make reservations through the BestParking app. Once reserved, BestParking will send turn-by-turn directions to your preferred navigation app.
ParkMe‘s capabilities are somewhat limited compared to other parking apps. Its database only holds 240,000 locations, and you can’t get real-time updates for garage or on-street parking in most cities. However, MU30 praises the app for locating some of the cheapest rates for on-street parking.
Prices will show up in bubbles across the map, so you don’t have to bother tapping through to each one. To prevent confusion, ParkMe’s directions will guide you right to the entrance instead of the simple street address. The app also reminds you to set a timer so that you won’t get parking tickets or late reservation fees.
Parknav doesn’t work for parking garages or airports yet, but its unique A.I. technology shows promise. Whenever you search for a parking spot, color-coded markers will appear on every street in your vicinity. These colors represent your likelihood of finding on-street parking.
In addition to available parking, the app allows you to see restricted spaces and real-time traffic data. Parknav claims to be able to predict on-street parking capacity with up to 95% accuracy, so it’s an attractive app for commuters.
However, since the app has such a limited range, it can be hard to find an available parking spot during busier times. It also usually only shows real-time parking data for more populated cities.