Parking problems must be eradicated – it’s the only way. Having lived in the city my entire life, I long for the day when I can have a parking spot, let alone a driveway.

I have a car payment but Uber/Lyft is my friend more often than not because parking downtown is awful…full stop.

So what to do? A couple of things, but one that has deeply affected my planning (in a positive way) is an app called SpotHero. Thanks to Greg for the inspiration for this post, by the way.

What is SpotHero and why should I care?

Great question. SpotHero allows you to scope out parking garages ahead of time, and just like shopping for a car, let’s you compare prices to find the very best deal. No brainer!

All you do is open the app, plug in your information, and search for parking spaces near your destination. This is great for a night out on the town. And also, guys, this is a neat trick to make it look like you know what you’re doing. You’ll appear as if you’re “in the know”…

During your search you’ll find that the app conveniently places little bubbles across the map showing all of the best prices at a glance.

All of the parking garages in the app are SpotHero partners (similar to Uber/Lyft drivers) so they’re expecting you. None of that “Do you accept SpotHero?” needed when you get there. Oftentimes the garage has a SpotHero scanner that will scan a QR code on your phone.

So what’s the catch?

There are none. Maybe except for needing a few singles on you to tip the valet, but other than that, no frills. No catches. You pay ahead of time so you can be assured that you’re paying the price as advertised. No bait-and-switch here.

One thing to keep in mind is that you typically have to “reserve” a space, meaning you’ll have to enter and exit within the time specified at booking. If you’re a few minutes late or early, I’ve never had a problem so it’s nothing to worry about so long as you aren’t egregiously late.

SpotHero is available in most major cities. Here is the full list.

SpotHero is also available at airports…

Yes, you can use SpotHero to book a parking space at many, many airports. Here is the full list, but most of the big players are listed – Washington Dulles, Philly, Dallas-Fort Worth, Newark, JFK, Boston, and Chicago-O’Hare.

And in case you’re wondering, no, SpotHero does not sponsor me and this is not a sponsored post. It’s just something I use on a regular basis 🙂

So there you have it. Have you ever used SpotHero? Do you use any other parking app?

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This is pretty much worthless in Washington DC. Whatever you pay in the app is usually a $1 more than the walk up price in the garage. So you pay a premium for the having to fool around with the app instead of having flexibility to do whatever you want. Definitely not worth the hassle.

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[…] I would try to find street parking, choose a hotel with free parking, or use the SpotHero app to locate cheap lots in the area, but this time was different — I decided to use the $46 […]