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Posted: 2:08 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Save On Parking In Metro Areas

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


There are a couple of sites that can save you big bucks the next time you need to park in a busy metro area or at an airport.

It's no secret that parking can be very expensive in metro areas. In fact, a tandem spot in Boston recently sold at auction for $560,000!

That's why you have to think outside of the box...

Cheap parking is possible!

ParkWhiz.com is one website that lets you find private parking nearby many popular venues that are put up for bid and offered as deals based on demand and date.

To give you an idea of the savings, I was looking for parking near a popular venue in my hometown. I know the official parking is $30, and I was seeing private parking for $8 to $12. You reserve in advance and save.

ParkingPanda.com is another site I've talked about in the past. Now they're in Albuquerque, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and select airports around the country. With this site, you also rent space in people's garages or driveways and save a lot of money.

A warning about unattended parking lots

There's a scourge going on around the country where you park at an unattended lot, pay the box, and come back to find your car booted or towed. Some parking lot operators don't want to install kiosks that would print out a receipt -- because there's a lot of money to be made from booting and towing your car!

I will not parked in an unattended private lot. I've heard too much bad stuff about them.

But there is one suggestion I have that can help you if you must park in an unattended lot: Take your smartphone and shoot a video of yourself paying the box.

You might also consider printing out some basic slips of paper on your home computer that say "I paid and I videotaped myself paying for it." Then keep these in the glove compartment for times when you have to park at an unattended lot.

Meanwhile, cities where this is a big problem should pass a regulation or ordinance that requires any unattended parking lot to have a kiosk that gives out payment receipts!

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