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Published May 8th 2012
You know the scenario. Friday night, 6.50pm. You're running late for the show / movie / restaurant booking, it's raining, and you're driving around the city streets looking for an elusive free parking spot. You finally realise that the chances of finding one are about as good as Matthew Newton giving up the booze so you head into the bright lights of the nearest parking station to find that the price of parking convenience in Brisbane remains very steep indeed.
The fourth annual Colliers International Global CBD Parking Rate Survey in 2011 found that daily parking rates in Brisbane had risen much more than inflation in the previous year - 10% for parking compared to the CPI of 3.8%, making Brisbane the 14th most expensive city in the world to park, even ahead of New York and Paris. But look on the bright side - it's better than Melbourne (ranked 3rd) and Sydney (4th).
Metered Parking Finding out the cost of parking can be quite tricky because you're not always comparing apples with apples. If you want metered parking which, although elusive, is usually a much cheaper option than a parking station, the cost will depend on which Brisbane City Council Regulated Parking Zone you're in. You can download the map here and check out the regulated fees here. Curiously it appears that the Zone 1 CBD area (the most expensive) extends over the river to Grey Street at the popular South Bank region, not normally considered part of the CBD by most people. The costs for Zone 1 vary depending on the meter type and the day you're parking but can be capped at either $6 or $10 for a full day's parking between 7am and 7pm.
CarParking.info and Apps A new player in the parking game is CarParking.info. At this website you can input information about your destination and proposed arrival and departure times. It will then compare the costs of nearby parking stations and how far they are from your destination, allowing you to make a decision based on both price and convenience. You can also download their free Cheap Parking App at either the iTunes App Store or Android Market.
Bargains and possible traps If you're visiting South Bank or you don't mind the pleasant walk to the city over the river via Victoria Bridge or the Goodwill Bridge then South Bank offers some parking deals. They include $2 early morning breakfast parking or weekday lunch specials where you can park for only $8 if you enter after 11.30am and leave before 2.30pm.
You can get free parking if you're quick at Wilson Parking's Waterfront Place. It's free for less than one hour but beware. If you overstay your welcome, even by a minute, the cost jumps to a whopping $40 for between one and two hours.
Over To You The key to cheap parking in Brisbane, as in any other city, is to know your enemy and plan. A bit of research before you head out to that brilliant event or restaurant you just found out about on Weekend Notes can really pay off. We'd also like your help. If you know of any parking bargains then please share them with our readers in the comments below.
The cheapest parking I have found is at Kangaroo Point. It's free. Much of the onstreet parking around the eastern side of Kangaroo Point is free and unlimited. All you need to do is park and then walk into the CBD across the Story Bridge, or catch the Holman Street cross river ferry. Finding a space can be a challenge weekdays as the secret is already out.
Travellers Hotel at Roma Street transit centre has much cheaper parking, but you must join secure a spot. Then with Early bird access, 6 - 9.30am entry, and after 2.00pm exit it only costs $17.00 to park.
Book your parking online and pay half. Week nights and all day weekends, you can pay just $5 to park in selected Secure Parking locations. It's VERY simple! Once you pay (online), you get a 4-digit PIN that you enter on the keypad as you enter the carpark and then as you leave.
Movie & parking at myer centre - enter after 130pm & park for $5 M-F & all day Sat-Sun- validate parking ticket at cinema - I often just buy a ticket with the cinebuzz card even if I don't go to the movie, at a total of about $13.50 , still cheaper than parking anywhere else. Just take notice of which lifts( they are numbered)you choose or you won't find your car!