When there is an app for everything from food delivery to dating, why should parking go offline? Don’t miss out on this smart solution that saves time and money. You must have wondered how parking apps work. Why are the rates cheaper online, how to use parking apps, and what is pay-by-app parking? Get the answers to all these queries and more right here.
Parking lots occupy more than 5% of all urban land in the USA – that is eight spots for every car in the country. Yet, most of us often end up driving around in circles looking for a parking space. And when you find one, the steep drive-up rates in some cities make street parking look like the better deal. Don’t fall for it – the risk of a parking ticket will cost you more than a garage space. So, how to make sure you never miss an available parking spot near your destination?
App parking is the name of the game. And if you play it right, you’ll never have trouble finding off-street parking anywhere, any time. First, let’s get acquainted with how parking apps work.
What is a parking app?
At its most basic form, parking apps are smartphone applications that guide you to parking spots available around a particular location. Additional functions that make a parking mobile app better include interactive real-time parking maps, tools to compare various parking facilities, the option to book a parking spot and pay for it online and allow contactless access to a parking lot. Some cities also have the pay-by-app parking option for metered street spots. These apps are useful for remotely feeding the meter and extending your parking duration.
What are the different types of online parking apps?
There are three main types of parking apps:
Navigation Only: Apps that guide you to vacant parking spots, on-street or off-street. Most of these apps have a dynamic map with real-time data on parking space availability. You can rely on these apps to find free street parking, metered streets, or parking lots with vacant spaces.
Online booking: The most common parking app design helps find a parking spot near your destination and pre-book the spot, often at discounted rates. You can compare various parking options in a particular location and check the rates and amenities offered. Once you choose the perfect parking spot for your car, you can reserve it on the app. Generally, you have to pre-pay for the spot to receive a digital receipt. The receipt or confirmation message will then be scanned or checked at the parking lot entrance when you arrive. You need to share your license plate number on some apps, and a sensor will detect the vehicle and permit you to enter the designated lot.
Digital Valets: Apps that provide premium parking services cut down on the time and effort required to find a spot. Pick a time slot and location to get your car picked up, and you are done.
With the introduction of demand-based meter parking and other technology-driven programs, city parking authorities are also adapting to app parking solutions. You’ll find a pay-by-app option for street parking and public parking lots in many big cities.
Why should you use a parking app?
Do you know how many hours Americans spend searching for parking? 17 hours a year! Yes, all the driving around in circles looking for a vacant parking spot adds up to almost a day wasted. But using a parking app, you can save most of this time. Even when it is a last-minute parking hunt, you can quickly browse the available spots near you and instantly book one on an online parking app—no need to drive into the first garage you see and pay the peak price. App parking features help review all options and pick the best deals near you. You can also check how far a parking lot is from your destination and even get driving directions to your guaranteed spot.
Online parking apps offer maximum transparency regarding parking lot rates and rules. No surprise price hikes or updates in parking policy when you arrive at the garage. You can review all necessary details while making the booking and pre-pay the online rate for the spot. Most parking companies have special rates or exclusive discounts on online reservations. Cashless payments also ensure easy contact-free access to your designated spot. Finally, parking apps also assist in efficient parking space management.
How to use parking apps
The best parking apps are user-friendly and quick, which means that you wouldn’t have to ask how it works. When downloading parking apps, look for a simple interface with easy-to-understand functions and a quick booking process. These are the basic steps to follow when using an online parking reservation app:
Search: Enter your destination in the app’s search bar. Most parking mobile apps also ask you to enter your check-in and check-out time to define the number of hours you need parking. You can also choose overnight parking, monthly parking, long-term airport parking, etc., using available filters.
Compare: The search results will display all parking lots with vacant spots during the chosen time frame. Best parking apps like Way.com will also show you details like how far each lot is from your destination. You can now compare all options and pick a spot that best suits your needs and budget.
Book & Pay: Once you have chosen a parking lot, proceed to reserve a spot on the app. You can pay using a credit card or other online payment methods accepted by the app. Some parking apps may also allow cash payment on-site. However, it is best to go cashless for quick access to your parking spot.
Park: Follow driving instructions on the app and arrive at the parking lot as per the check-in time you selected. You’ll have to either get a digital receipt/confirmation message from the app verified by a parking lot staff member or scan it at the entrance to access your designated parking spot. To avoid additional charges, make sure to exit the parking lot.
Are app parking rates cheaper?
Parking rates for online reservations are usually cheaper than drive-up rates. Parking apps often have additional discounts and special offers that help you save more. Using the best parking apps like Way.com can save at least 25% at top-rated city parking lots and garages. You can also purchase parking passes and vouchers on parking apps to reduce your hourly parking costs.
How to find parking apps
You can download parking apps from all major app stores for smartphones. Depending on your specific needs, look for parking apps that serve only your city or multiple cities across the country. Make sure you review all the features available and check the user ratings before downloading a parking app.
Click here to download the Way.com app now and get more than the best parking spots for your car. Find complete solutions for your car’s needs, including insurance, auto refinance, roadside assistance, and car wash in one app.