10 Ways To Get Cheaper Parking
With general living costs on the rise, parking is just another strain on consumers’ wallets. Here are ten ways to save money on parking.
Published: Tuesday, April 11th 2017
Any of us living in a city, or areas with limited space, will know parking costs are becoming an ever-increasing reality in our daily lives.
With the cost of almost everything rising, parking is just another strain on South African consumers' wallets.
So here are a few ways to save money on parking…
1. Don't Be Afraid To Explore
Sometimes something as simple as driving around the block can help you save money on parking if you manage to find a side or suburban street with free space to park.
This is especially true in trendy areas nestled within suburbia. While a certain restaurant complex might charge you for parking spaces, just beyond their is space you can usually use for free.
So, when you're looking for parking at a destination, do a short drive around the area to see if you can find some better parking spaces.
2. Check Your Municipality's Parking Zones
Something we discovered during our research on the parking situation in South Africa's cities is that certain municipalities offer free parking spots for after-hours use.
Motorists can find out about these spaces via ParkingTarrifs.co.za. This site includes live-tracking of parking spots in certain areas in Cape Town and Johannesburg, with a few other municipalities included.
3. Take Part In Ride-Sharing
While ride-sharing is used to describe services like Uber, the concept has more to do with catching a lift with someone headed to the same destination, rather than hiring a chauffeur.
There are some ride-sharing apps available which will help you find someone with whom you could catch a lift to a destination.
One local service to find a trip buddy is CarTrip, which shows drivers offering short trips, as well as longer journeys. You can even join up and make some income yourself. A benefit that will sure help to supplement those parking costs.
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4. Make Use Of Parking Apps And Services
There are a few apps and services that will help you find and compare parking prices near your destination.
Two services that cover South Africa are ParkMe and Parkopedia. Both of these apps will allow you to see parking garages around your destination or in your city. They also provide the distance parkings are from your destination, and which spaces are the cheapest.
5. If It's Work, Speak To Your Employer
It's becoming a more common occurrence that employees are finding it more difficult to find parking near their work. Especially in locations that are already saturated with businesses (here’s looking at you Cape Town CBD).
Renting a parking space nearby is the easiest solution. Yet, it doesn't come cheap. That's why we suggest speaking to your employer about covering, or at least subsidising, the cost of renting a parking space.
6. Make Use Of Free / Off-Peak Times
Some parking garages offer motorists a grace period during which their parking is cheaper or even free. Often, places charge different rates according to peak times. So, postponing your grocery shopping by a few more hours might save you up to half of your parking cost.
Meanwhile, some centers only start charging customers for parking after you spend a certain amount of time there. For example, a shopping centre can offer free parking for the first hour and a half. If this is the case, make sure to get your groceries within that time frame.
7. Walk That Extra Little Bit
Many shopping malls charge different rates for 'prime' parking spots and ones a little further out. So, sometimes it is better just to walk those extra few 100 metres if it's going to save you a bit more cash.
The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is a perfect example. Its various parking garages (each with a different name) have different rates, according to their popularity, as well as several discount, open-air parking options. So, while a central parking garage like Ulundi goes for R90 for 10-12 hours, the Portswood parking garage is R60 for 12 hours.
8. Use Public Transport Or Taxis
Sometimes it's cheaper to just pay for transport to a location than to pay for a few hours' parking. Weigh up the cost of getting there versus the cost of parking to decide which is the best option.
This is especially true for airports. Sometimes it's significantly cheaper to catch a return journey via a taxi, or service like Uber or Taxify, than to pay for parking at the airport.
9. For Events, Use Park-And-Ride
Park and ride services collect people at a central location and transport passengers to a certain spot, especially during big events.
Park and Ride SA is one business that offers this service for events such as concerts and popular sports matches. Meanwhile, CarTrip also has a segment on their site to find ride-sharing opportunities for events.
Certain tourist spots use park-and-ride-type services, with MyCiti also now offering free rides up to Table Mountain from a parking lot further away.
10. Make Use Of Prepaid Parking
Sometimes, you're just going to have to cough up some cash for parking. But, you can save money by using prepaid tickets where needed.
Many events, at conference centers, allow visitors to pay for prepaid parking tickets. If you're just staying for an hour, then conventional tickets are fine. But, if you're there for a significant portion of the day, prepaid tickets can save you a chunk of cash.
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