Parking in Los Angeles has become increasingly difficult to find, and increasingly difficult when it comes to potential tickets and trailers. It’s helpful to know Los Angeles parking tips and tricks and get some parking tips from local experts, especially if you’re new to the city.
Disclaimer : This list is primarily made up of personal advice and anecdotal evidence. When in serious doubt, always contact the LA Parking Department directly with questions and concerns.
New parking technologies
This may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning. Just because you don’t see a meter doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay, thanks to new electronic parking enforcement technologies.
Be sure to find a central pay station and write down its space number (located on the sidewalk adjacent to your car). You will be able to use your credit card at the machine (as well as the coins) and it will ask for your space number.
Just don’t make the mistake and pay for a full two hours (or whatever) when you only need one. Initially, when you use your credit card, the machine starts counting at maximum and you must navigate the down arrow to reduce the amount of time you shop at the meter.
The truth about broken meters
You zoom into space, step outside, and see ‘Fail’ flashing on the meter. Some people rejoice at this, while others are confused. ‘Will I get a ticket?’ ‘Should I move?’ The jury is a little out of line.
One option is to take a pre-written piece of paper in your car that says ‘The meter is broken’ and place it on your windshield or around the meter as additional insurance.
We asked a caller at the city parking violation office about this. She said be careful to meet the time limit on a broken meter. For example, if it says ‘2 hour parking’ and the meter is broken, do not stay in the space for more than two hours or you will be fined, for sure.
Parking on a hill – a slippery slope
The next time you park in a mountainous area, particularly around the notoriously strict Sunset Strip, don’t forget to brake your tires. You will likely get a ticket from a ruthless parking officer.
When you’re parked facing down, turn your wheels toward the curb, let the car roll down, and hit the curb lightly and you’ll know you got it right. For uphill parking, the reverse is true. Pull the wheels off the curb and allow the car to roll back until it hits the curb lightly.
Yellow load / White load
This is another contentious point of debate. Some people park in yellow cargo during the off hours at night and have never received a ticket. However, some would disagree with this.
If you park in a white zone, you will be towed or fined. That is the difference between white and yellow.
However, make sure you are outside of application hours when parking in a yellow zone. Historically, the rape was always enforced until 6 p.m. M. However, these days with new run times (often up to 8pm), you shouldn’t attempt this before 8pm. M.
Hugging the sidewalk vs. Remote parking
The rule of thumb is that you can park within 18 inches of the curb. Once you start to excel beyond that, you are a candidate for a big fat ticket.
Knowing this rule, you can decide to go to the extreme in the other direction, hugging the sidewalk tightly. We strongly recommend against this. It is not so much that you will get a ticket. If a new parking lot is parked in front of yours, you may not be able to navigate out of your space.
Beware of the hidden path
Be sure to carefully look for hidden entrances (especially at night and in residential areas). Often times, due to strange layout and space issues, people’s entrances can look like something else – a parking space.
In many neighborhoods, you will find ‘no parking’ signs above ambiguous spaces. However, this is not the case everywhere. Therefore, be careful, so as not to return to the horrible sight of any car.
The dreaded trailer
While many wouldn’t risk parking in a trailer space for any amount of money, you’d be surprised at how many desperate or thoughtless drivers there are in Los Angeles. It can cost hundreds of dollars to get your vehicle out of the yard, it’s definitely not worth it.
Keep in mind that it is not just a space with clearly marked towing signs that you need to be on the lookout for. A resident can tow a car that partially blocks their garage. Also, if your car is parked on the street for more than 72 hours, it can technically be towed, although this would only happen if someone reported your or your friend’s car (such as a disgruntled neighbor).
To find out if it has been towed (rather than stolen), call your local Los Angeles police station and have your license plate ready.