Apps, other services help city dwellers stash their cars

  • Feb. 13, 2018 1:52 p.m.

Many, if not most, urban homes do not include parking. So for those with wheels, finding an affordable home — for the car, that is — can present special challenges.

In many urban apartment buildings, spaces in the garage are sold or rented separately from the apartment itself. Rents for a parking space in expensive cities like New York can cost hundreds of dollars a month, and parking spaces sometimes sell for over $200,000.

A slew of apps and other online services have appeared to help city dwellers across the country find parking.

“The most in-demand locations for residential parking are San Francisco, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles,” says Michael Rosenbaum, CEO and founder of spacer.com and parkhound.com.au, sites that match up those with parking to spare and those in need of a spot.

“Renting a car space from a friendly neighbour in your community makes sense, as it is tapping into under-utilized assets that are sitting idle all around us,” he says.

SpotHero.com lists parking spaces — mainly excess vacancies in hotel garages — in the United States and Canada. Listings also include offerings of space in home garages or driveways.

Park Whiz is another source for short- or long-term parking spaces. It’s designed to work with Amazon Alexa, so spaces can be reserved via voice commands. Parkingcupid.com , yet another service linking those with parking spaces to those in need of them, also features a sample rental lease to give some legal protection to both parties.

Experts warn that before you put your city parking space up for rent, you should check building rules. Many condo and apartment buildings don’t allow residents to rent out parking spots to people who don’t live in the building, especially when entry to the parking garage is secured and leads directly inside the building.

Detached garages tend to have fewer regulations about parking space rentals.

And for those in search of a secure and reliable parking space, going through an established service is often a safer bet than going it alone.

“We always recommend that people go through a reputable marketplace so that their money is transacted in a secure environment and they have access to dispute resolution in case something doesn’t go quite right,” Rosenbaum says.

For those looking to buy a space as opposed to renting, the price tags in coveted areas are not for the faint of heart. But the amenities and long-term value are hard to ignore.

At The Parking Club Condo, a stand-alone parking building in Brooklyn, spots include a valet service (through DropCar ) that helps deliver your car to or from airports, Manhattan and much of Brooklyn and Queens, along with other luxuries. Car owners hardly have to go to the garage themselves.

Simon Anderson, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate who is responsible for marketing and sales at The Parking Club Condo, says that although most sales are in cash, the condo works with a bank that provides loans for up to 65 per cent of the cost.

“You own the parking condo just like you would a home, with discretion to buy and sell. And we’ve found that if you include a parking space like this in the purchase of a home, it significantly enhances the sale value,” says Anderson.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month