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All you need to know about overnight parking in Chicago

  • City Parking
  • Celine Jerly
  • 5 minutes

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Overnight parking in Chicago can leave you sleepless if you have not yet figured out the jumble of rules and regulations. Before you place all your trust on free street parking or splurge on a premium garage space, find out how to make it easier, safer, and cheaper to park overnight in Chicago.    

Chicago is keeping its spot on the list of worst cities for parking. There are over 36K metered spots plus free street parking and a growing number of off-street parking facilities in the city. Yet, Chicagoans can’t take a break from parking troubles.

If you are new to the city or just visiting, some of the bizarre rules like the ‘Dibs system’ can get on your nerves. Chicago parking rates in busy neighborhoods like downtown do not make matters any better. You can also add residential parking permits, winter parking rules, and irregular time restrictions to the Chicago parking nightmare.   

Find affordable overnight parking in Chicago

With most parking meters clocking out by evening, overnight street parking might look easier. But don’t fall for it before you have a good look at Chicago overnight parking rules. If you are staying at a hotel, check up on complimentary parking. If it’s not complimentary, it’s likely expensive, and you’d be better off booking an affordable parking space nearby. Avoid the risk and stress of leaving your car on the street overnight, and find a secure parking garage in Chicago. It’s not free of charge but will be cheaper than a Chicago parking ticket and towing fee.   

Before looking for an affordable overnight parking garage in Chicago, here’s what you should know about your options.  

Chicago street view at night

Overnight street parking in Chicago  

During the day, street parking in Chicago can cost up to $6.50 per hour. Most free or metered spots come with a two-hour maximum parking time limit. But you’ll have to check the signs to confirm as time restrictions vary from zone to zone.

By 10 pm, parking meters in residential zones are suspended and remain so till 8 am. In the Central Business District, free overnight street parking starts at midnight. Except during peak winter, you can legally park overnight on most streets in Chicago – but looking out for residential permits. Always check posted signs to make sure parking is allowed.  

Overnight street parking in winter

Winters can be worse than parking in Chicago. And street parking during winter comes with an extra set of rules and regulations. The first rule to remember is that parking is prohibited whenever the snowfall is more than 2-inches. Equally important is the overnight street parking ban from December 1 to March 31. Most main streets and few residential streets are out of limits during this season. The snowplows usually pass through these streets between 3 am and 7 am. Find out more about Chicago Winter parking rules here.

Overnight street parking in winter

The key is to keep an eye on the posted signs; snow routes and overnight parking restrictions will be marked. An invisible parking sign covered in snow is not a valid excuse when you need to contest a parking ticket. If your car is found parked on a restricted street, you’ll have to worry about paying a $150 towing fee plus a $20/day storage fee, along with the parking ticket, which will cost you at least $60.   

Call dibs on your parking space

Calling dibs on parking spots is Chicago’s unwritten winter street parking rule. There is no legal backing for this system, but city residents take it seriously, and any dispute can get pretty heated. It’s quite simple – you clear the snow off a parking space and leave a marker to reserve the spot. The marker can be quite random – almost always a chair or a garden ornament. If you find a cleared spot with a random object in the middle, steer clear of it. The last thing you want to add to the Chicago parking nightmare is a fistfight.   

signs at parking garage in Chicago

Affordable overnight parking in Chicago  

Before all these street parking rules confuse you, switch gears to affordable off-street parking in Chicago. Finding secure overnight parking in Chicago is easier when you start your search online.

Driving around looking for a parking spot at the last minute can be tiresome and expensive; drive-up rates will have you spending more. Most parking lots offer special rates and discounts on online reservations. You’ll find the cheapest rates for overnight parking at top-rated Chicago garages on parking apps and websites like Way.com. Look up the best parking deals near you and book a spot right away to save maximum on safe and hassle-free overnight parking in Chicago.  

Best Chicago Overnight Parking Deals

Parking Lot/Location Parking Rate Book a Spot
The Cooper – 720 South Wells $12/12 Hours Book Parking
835 S Wabash $15/12 Hours Book Parking
Millennium Park – 5 S. Columbus Dr $15/12 Hours Book Parking
Grant Park North $17/12 Hours Book Parking
One Eleven West Wacker $12/12 Hours Book Parking
North Harbor Tower $9/12 Hours Book Parking

Also See – What is the best way to find cheap parking in Chicago?

Don’t let parking leave you in a tight spot – the Way out is right here on your phone! Book the best parking spots anywhere in the city at unbelievably cheap rates.  

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