I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published June 4th 2012
Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes". But he was living before the advent of the parking station so I think we can safely add the high cost of parking to his list of certainties. I bet Ben would be more shocked by today's parking prices than any of his experiments with electricity, kites and keys.
The fourth annual Colliers International Global CBD Parking Rate Survey in 2011 found that Sydney is the fourth most expensive city in the world to park. It can cost you between $6 and $65 for one hour's parking in Sydney and that's even more expensive than New York, Tokyo, London and Paris. But there is a bright side – it's still better than Melbourne (ranked 3rd).
Finding out the true 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 cheaper option than a parking station, the cost will depend on which City of Sydney Parking Meter Tariff Area you're in. You can download the map including the regulated fees for each area here. The costs for Zone 7 (covering the CBD) vary depending on when you're parking. Rates are $7 per hour between 8am and 6pm or $3 per hour for evenings and weekends.
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.
Secure Parking is a sponsor of the Sydney International Film Festival 2012. They are therefore offering a $10 flat rate to Festival patrons at their 383 Kent Street and Atrium (35 Pitt Street) locations on weekends and evenings for the duration of the festival (6 to 17 June). See details here. Tickets must be validated at the participating theatre or with the parking attendant.
The cheapest city earlybird parking I could find from my research is $14 at Wilson Parking's Darling Quarter at Commonwealth Bank Place. You have to be in before 9.30 am and out between 3.30pm and 7.30pm.
You can get free parking if you're quick at Wilson Parking's St Andrew's House, Kent Street. It's free for less than half an hour but beware. If you overstay your welcome, even by a minute, the cost jumps to $17 for between half an hour and one hour.
Over To You
The key to cheap parking in Sydney, 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.
wouldnt have thought parking at darling quarter would be cheaper than the convention centre parking (which is outrageous) - so thats great to know. The Domain parking at hyde park also has a early bird flat rate.
Lots of cheap Sydney (and Australia wide) car parking can be found athttp://www.ParkingMadeEasy.com.au It's especially good for long term car parking but also for boats, caravans etc if your on holidays.
By far the best parking facility for both cost and service level is Mascot Parking Services & Valet. A unique car parking agency that parks you on residents unused car bays in top security. With capped rates from $55/wk with either a personal driver to take you in your own car or the airport train is next door!