Finding LA city parking can be a chore to even the seasoned Angelenos; now, imagine if you are a first-time visitor to the City of Dreams. Every year, millions of visitors cross off LA from their bucket list, making it one of the top travel destinations in the United States.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame or Venice Beach, must-see attractions in LA, always seem to have parking issues. Downtown LA parking isn’t great either, despite multiple on-street and off-street options, the heart of the city still manages to run out of parking space.
So, what is the reason behind Los Angeles’s consistent parking woes?
Not enough public transportation leads Los Angeles to a car obsession. The city has a relatively high vehicle density. It’s no secret that you need a car to get around LA; most Angelenos drive, and visitors often rent a car for easy access to all the LA attractions despite the traffic jams. The high dependency on private vehicles and the gap between parking space demand and availability are the significant contributors to LA city parking woes.
While LA parking rates don’t drain your pockets, it is the parking tickets you need to be wary of. The City of Los Angeles is one of the most expensive places to get caught for parking illegally. On average, you can expect to shell out $70 or more.
Permits requirement is another one of the major causes for parking violations, especially in residential areas; LADOT parking permits can also be expensive, but it’s certainly better than paying off a parking citation plus booting and towing fees.
Keeping all these LA City parking troubles in mind, here are a few tips and tricks to get you past the most common hassles of finding convenient parking spaces in Los Angeles.
Know & Follow LA Street Parking Rules
LADOT is pretty strict when it comes to penalizing street parking violations. Most of the LA street parking rules are similar to any other big city in the U.S.; check parking signs and make sure to park only in designated spots.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s Parking Meter Division manages more than 40,000 metered parking spots, and meter rates range from 50 cents to $6 per hour, depending on location and demand. Check parking signs and meter displays for rates and regulations that could be applicable.
Make sure to stick to the time limit and move your car before your meter runs out to avoid an unnecessary parking citation.
One of the most common parking violations is permit requirement. In Los Angeles’ residential neighborhoods, especially near downtown, parking on the streets without a permit can lead to hefty fines. The permit itself can cost between $30 and $60 a month; it’s a good deal when the only other option is to pay expensive parking fines.
But the trouble does not end with acquiring a parking permit; you have to move your car every 72 hours. Yes, your car cannot remain parked in the same spot for more than three days – get ready to be ticketed, towed, or even impounded if you don’t follow this rule.
Those parking citations and towing payments can pile up pretty quickly too. If you stack up to five or more parking tickets, your car can end up getting booted. Besides the pending fines, you’ll also have to pay a $150 boot fee to get your car released.
Make sure you are up-to-date on the insurance requirements in California, as well. You don’t want to get into an accident and find out that your coverage won’t protect you from additional financial loss.
Choose LA Free Parking Carefully
Parking in Los Angeles is free on all major holidays, but make no mistake, you might still need to drive around the block a few times to find an available spot. If the holiday falls on a weekend, you can park for free on a weekday too.
Los Angeles street parking is free of charge on the preceding Friday if the national holiday falls on a Saturday. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, LA street parking regulations will be suspended the following Monday. Remember to check parking signs and follow official websites and social media platforms to get a heads up on any changes in weekend and holiday parking rules.
There is always a chance of special regulations and restrictions that you might not anticipate.
You could even score a few hours of free parking at secure LA parking garages. In fact, some parking lots across Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and other popular spots offer free parking for the first couple of hours. Make sure to check for the latest LA parking deals if you want to save a few extra bucks.
Find the Best LA Parking Garages
Plan before you go, and save more money on LA city parking. The drive-up rates at LA parking garages are always higher than pre-booked parking rates. You’ll also find discounted rates and early-bird offers when you book your parking in advance.
Monthly parking rates are another great way to save money at LA parking lots. Monthly rates will cost you a lot less than daily parking rates at a garage you park frequently.
The perfect solution to finding the best parking garages in LA is to go online. LA parking apps and websites can help you find the best lots anywhere in the city. Comparing rates and amenities at each garage is also easier on these platforms. You’ll also find many exclusive offers and discounts that further reduce your LA parking costs.
Downtown LA is the busiest neighborhood in the city, and it is recommended that you keep track of multiple parking garage options to save time and money. The good news is that there are several downtown LA parking garages to choose from. Simply pick one closest to your destination and suits your car’s needs.
The Staples Center and Los Angeles Convention Center also see many visitors, which drives up the demand for parking spaces in these neighborhoods. If you have an event to attend, make sure to book your garage space early and arrive early for a hassle-free LA city parking experience.