How to Find & Pay for Parking from Your Phone

Chris Everett
January 9, 2019

Technology sometimes causes confusion and frustration, but when it comes to parking, advances in technology have made the whole process–especially of city parking–so much easier and more convenient. Rather than having to rely on a stash of coins for metered parking or worrying about finding pay machines to use a credit card, you can now pay for and even find parking right from your phone! Pay-by-phone parking options are now making parking much less stressful for drivers and parking enforcement alike. Read on to find out what pay-by-phone parking entails and how you can even download an application right to your phone to start enjoying easier parking today.

Pay-by-Phone Parking

Pay-by-phone parking allows drivers to pay for parking using a smartphone application or by calling a number listed at parking meters or in specified parking garages. Look for signs with “pay-by-phone” instructions at your parking location. If you have a smartphone, parking applications make paying for parking and even changing details of a parking session as easy as a press of a button. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can utilize pay-by-phone parking in cities that offer it by calling a toll-free number listed on or near the parking space.

Usually, this type of parking requires the drive to pre-register, providing either a credit card for charges accrued during a parking session or a credit card to pre-load funds to a prepaid account. However, some providers might allow new customers a one-time free parking opportunity and then sends a text via SMS inviting the customer to register. To register for pay-by-phone programs in cities that offer them, drivers usually need to provide name, credit card, and license plate number of the car they will be using for parking.

In general, pay-by-phone parking offers two options: “start-stop” parking or “start duration” parking. Drivers using “Start-stop” parking will need to contact the pay-by-phone provider when initiating the parking session and them again when the driver would like to end the parking session and stop paying parking fees. “Set duration” parking requires drivers to contact the pay-by-phone provider only when the parking session begins and then dictate the amount of time the driver would like to pay for parking in the specified location.

ParkMobile: Parking Made Easier

ParkMobile is a specific pay-by-phone parking application and website utilized in more than 3,000 locations across North America that allows drivers to not only pay for parking using a mobile device or website but also provides drivers an opportunity to find and reserve parking ahead of time in certain locations by entering your destination and selecting a parking spot you would like to reserve. ParkMobile is available in participating locations for drivers to park now, reserve parking in advance, or pay for event parking. If you are heading to a sporting event or concert, ParkMobile gives you the option to block your spot before you get to the stadium or event center, saving you time and stress so you can enjoy the event instead of worrying about whether or not you will find parking!

To use ParkMobile, simply download the application on Google Play or the Apple Store, and when you park your car, you just enter your zone number to start parking! With the ParkMobile app, you can add up to seven different payment methods to your application, including Apple Pay, Masterpass, Chase Pay, Visa Checkout, PayPal, or credit card, depending on your location. ParkMobile also allows you to save multiple license plate numbers so you can select the correct car you’re using quickly and easily when you pay for parking.

One of the best features of ParkMobile is the ability for drivers to add time to the meter before it runs out! ParkMobile will send you alerts when your time at your selected parking spot is about to run out. As long as you haven’t already exceeded the time limit in the specified parking zone, using the ParkMobile app or website will allow you to add time to the meter if you realize time is running out to make it back to the parking location before the meter expires.

Benefits of Pay-by-Phone Parking

Pay-by-phone parking has many benefits for drivers, cities, and parking enforcement companies alike. With pay-by-phone parking technology, parking becomes much more convenient and streamlined for everyone involved.

First, when customers pay using their phones, they have more convenient access to parking, can add time to their session without running back to a meter, and ensure parking enforcement has a digital record of their parking payment. They can also sometimes find and reserve parking ahead of time and then pay for parking much faster than if they had to feed a meter or visit a pay station.

For cities, pay-by-phone parking offers a chance for more precise digital records of parking payments and keeps drivers from remaining in parking spots all day, feeding the meter over and over to avoid parking tickets. Pay-by-phone parking also takes away the cost of meter maintenance.

Parking enforcement companies also benefit from pay-by-phone services and applications, since drivers who pay by phone are less likely to require parking tickets, since they can add time to their meter, even from a remote location, before it runs out. Parking enforcement companies can also use pay-by-phone parking to keep more accurate records of parking payments, complete with proof to show drivers their violations and the ability to check parking status without visiting each meter separately.

If you have spent too much time finding and paying for parking in the past or had trouble with city parking meters, check to see if pay-by-phone parking is available in your city, whether you are home or on vacation. You might be able to simply download an application and make parking that much easier! Find and reserve parking, pay using your phone, and add time whenever you need to avoid the most typical parking woes. Using applications like ParkMobile, parking does not have to be stressful, and you can spend more time at whatever event or activity you’ve parked to enjoy!

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