The Ultimate Guide to Parking Tickets

Almost every driver has experienced that terribly disappointing feeling: returning to your car, only to spot a ticket on your windshield. We know that no one wants a parking ticket, and getting one can be overwhelming and confusing. SpotHero is here to help with all the questions you have about parking tickets (but were too afraid to ask).

Why are tickets issued?

Parking tickets can be issued for any number of reasons: it could be the car doesn’t have the correct permits to park in the spot, the car was parked at an expired meter, parking too close to a fire hydrant, you can even receive a ticket for parking too far from the curb! 

A good rule of thumb when street parking is to check the curbs; if the curbs are painted red or yellow, it means you cannot park your car there. When you have found a spot and parked, make sure you are within 12 inches of the curb. A good way to check this is to see if you can put your foot in the space between your car and the curb. If your foot has room to spare, consider moving closer to the curb to avoid a ticket.

How Much Do Parking Tickets Cost?

Ticket prices vary depending on what the ticket is for as well as the city issuing them: they can be as little as $15 in some cities, and as much as $250 in others. 

Curious about potential fines? Check your city’s website, they should have a list of parking violations and the corresponding fines. For example, here is a full list of parking violations for the City of Chicago. 

Do Parking Tickets Go on my Record?

That depends. While tickets issued by the city can appear on your driving record, tickets that are issued by private parking lots and garage operators should be discussed directly with the ticket issuer.

Can Parking Tickets Affect My Car Insurance?

While a large number of city-issued tickets can affect insurance rates, it’s very unlikely that a single ticket you receive in a lot or on the street will have any bearing on your insurance rates. Tickets happen sometimes, insurance companies understand that!

I got a parking ticket! What should I do?

Bummer! While getting a ticket is no fun, everything you need to handle your parking ticket is at your fingertips. Parking tickets include detailed instructions about how to resolve them, so be sure to read both sides of the ticket. If anything is unclear, don’t worry, the ticket should also provide a web address with additional details about why it was issued, how to pay it, and how to contest it if applicable. Many cities will also provide a photo of the ticket at the time it was issued in case you lose or damage the paper ticket, as well as photos of the vehicle.

What’s the best way to prevent tickets?

The best way to ensure you don’t have to pay a ticket is to pay careful attention when you’re parking your car. Look at all signs and vehicle restrictions before leaving your car. We recommend taking a photo of posted signs to ensure you have all the information at your fingertips and don’t have to worry about forgetting something!

If you receive a ticket while parking with a SpotHero reservation, don’t hesitate to contact the Customer Heroes, they can investigate and ensure everything is resolved appropriately!