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Denver Parking Guide: Rules and Tips for Parking in the City 

  • City Parking
  • Celine Jerly
  • 7 minutes

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Apart from overnight metered parking, Denver parking rules won’t surprise you much. Street parking is pretty straightforward, and garage spaces are comparatively affordable. However, even in the walkable downtown area, you’ll find plenty of cars on the roads. So, here is everything you need to know about parking in Denver CO to save time and money.    

Exploring the Mile High City by car is the best way to experience its outdoorsy vibe. Though Denver fares well in walkability and public transportation, getting around by car is still better. The traffic is mostly fuss-free, and the streets are set out to keep your drive easy-breezy. Public parking is also managed well; smart meters have improved street parking in the city and even paved the way for an overnight parking program. However, Denver’s recent spike in car theft rates raises safety concerns.   

Off-street parking costs are higher than meter rates, but Denver parking lots and garages guarantee your car’s safety any time of the day. Besides, a garage space will usually cost a lot lesser than a parking ticket. In busy neighborhoods like downtown, pre-booking a garage space is cheaper due to the higher demand for drive-up parking. Overall, finding affordable off-street parking in Denver is easier online, with parking apps and websites offering the lowest rates anywhere in the city.   

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Before you start worrying about finding the right parking spot for your car, brush up on these Denver parking rules and tips to save yourself from expensive parking tickets and garage rates.   

Street Parking  

Street parking in Denver CO is managed by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI). There are plenty of metered and free parking spots across the city, with varying rates and time limits.  

Parking time limits and other restrictions are usually posted on each street. However, here are a few common Denver parking rules you must always be aware of:  

  • When the maximum parking time limit is up, you must move your car at least 100 feet.  
  • Park within 18 inches of the curb and face the direction of traffic flow.   
  • Do not park in any way that obstructs driveways or alleys, fire hydrants, or crosswalks.  

Check the complete list of street parking rules here.  

How much does street parking in Denver cost?  

At the beginning of 2022, the meter parking rate in Denver was doubled from $1/hour after almost two decades. Current meter rates and maximum parking time limits are posted on each meter or kiosk. Smart meters across the city accept payment by phone, credit/debit cards, coins, and pre-paid Smart Cards for $5 – $100.  

Is parking free on Sundays in Denver?  

Street parking is free on Sundays in Denver. New Year’s Day, MLK Day, Presidents Day, Cesar Chavez Day, Memorial, 4th of July, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day are also meter holidays in the city.  

Overnight Parking Program  

24-hour metered street parking is available in Denver’s Central Business District. With new smart meter technology and revamped nightly street sweeping schedule, the city allows overnight parking on downtown streets from 10 pm.   

Check out this Denver parking meter map to find overnight street parking in downtown Denver.   

How much is overnight parking in Denver?  

The hourly meter rate for parking between 10 pm and 2 am is $1. From 2 am to 6 am, the rate reduces to 50 cents an hour. Parking between 6 am – 8 am is free of cost. In total, you can park overnight at the same metered spot from 10 pm to 8 am for $6.   

How long can I park overnight on the streets?  

The two-hour maximum time limit for street parking is not applicable on metered overnight parking in downtown Denver. You don’t have to move your car 100 feet every two hours, between 10 pm and 8 am.   

Cars parked on the street at night

Are there street sweeping restrictions on overnight parking in Denver?  

When using metered overnight Denver parking meters, make sure to check for street sweeping restrictions. To allow nightly street cleaning, only one side of the street is available for overnight parking from Monday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can park overnight on both sides of the metered streets.   

What time is street sweeping in Denver?  

Residential streets in Denver are cleaned monthly, from April to November. Check red and white signs posted on each block for the street sweeping schedule. Each side of the street may be cleaned on different days; parking restrictions are applied only on the side being cleaned. Sign up for email or text reminders to avoid a street-sweeping parking violation.  

Accessible Parking Program  

Denver’s Accessible Parking Program provides special parking privileges to people with disabilities. Cars with a valid disability placard, hangtag, or license plate may park at the reserved spots. Metered street parking is also free for these vehicles for up to four consecutive hours.   

Denver Parking Permits  

Residential Parking Permits exempt your car from the maximum parking time limit posted. However, this is only applicable to the block you reside in. Permit holders are not exempted from any other Denver parking rules like street sweeping restrictions, No-parking zones, or metered parking. Student and temporary residential parking permits are also available. You can apply online, by mail, or in person.  

Parking Tickets and Fines  

Stay updated on all parking rules to avoid the extra expense of paying off citations. Even when you are familiar with a street, check posted signs for any temporary restrictions or changes in rules. Keep an eye on DOTI updates – you can sign up for street sweeping alerts and check the official website to know more about parking rules.   

What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket in Denver?  

DOTI will issue a seizure warning if you have three or more outstanding tickets, and your car may be booted. The boot will be removed only after paying all outstanding fines plus a $100 boot fee. If the payment isn’t settled within 72 hours, except during weekends and holidays, your vehicle will be considered abandoned. The car will be towed to impound and only released after paying an additional $100 tow fee.   

Off-Street Parking  

While street parking is cheaper and convenient, safety and time restrictions could make it unreliable. Denver parking lots and garages are affordable to a great extent. Finding cheap off-street parking in downtown Denver could be the only challenge. But on the bright side, walking is a great way to get around the city center attractions. So, you can drive downtown, leave your car at a secure garage, and enjoy your day.   

Public parking lot in Denver

DOTI operates multiple Denver public parking garages and surface lots in the city. Plenty of privately-owned parking spaces are also available near the most-visited neighborhoods.   

Public Parking Lots   

There are seven surface lots in Denver operated by the DOTI. Three of these are close to the 16th Street Mall. There are three DOTI lots near Civic Center Park and one near Coors Field. These 24×7 parking facilities are managed by professional parking companies. Non-event parking costs $3 – $12, while event parking rates usually vary from $5 to $12; Monthly parking is also available at these lots. Free parking, in/out privileges, and oversized vehicles are not allowed.   

Public Parking Garages  

There are three public parking garages in Denver: the Cultural Center Complex Garage, The Denver Justice Center Parking Garage, and the Denver Performing Arts Complex Garage. The Cultural Center garage is open from 4 am to 11 pm daily, while the other two are 24×7 parking facilities. Non-event parking rates range from $3 – $10, but these rates are subject to change as per demand. A special event rate of $5 – $20 will be applicable during events at any of these locations.   

Other Off-Street Parking Facilities  

Self-parking at Denver parking lots and garages costs $4 – $24 on average, while valet parking will cost you around $30 a day at well-maintained garages. Monthly parking rates fall within $100 – $300; parking in downtown Denver will cost you a minimum of $150 per month.   

Off-street parking facilities in Denver are the best choice for stress-free parking anywhere in the city. If affordability is holding you back, pre-book a spot using a Denver parking app like Way.com for the lowest rates. Parking in downtown Denver sees the highest demand, and naturally, the rates are also high around the Central Business District. However, secure garage spaces are available for as low as $10 a day online.   

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Read more blogs on affordable airport parking, the best insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


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