The US Parking Report – Best & Worst US Cities

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Dec 01, 2022

The Best and Worst Cities in the US for Parking

Traveling in an unfamiliar city can bring all kinds of stress, from navigating directions to getting to grips with different speed regulations. There’s also the grueling task of finding a parking spot that isn’t going to cost a fortune and will keep your vehicle secure.

We want to explore the best parking options in popular US cities, by looking into the most affordable and secure car parks. We will also explore accessible parking with amenities such as valet parking, EV charging and the top-rated options for each city.

By using a reliable parking source, we will be able to delve into popular US cities to find reliable parking for drivers. So, buckle your seatbelts as we commence the best and worst cities in the US for parking.

Before we start, we would like to remind you that here at Zutobi, we have built an all-in-one app with everything you need for your Driving Theory Prep.

The Cities with the Best Availability for Parking

To make your scouring for a parking spot a little easier, we delved into available car parks for each below US city.

We have ranked each city on 8 important factors ranging from car park amenities to customer reviews and the ever-important pricing. A full list of factors included in the ranking can be found in the methodology. Cities were ranked based on a normalized score calculated by combining their scores on each of our 8 factors.

1 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Car Parks Score: 8.06

Scoring in first place for its car park availability is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The city, which is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, is known for its famous breweries and the Major League Brewers. Milwaukee is a popular destination for tourists, so transport and secure parking are important factors for this city.

Milwaukee offers accessible parking, with 23 wheelchair-accessible parks in the city, as well as 15 car parks that are covered for extra security while you are exploring. The city also has affordability for parking, with the lowest price being $4 for 3 hours of parking.

2 – Miami, Florida

Car Parks Score: 7.78

In second place for the best car park availability is Miami, Florida. Miami attracts millions of visitors every year, and in 2020, it was reported that there were over 15 million licensed drivers in Florida. The city of Miami has a lot of top-rated car parks, despite its smaller size compared to other cities (0.31 per mi²), and has 21 self-park car parks.

3 – Oakland, California

Car Parks Score: 7.76

In third place for the best car park availability is Oakland, California, the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California. Oakland has a total of 28 self-parking car parks, and 20 wheelchair-accessible car parks. The city also has a great selection of ‘excellent’ rated car parks (0.29 per mi²).

The Cities with the Most Accessible Car Parks

Wheelchair accessibility is essential for some customers and makes a roadtrip much easier for people with disabilities. Here are the cities with the most accessible wheelchair access car parks:

1 – New York City, New York

Number of Wheelchair Accessible Car Parks: 57

New York had far more wheelchair accessible car parks than any other of our cities, with a total of 57 accessible parks.

2 – Denver, Colorado

Number of Wheelchair Accessible Car Parks: 28

In second place for its wheelchair accessibility, is Denver in Colorado’s car parks. The city has 28 wheelchair car parks.

3 – San Francisco, California

Number of Wheelchair Accessible Car Parks: 25

San Francisco, California had the third highest number of wheelchair accessible car parks, with a total of 25 in the city.

The Cities with the Most EV Charging Car Parks

The revelation of electric vehicles has allowed drivers to make a greener choice when it comes to their CO2 footprint. But how are communities responding to a greater amount of EVs on the road? We wanted to find the cities with the most EV charging car parks:

1 – Chicago, Illinois

Number of EV Charging Car Parks: 13

Chicago had the highest number of EV Charging facility car parks in its city. A total of 13 car parks are EV charging friendly.

2 – Los Angeles, California

Number of EV Charging Car Parks: 8

Los Angeles had the second highest number of EV charging car parks with a total of 8 in the city which are EV charging friendly.

3 – New York City, New York

Number of EV Charging Car Parks: 6

New York City fell behind Chicago and Los Angeles for its EV charging car parks, with a total of just 6 in the city.

The Cities with the Most Valet Car Parks

Car park valeting allows shoppers and visitors a service to fit in with their lifestyle, a convenient hand car wash and valeting operation located within the car park of their local shopping center or store. Here are the cities with the most valet parking:

1 – San Francisco, California

Number of Valet Car Parks: 21

San Francisco, California, had a total of 21 valet car parks in the city. San Francisco’s many shopping malls and restaurants offer valet parking.

