Parking in New York is a challenge, but it can be done. After all, hundreds of thousands of people do it every day. At SpotHero, our goal is to make parking in New York easier for everyone. With these NYC parking tips, you’ll be ready for (almost) anything the Big Apple throws at you.
1. Expect Valet Parking
Space is tight in Manhattan; an estimated 1.6 million people live in 23.7 square miles, and every square inch is accounted for. Because of high demand, most garages in Manhattan will be valet to ensure they are maximizing their space. When you pull into your garage or lot, be ready to hand over your keys, an attendant will take over from there! If you’re not comfortable letting someone else park your car, you may want to consider alternative arrangements: you can try to find street parking but pay close attention to any restrictions and signs, or you can park in a secure self-park garage outside the city, and take public transportation to your destination.
2. Give Yourself Some Buffer Time
Since most locations are valet, you may not be able to drop off or pick up your car the moment you arrive at the garage. At arrival, attendants will ask how long you will be parking to cut down on wait times when you return, but remember that the attendants are human! Be prepared to wait up to 15 minutes at entry and at exit depending on the time of day, and the number of customers. Try to give yourself a little extra time on your schedule to account for parking. Worried about not having enough time on your SpotHero reservation? Worry not! You can enter any time after your reservation starts and leave any time before it ends, and you can extend your reservation through the app if there is inventory available!
3. Be Prepared to Pay an Oversize Fee
If you have a car bigger than a sedan, you may be asked to pay an oversize fee on top of the regular rate. Oversize fees vary by location, but they are generally $10-$20. If you park with SpotHero, you can check the spot details before booking a reservation to see any vehicle fees and restrictions, and many of the facilities we partner with will allow you to pay oversize fees via the app, just enter your vehicle make and model in your account settings or at checkout! Already have the reservation but still not sure of any fees? Don’t worry, all the information will also be listed on the parking pass after purchase. You can also confirm oversize fees and details on-site with an attendant.
4. Be Ready to Tip
NYC parking attendants have a tough job, so if you get great service, tip! The amount is up to you, but generally speaking a $2-$5 tip for a parking valet attendant is common for both drop off and pick up. So that’s $4-$10 total. Everyone likes getting recognized for top-notch service.
5. Keep an Eye on Traffic Patterns
Between one-way streets and unexpected construction and closures, traffic can be tough in New York City. We recommend using Waze. It analyzes traffic and road closures, then suggests the best route to your destination! Even with Waze, we recommend giving yourself more time than you think you need for navigating New York traffic, especially on holidays and for special events.
6. Double-Check the Garage Address
In New York, the address where you drop off your car doesn’t always match where your car is parked; often garages have multiple entrances, or they may list the building address rather than the garage address on their page. When you prepay with SpotHero, the garage entrance will be listed at the top of the parking pass, and we also include photos of what the garage entrance looks like. We also recommend you confirm the garage address with the attendant when dropping off your car to avoid any confusion.
7. Grab Everything You Need
Most valet garages do not have in and out privileges, meaning you cannot leave and re-enter during your reservation timeframe. You also won’t be able to get back into your car to retrieve anything you might have forgotten! Triple-check to make sure you take your valuables with you, especially if you have a multi-day reservation. Plan ahead and grab everything you might need before you hand over the keys!
Have questions about SpotHero? Give our customer heroes a call at: (844)324-7768, they are available 6am to 11pm CT 7 days a week and are happy to help!