The cheapest and most expensive U.S. cities to park your car

The folks at Zutobi, a driver-education resources website, did some calling around recently on the topic of parking in U.S. cities — where it’s abundant, where it’s scarce, where it’s cheap, and where it most definitely is not. The results are in some cases not surprising. Boston, an expensive place to live all around, and which was a major city long before there were cars, is an expensive place to park. Cleveland? Park where you like, using pocket change.

If you sense that $20 to park for 3 hours in Boston, or $10 for the same period in Seattle, or $17 in NYC feels a little low, well yeah, it struck us that way, too. But Zutobi’s methodology states that they’ve listed the cheapest parking they could find in each of these downtown locations. So sure, there might be some lonesome little lot where you can get a screaming deal. What’s probably more important than actual dollar figures — and whether you could get such prices in real life — is how these cities stack up against each other.

Most expensive cities for parking (3 hours)

  1. Boston, $20
  2. New York City, $17
  3. Philadelphia, $15
  4. San Francisco, $15
  5. Chicago, $14
  6. Long Beach, $13.50
  7. Washington, $11.95
  8. Buffalo, $11.03
  9. Seattle, $10
  10. Charlotte, $10
  11. Las Vegas, $10

Cheapest U.S. cities for parking (3 hours)

  1. Cleveland, $1.50
  2. Tulsa, $1.63
  3. Houston, $2
  4. El Paso, $2
  5. Memphis, $2.50
  6. Louisville, $2.50
  7. Dallas, $3
  8. Tucson, $3
  9. St. Paul, $3
  10. San Antonio, $3
  11. Scottsdale, $3
  12. Phoenix, $3.50
  13. Colorado Springs, $3.50
  14. Columbus, $4
  15. Milwaukee, $4
  16. Cincinnati, $4

The Zutobi report slices the topic of parking pretty fine. The cost rankings in particular caught our eye, but if you want to know more about parking in general — cities with the most available parking, or the cities where valet parking isn’t that much of a thing, for example — it’s all in there. May good parking karma be with you wherever you go.