2 – Washington, District of Columbia

Number of Valet Car Parks: 19

Washington DC had the second highest number of valet amenities, with a total of 19 valet car parks.

3 – Newark, New Jersey

Number of Valet Car Parks: 17

Newark, New Jersey had the third highest number of valet parks, with a total of 17 in the city allowing customers to have their car washed while they shop.

The Cities with the Most Covered Car Parks

Security is a huge concern for many drivers, especially when visiting a city for the first time. Car parks that are covered tend to attract less thieves, while also protecting your vehicle from bad weather. These are the cities with the most covered car parks:

1 – New York City, New York

Number of Covered Car Parks: 86

New York city had the highest number of covered garages for car parking in its city, with a total of 86 car parks. Visitors can be rest assured that their vehicle is safe while enjoying some shopping or touring the sights.

2 – Boston, Massachusetts

Number of Covered Car Parks: 29

Boston, Massachusetts had the second best availability of covered car parks, with a total of 29 in the city.

3 – Washington, DC

Number of Covered Car Parks: 29

In joint second place with Boston, is Washington, for its availability of covered car parks. The city has a great availability of 29 covered car parks.

The Cities with the Most Uncovered Lot Car Parks

Some cities had more uncovered parking than others. These are the cities with the most uncovered lot parking:

1 – Columbus, Ohio

Number of Uncovered Lot Car Parks: 24

Columbus, Ohio had the most uncovered lot parking, with a total of 24 car parks.

2 – Newark, New Jersey

Number of Uncovered Lot Car Parks: 22

Newark, New Jersey had a total of 22 uncovered lot car parks.

3 – Sacramento, California

Number of Uncovered Lot Car Parks: 22

Sacramento, California tied with Newark with a total of 22 uncovered lot car parks.

The Cities with the Most Top-Rated Car Parks

Some people prefer not to skimp on parking spots, to make sure their cars are secure and out of reach from thieves, and rightly so. We want to delve into the top-rated car parks from visitors who have used the car parks before and were satisfied.

1 – Boston, Massachusetts

Total ‘Excellent’ Car Parks per mi²: 0.56

Boston, Massachusetts, had the most top-rated car parks on our list of US cities. The cultural city of Boston has a rich history and attracts tourists from all over the country and beyond. Boston has 27 car parks rated ‘excellent’, despite its small size (0.56 per mi²).

2 – Jersey City, New Jersey

Total ‘Excellent’ Car Parks per mi²: 0.39

Jersey City, New Jersey scored in second place for its top-rated car parks. Probably the most recognized features of Jersey City are its historical points of interest, and it has no shortage of fun things to do. Jersey City has 21 car parks rated ‘excellent’ which means there are 0.39 per mi².

3 – Washington, District of Columbia

Total ‘Excellent’ Car Parks per mi²: 0.34

Washington, in the District of Columbia, scored third place for its top-rated car parks. The capital of the US has great parking options. Washington also has 21 car parks rated ‘excellent’ but is slightly larger than Jersey City (0.34 per mi².)

The Cheapest Cities for Parking

Everybody knows that running a car isn’t cheap, so why would you want to splash the cash on expensive car parking? There are plenty of affordable car parks in each city, but which cities have the cheapest price for a three-hour stay? Here are our results:

1 – Cleveland, Ohio

Lowest Price for 3 Hours of Parking: $1.50

We found that Cleveland, Ohio, had the cheapest price for three hours of car parking, priced at just $1.50. Although Cleveland is the third-largest city in Ohio, it’s among one of the cheapest metropolitan areas to live in, which could be why parking is so cheap.

2 – Dallas, Texas

Lowest Price for 3 Hours of Parking: $2

Dallas in Texas was the second cheapest city to park in for three hours, priced at just $2. It was reported that Dallas’ cost of living is cheaper than other cities in the US.

3 – Indianapolis, Indiana

Lowest Price for 3 Hours of Parking: $2

In joint second place with Dallas, Indianapolis has very affordable parking options, with the lowest rate being $2 for three hours of parking. Despite Indianapolis being Indiana’s capital city, it is one of the most affordable cities in the country.

