Guide to Street Parking in New York City

New York City street parking tips on how to avoid parking tickets, where to park, and what to be aware of with street cleaning and parking meters

Meter NYC

A time-consuming and frustrating experience. Parking in a parking garage is an easy alternative to parking on the street and will save you a lot of trouble if you’re in a hurry, but it is expensive. It takes patience to find available street parking, but with it comes the reward of paying far less and saving your car from potential bumper damage that the parking garages are notorious for. 
There are many things to be aware of when parking on the street in New York City.
Checking for signs and reading them thoroughly before leaving a car behind is important. Signs will also indicate what time street sweepers will be driving through, in which case you may not be able to park at all for the time being. Coming prepared with quarters is essential in case meters need to be fed. Be sure to keep track of how long you can leave your vehicle before the time on the meter runs out, and your street parking experience should go smooth. Below we have listed NYC street parking tips in detail:

Pay Attention To Street Signs

Parking regulations vary from street to street in NYC, so always keep an eye out for the street signs. Even if a sign is way at the other end of the street, it may still apply to your vehicle. Also be aware when parking on weekends, you must pay on some streets and avenues on Saturdays, but street parking has been free on Sundays in New York City since 2005. Visitors with out-of-state license plates and rental cars cannot get out of parking tickets, so make sure the parking meter is paid.

Street Cleaning In New York City

Street cleaning occurs twice weekly in New York City with street sweeping vehicles. One side of the street is cleaned on each of those days, and signs will indicate, for example, to not park on one side from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Cars must be moved no later than 9 a.m. and cars cannot be parked back in place before 10:30 a.m., or else you may get a ticket. For this parking violation, traffic agents or police officers can make you pay up to $65 per ticket.

What To Do When Cars Must Be Moved For Street Cleaning

It’s possible, yet risky, to double park cars for the duration of the street cleaning while one side of the street is being cleaned. Double parking is technically illegal, though you can get away with it if you’re temporarily parked and sitting in the car with it running. However, it’s absurd to consider idling for an hour and a half waiting for the street sweeper to drive by. Double parking and leaving it there will definitely garner a parking ticket. There are several possible solutions: circle the neighborhood until the street sweeper is gone, park in a parking garage for the hour and a half, or park on an avenue and pay the meter. Depending on an apartment building’s policy, doormen may be able to move their residents’ cars for them for a fee. 

Street Parking Meter Rates

Street parking meter rates in single spaces vary by street location throughout New York City. Street parking rates are posted on each parking meter, while the legal amount of time someone can park for is posted in the top left hand corner of the green meter signs. There are approximately 47,000 single-space meters throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The meter rate was recently increased to 25 cents for 20 minutes of parking, and 75 cents for one hour. There are 8,000 single street parking spaces in New York City that are set with higher rates than this.

The Duration You Can Park At Meters

Street parking durations in NYC typically last one to six hours, and sometimes even 12 hours depending on the location. If a meter is broken, park for the maximum period of time that is posted on the nearest sign. It’s typically free to park on the streets, but not on avenues where there are parking meters, so come prepared with plenty of quarters. Following the rules and parking legally will save you from an expensive parking ticket or from having your car towed.

Best Places To Find Street Parking In New York City

As with finding the lowest prices for a parking garage, it is also a good idea to find the best places to park in the quieter, more residential neighborhoods of New York City. If possible, try to find a parking spot on a street rather than an avenue. Avenues are often far busier with traffic, which could make parking difficult and costly. Finding parking on the far east and west sides of Manhattan is your best bet, though avoid parking near major event venues like the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center or MSG. Drivers must also park 15 feet from fire hydrants. Also make sure tires are parked outside of the crosswalk lines if you are parking at the end of a street or you will get a ticket.