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Categories: Philadelphia Parking

The Complete Guide to Philadelphia Street Parking

The Philadelphia Parking Authority monitors thousands of metered street parking spaces in the city, as well as neighborhood parking spaces. Here’s how to find the spot you want near your destination without leaving with a pesky parking ticket.

How to Find the Best Cheap Parking in Philadelphia:

Pay attention to time limits and parking regulations to avoid expensive tickets. Philly has a nationally renowned public transit system, but even if you’re taking the subway you still need to know where to park. Here are some of Philly’s street parking rules to help you find the spot nearest your destination:

  • Loading Zones: Park here for free for up to 20 minutes. You don’t need to leave your flashers on, stay in your car, or pay at the parking kiosk. Just make sure it’s not a ‘Passenger Loading Zone,’ which only allows up to 20 minutes of free parking and you must remain in your car the entire time.
  • Special Parking Rules for Residents: Get yourself a zone parking permit, which allows you to park in your district for longer than the 2-hour restriction posted on neighborhood signs.
  • Pay $25 on Moving Day to Secure Parking All Day Long: With three days notice, you can reserve a parking space if you or a friend are moving to a new location. You can rent up to 40 feet of space in front of your new dwelling
  • Say, “Rescission!” If You See the Parking Official Writing You a Ticket: No, it’s not a magic spell. It’s a law. If your ticket hasn’t been printed and the parking enforcement is feeling generous, you should get a free pass.
  • Prepay the Meter: If you park at a metered 2-hour parking spot at 7 AM but the meter doesn’t begin recording until 8 AM, you won’t need to move your car until 10.
  • Still time left on that meter you paid? You feed the kiosk based on your license plate, not your location. Feel free to change parking locations if you still have time left.
  • Already have a ticket? No need to go to the courthouse because you can actually contest it online.
  • Looking for free parking in Philly? Check out this guide.

Street Parking in Philly:

Here’s how to read the parking signs you’ll come across while parking in the city:

Green Section: This section indicates that parking is allowed. Only park on blocks with signs that have a green section.

Red Section: This section of the sign indicates when you can’t park there. Look out for no stopping or standing signs – and move your car quick!

Hour Restrictions: Only park for the number of hours allowed on the sign. Keep in mind that some parking spaces have two hour limits for parts of the day, but become three hour parking after a certain time. If you park in a space outside of the monitored hours, you can even park overnight.

Parking Regulations:

No Standing: You’re not allowed to even idle your car in this space.

No Standing and No Parking: No parking means you can’t park and walk away, and no standing means you can’t sit in your car and idle.

No Stopping: Do not stop in this space at all or you risk a ticket.

Rush Hour: Pay special attention to parking signs during rush hour. If you park in a No Parking Zone at this time, your car will be ticketed and towed.

Parking Downtown:

Your best bet parking downtown, if you don’t want to pay a meter, will be to travel a little farther towards the outskirts of the city. Otherwise, there is plenty of metered and garage parking downtown. Use this map to find the best spots near you or book a garage space ahead of time!

How does overnight parking work?

If you park in a metered space that is only monitored until a certain time, you’re able to park there overnight. The same goes for restricted parking in residential areas. Just make sure that when your two hours is up the next morning, you’ve moved your car to another spot.

What’s the cost of a parking ticket?

Here’s a list of Philly’s most common parking tickets and their costs.

Parking ViolationNon Center City &University City AreasCenter City & University City
Parked on Bridge, Viaduct, Tunnel Or Underpass$26.00$26.00
Parked in Bus Stop$51.00$76.00
Parked In School Zone$36.00$36.00
Stop Prohibited$51.00$76.00
Moved Vehicle To Prohibited Area$26.00$26.00
Displaying Vehicle For Sale On Roadway$301.00$301.00
Commercial Washing Or Repairing Vehicle On Roadway$301.00$301.00
Disobey Signs – Stopping, Standing, Parking$51.00$76.00
Disobey Signs – Standing, Parking$51.00$76.00
No Parking Street Cleaning$31.00$31.00
Loading Zone$31.00$51.00
Parked In Taxi Stand$31.00$31.00
Double Parked$51.00$76.00
On Sidewalk$51.00$76.00
Stopped Within Intersection$51.00$76.00
In Crosswalk$51.00$76.00
Stopped In Safety Zone$51.00$76.00
Disobey Sign -Stopping Prohibited$51.00$76.00
Parked Blocking Ramp For People With Disabilities$76.00$76.00
Blocking Driveway$51.00$76.00
Fire Hydrant$76.00$76.00
Too Close to Corner$51.00$76.00
Obstructing Streetcar$41.00$41.00
Parked On Limited Access Highway$101.00$101.00
Disobey Signs – Prohibited Standing$51.00$76.00
Parking Prohibited$41.00$51.00
No Parking Valet Zone$31.00$31.00
Overtime Valet Zone$101.00$101.00
Parked In Unmetered Space$26.00$36.00
Parked Improperly At Meter$26.00$26.00
Improper Motorcycle Parking$26.00$26.00
Expired Meter$26.00$36.00
Damage Parking Meter$301.00$301.00
Parked In Space For People With Disabilities$301.00$301.00
Abandoned Vehicle$301.00$301.00
Illegally Placed Ticket$51.00$51.00
Parked on Grass$101.00$101.00
Parking Snow Route$51.00$51.00

Towed or booted car? This is what to do!

If your car has been towed or booted, call 1-888-591-3636 to confirm it. They’ll be able to tell you exactly where your vehicle was taken. To retrieve your car, you’ll need to pay all outstanding parking tickets. Then, arrive at the impound lot with your driver’s license, proof of current insurance and vehicle registration, and a cashier’s receipt for the cost of the tow and storage charges.

Philadelphia Parking Holidays

Parking HolidayDate
New Year’s DayJanuary 1
Martin Luther King Jr. DayThird Monday of January
Easter SundayApril 21
Memorial DayLast Monday of May
Labor DayFirst Monday in September
ThanksgivingThird Thursday of November
Christmas DayDecember 25
Holiday ParkingSaturdays after 11AM from Thanksgiving to the New  Year

View Map of Philadelphia Street Parking