There are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes and parking fees.
Parking can be a chore, and sometimes we’re tempted to just give up and keep feeding the meter. Even though it’s usually small amounts at a time, it really adds up, especially here in Sydney! Here’s a couple of easy things you can do to keep those costs down, at the sacrifice of a little convenience (but it’s worth it, I promise!).
1. Learn your parking signs. This might seem bloody obvious but my friend once went to move her car because she thought the “2P 8am-6pm” sign meant she couldn’t park there after 6pm! And don’t assume all the streets in an area will have the same parking rules. Some may be limited for different periods of time, and there may be some sections of roads that are completely free and unlimited while everywhere else is metered.
2. Look for areas marked as “No Parking”, “Bus Lane” or “Loading Zone” with times indicated, because (unless there is a second sign saying otherwise) most of the time they’ll be free at all other times (for example most loading zones finish at 6pm), while every other space in the vicinity might still be metered late into the night.
3. Take note of the days of the week. Sundays are usually free, while Saturdays are cheaper or only limited until midday.
4. Park further away from town centres. It might mean an extra 5 or 10 minute walk, but that extra sneaky exercise means you can now upgrade to a large fries without any guilt.
5. If you’re going to the city or need all day parking, check out Parkopedia to compare carparks in the area. Look for special rates such as evening, early bird, evening, and validation flat rates.
6. Is there a Westfield/shopping centre nearby? You can park there for 3 hours for free. Watch out for the few that try to fuck you over with only 2 hours of free parking *cough Chatswood and Bondi cough* , and carparks requiring a validated ticket.
7. If you want to plan freakishly far ahead (and want to procrastinate from doing that important task at work), hop onto Google Maps Streetview and scope out the parking signs.
8. If you’re a true free parking ninja, make sure to leave plenty of time to circle around and then walk to your destination, because your holy grail free park might be further away than you expected! There’s nothing more stressful than trying to find parking when the clock is ticking for an appointment. Trust me on this one.
9. If all else fails… Catch public transport. Use Tripview to plan your start and end points with as little anger as possible.