Best Parking Apps to Save Time and Money

If you live or work in a bustling city, or if you've ever driven a car as a visitor in one, you probably know what a struggle it can be to find a parking spot. Local drivers have an advantage because they're familiar with traffic patterns, parking rules and regulations, construction issues, meter charges, and more. Thankfully, mobile apps can help reduce the stress of parking.

Ranging from the simple spot-finding app to the highly customized, city-specific, all-inclusive parking experience, there's likely to be an app to suit your parking needs. After reading this list, you may soon find yourself looking forward to hopping behind the wheel and driving into the city. 

Best Parking

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Best Parking 

BestParking received the highest user reviews on the list, likely for its straightforward interface and simply stated goal—to find and reserve parking cheaply. The main draw of BestParking is ease of use; once you enter your destination into the app, you can see nearby spots and compare rates. After selecting the cheapest (or closest) option, a simple click can retrieve turn-by-turn directions to help you find your parking spot. While it started as a small airport parking finder, today BestParking's developer boasts over 40 million users in almost every major city in the U.S. 

The app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone/iPad at the App Store.

Parker

Parker screen displayed on handheld device
Parker

Parker utilizes their own branded GPS technology to scout for available parking spots in lots, garages, and street-side based on your location. Since it operates in real time, you'll have access to information that other drivers can only discover by driving around. After Parker's navigation system guides you to an available spot, it senses when you've parked (or you can manually save the location), to ensure walking directions back to your car when you're ready to leave.

Parker partners with multiple mobile payment apps to allow for a seamless payment process.

The app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone at the App Store.

SpotHero

Spot Hero screen displayed on handheld device
SpotHero 

If you prefer to park in a garage rather than on the street, SpotHero allows you to comparison-shop for spots at one of their 4,500 partner garages. Once you find the perfect spot, the app offers deep discounts of up to 50%. The strategy behind the business is what put SpotHero on the map: They buy up unsold spots at monthly lots and garages at a discounted rate, and pass savings on to the user. If there’s a spot you want to come back to again and again, you can even prepay and reserve it for the future

The app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone/iPad at the App Store.

ParkWhiz

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ParkWhiz 

ParkWhiz contracts with garages, lots, and venues in over 300 cities to purchase unused spots at a discount. ParkWhiz offers the best benefits to drivers who can plan far in advance; if you book for the month or the season ahead of time, you can save up to 60% compared to what you'd pay without the app. If customer service is important to you, ParkWhiz touts live customer service professionals on their phone or text line—a rare and notable bonus in the current automated app landscape.

The app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone/iPad at the App Store.

Parkopedia

Parkopedia screen displayed on handheld device
Parkopedia 

Parkopedia might be the most ambitious app on the list—it aims to list "every parking space in the world." Indeed, at last count it featured over 70 million parking spots internationally, and counting. Though you can't pay for parking directly through the app, it's worth checking out if you're a jet-setter, or if you're planning a cross country or transnational road trip.

There's one more unique feature to add to Parkopedia's roster: It was designed for iPad, which means a larger interface and more robust tools, handy for a traveler or trip-planner.

The basic version of the app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone/iPad at the App Store. With a premium upgrade of $4.99, you can access more refined search filters and real-time parking information.

ParkMe

ParkMe screen displayed on handheld device
ParkMe 

ParkMe doesn't have the best ratings overall, but it has one unique feature that many users swear by—it tracks your expiring meter with a built-in timer. If you're the type of person who needs a reminder, the stress of a countdown may be worth the money and hassle you'd otherwise spend on parking tickets. In addition to finding last-minute deals, you can reserve in advance at their partner garages in over 500 cities as well. 

The app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone/iPad at the App Store.

Airport Parking Reservations

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Airport Parking Reservations

Airport Parking Reservations won’t help once you stray too far from the terminal, but if you're searching for parking before your flight out of Canada, the U.K., or the U.S., this app may save you up to 70% compared to airport pricing. It was rebranded as "PreFlight" for desktop and for Apple products, but with the same functionality.

The app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone/iPad at the App Store.

ParkMobile

Parkmobile screen displayed on handheld device

ParkMobile 

ParkMobile is similar to many parking-spot finder apps in terms of searching, navigating, and making reservations, but with a slightly different angle. It aims to replace the traditional parking meter. Rather than use your card or coins in random meters, you can set up a pay account in the app, match it to up to five cars in your household, and pay directly from your phone. You can also extend a parking session in real time, which may come in handy if, for instance, you're at a sporting event and don't want to leave the stadium to load the meter. For the budget-savvy, the app also tracks your parking expenses in a detailed history.

ParkMobile is not just for urban areas—you'll find parking in university towns, near sporting arenas, close to transit hubs, and near airports. 

The app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone/iPad at the App Store.

SpotAngels

SpotAngels screen displayed on handheld device

SpotAngels

SpotAngels relies on crowdsourced information to deliver a wealth of handy tips, tricks, and functions in one simple platform. You can find free parking, reserve and pay for spots in paid lots or garages, look up street cleaning schedules, pay meters by the minute, and locate your car if you've already parked and find yourself roaming around an unfamiliar city. You can even join the community as a fellow parking angel to share parking information about your hometown.

The basic version of this app is available for free for Android at Google Play and for iPhone at the App Store. For different levels of upgrade fees, you can download SpotAngels Plus, which opens bonus features based on your locale, such as restaurant recommendations, events calendars, and reviews of local services close to your parking spot.