How To Avoid A Parking Ticket

When I moved to Brooklyn, my car came along with me. Within my first week or so, I was hit with several parking tickets – I even woke up one fine morning to find that my car had been towed. Now, in all honesty, the best way to avoid a parking ticket is to simply not have a car. But certain jobs and lifestyles require one to have an automobile readily available, and this blog post, my friends, is for you.


Survey the area: First, get to know the parking rules in your neighborhood, because this is where you’ll likely be parking most often. Take note that some spots have parking restrictions every day, whereas others require you to move your car only once a week. Find out where you can park at what time, and figure out which areas work best with your schedule.

Read and re-read the sings: This especially comes in handy when you’re parking in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Even if you only plan to park somewhere for ten minutes, read the sign – you may have to move your car in five. Always double- or triple-check the signs, and make sure you know what day it is.


Know the unwritten rules: Some rules are not written on signs – they’re simply meant to be known and understood. And in these cases, ignorance is certainly not bliss. In NYC, don’t park in crosswalks, don’t park in front of garages or driveways, and don’t park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. Seriously.

Don’t think that you’re the exception: Don’t ever make up your own parking spot, even if it’s just for three minutes. I’m not going to say I’ve never done it in the past… in New York though? Nooo way. The law enforcement here is on it – and you must know that you will be reprimanded.

Set alarms: This is truly the most helpful rule of all. Every single time you park your car, set a reminder in your phone. Oftentimes, even when we’re sure we’ll remember, something ends up getting crazy in our lives, and we forget to move the darn car. I like to put the reminder in my phone as an event. I label it “MOVE CAR”, set the time to 30 minutes prior to the actual move time, and include the current location. This way, I’ll never forget where I parked. Just in case you forget to set this event, it’s even helpful to set a recurring nightly reminder to check if you know where your car is. This might sound excessive, but honestly, it’s worth it.


Avoid non-parking tickets: Parking tickets aren’t the only kinds of tickets brought about by having a car. Make sure you know when your inspection is due, as well as when your registration needs to be renewed. Set alarms in your phone a few weeks prior to these due dates, and be certain to get them taken care of. Also, always follow the rules of the road… obviously. Don’t speed, don’t text and drive, don’t tweet and drive, don’t Instagram and drive, don’t even read the BLDG 25 Blog and drive. Your life is so much more valuable, and that blog post will be waiting for you as soon as you’re safely parked.

Pay your tickets: If you do happen to get a ticket, make sure you pay it on time. If you let your fines accumulate, your car becomes subject to being towed without notice – even if you’re legally parked at the time.


Put simply, what it really comes down to is knowing the rules and setting reminders. Once you have those two things taken care of, having a car in a city becomes much less of a fiasco. Well, until you can’t actually find a spot in which to park. But that’s a story for a different day.

+ If you have any more tips for having a car in an urban area, please share!

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9 years ago

These are definitely the negative aspects of having a car – it’s a bit funny to read someone’s new experiences about after I’ve had a car for so long, yes so many of these things are innate at this point, give yourself time to learn! It’s a lot easier in the spring and summer than fall, too.

Warm Regards,

9 years ago

I have a driver’s license but when I moved to New York I decided it would be best for me not to own a car. The public transportation is so amazing (I’m in love with NYC’s subway system) that I never quite felt the need to own a car. But that’s just my personal preference :)

9 years ago

when i lived in texas seiously, everything was free range. if your car fits – park it. there were no 2 hour limits, no street cleaning, nada! Then I moved to LA & got a parking ticket my first day there. followed by 2 more the week after. READING & RE-READING is such an essential tip!

9 years ago

I’m the worst parker in the world! Thanks for the help!

9 years ago

I set a reminder for when to move my car AND where it’s parked! I also find that moving it early in the morning is easier than night time because people who drive to work vacate their spots. NYC also has a twitter account and calendar announcing the holidays for alternate side parking that are incredibly useful time-savers on certain days.

8 years ago

i have that no parking poster hanging up in my lounge den