No matter where you are parking in NYC, it always seems to feel like you’re either overpaying for parking or getting hit with extra charges. The best way to avoid NYC parking garage charges that you shouldn’t be paying is to read the posted rate signs and to confirm the rate before you park and leave your car. Other ways are:
Read the Claim Check – Confirm that the time stamped on your claim check is the actual time you parked.
Overnight – Some garages charge the parking in NYC overnight rate only after 5-6 a.m.
Leave your Key – Forget to leave your key and the garage may charge you from $25 to the full towing fee.
Don’t Overstay a Special Rate – Most Early Bird Specials required you to enter by 10am and leave by 6pm. What happens if you stay until 6:30pm? Instead of paying about $12 for the day, you’ll end up paying the hourly rate which can be up to $40.
Large Vehicle Surcharge – Know if the dimensions of your vehicle typically incur this surcharge for oversized vehicles.
Event Rate – Garages have a range of rates for conventions, sports, and other events. Confirm the rate before you park your car. On major holidays or festivals (Thanksgiving, July 4th), consider parking just a little farther away and taking public transportation or walking to your destination.
Know the Times – Most of the rates have a clearly posted entry time (e.g. by 7pm, 6-9am, after 3pm), but sometimes the exit time will simply read 9pm. Be sure you know if these times are “before” or “after” the posted time.
WHY RATES CHANGE
Rates are competitive and a popular thing to complain about. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) licenses and regulates all parking facilities. Garages must submit a rate change to the DCA at least 60 days prior to posting and charging the new rate for parking in NYC. Garages will typically submit a relatively high rate increase and after the 60 days they can charge any rate that is lower without giving any notice. For example, ABC garage submits a rate increase from $10 to $50 for 1 hour. After the 60 days, it can charge anywhere up to $50 at any time. Garages are not required to post the new rates prior to implementing the increase. Here are some key events that may trigger a rate change.
Garage Closes – when one garage or lot closes, other neighborhood garages will raise their rates. If you want to avoid NYC parking garage charges that you feel are too high, it’s worth a drive around the block.
Seasonality & Events – some garages adjust their rates in areas where the demand for off-street parking increases or decreases during part of the year. Most garages will create an ‘event’ rate for major holidays and festivals.