The Most Expensive Cities for Parking

Some cities are going to cost more for parking, particularly if it’s a tourist hotspot or the cost of living for residents in the city is higher. So, on the flip side, here are the most expensive cities for parking:

1 – New York City, New York

Lowest Price for 3 Hours of Parking: $21

New York is notorious for being a pricey city in terms of accommodation, restaurants and transport. So, it’s no surprise that it is the priciest city on our list for car parking. For just three hours of parking, the cheapest price we found was $21, which is likely to hike up even more on weekends.

2 – Boston, Massachusetts

Lowest Price for 3 Hours of Parking: $18

The cultural city of Boston is among the most expensive cities in the US, according to Numbeo’s cost of living index. Drivers in the city should expect to pay more for parking than others, and although it is cheaper than in New York, there’s not a huge difference. Parking in Boston for three hours costs $18, and that’s the cheapest fee we could find.

3 – Denver, Colorado

Lowest Price for 3 Hours of Parking: $16

Denver is the capital and most populous city in the state of Colorado, and research has shown that it ranks among the top 4% of the most expensive cities in the world. The cost of living in Denver is 4% higher than the state average and 12% higher than the national average. Drivers should expect to pay more for parking in the city, as the cheapest parking cost for a three-hour stay was $16.

The Cities with the Least Accessible Car Parks

These cities, unfortunately, failed to provide car parks for those using a wheelchair. These are the cities with the least amount of accessible car parks:

Our least wheelchair-accessible car park cities made up a grand total of 10 cities, including Long Beach, Omaha, Norfolk, Tucson, Kansas City, Scottsdale, Santa Ana, Colorado Springs, Toledo, and El Paso, all of which had 0 wheelchair-accessible car parks.

The Cities with the Least EV Charging Car Parks

Some cities failed to provide car parks with electric vehicle charging facilities. These are the cities with the least EV charging car parks:

Our least EV-charging car park cities made up a grand total of 10 cities, including Detroit, San Francisco, Nashville, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, Austin, and San Diego, all of which had 0 car parks with EV charging facilities.

The Cities with the Least Valet Car Parks

These cities had the lowest amount of valet car parks in the area:

The cities with the least valet facility car parks made up a grand total of 10 cities, including Atlanta, Phoenix, Memphis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Sacramento, Lexington, Richmond and Buffalo, which all had 0 valet parking options.

The Cities with the Least Covered Car Parks

We will now look into the cities with the least covered car parks in the area.

The cities with the least covered car parks made up a grand total of 10 cities, including Buffalo, Tulsa, Omaha, Riverside, Tucson, Baton Rouge, Reno, Kansas City and Raleigh, all of which had 0 options for covered garage parking.

The Cities with the Least Uncovered Lot Car Parks

These cities had the lowest number of uncovered lot car parks:

The cities with the least uncovered lot car parks were Long Beach, Glendale and Hialeah, all of which had 0 uncovered lot car parks.

Methodology

We started by taking a list of World Population Review’s Largest Cities in the US.

After collecting a list of cities, we used SpotHero to find parking for each city, removing any cities that didn’t have parking data available. Using the website filters, we were able to find the cheapest parking listed. Using the generic time frame of 8.30 am to 11.30 am, we were able to find parking prices. This data is accurate as of 28/09/2022.

We then used the website filters to find out which amenities were available for the city’s car parks. We repeated this process for every city until we had a full set of data for each city.

We counted the number of ‘excellent’ rated car parks for each city, to find the top-rated car parks. For a more accurate result, we found the total area (mi²) of the city, and then divided the number of ‘excellent’ car parks by the total area.

Each city was rated on 8 factors for car park availability: Lowest Price for Hourly Parking, Self-Park availability, Valet availability, how many Garage or Covered car parks are available, how many Lots or Uncovered parks are available, Wheelchair Accessibility, EV Charging availability, and the Total ‘Excellent’ Car Parks per mi².

We were then able to rank each city by each factor, giving each a normalized score out of 10 before taking an average of all of these scores to give us the final Car Park Score.

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