In addition to your monthly rent, utility bills, Internet charges, and amenities, you may need to pay for parking at your apartment complex.
The cost of parking at an apartment complex depends entirely on the city you live in and the location of your community. Generally speaking, apartment communities located closer to the business district have significantly higher parking fees (around $150 to $500+ per month) compared to suburban areas ($0 to about $75 per month per car), and rural areas ($0 per month).
As a rule of thumb, the more expensive the cost of land (i.e. the closer you are to a central business district), the more apartment communities charge for parking.
Costs of Apartment Parking
The costs of apartment parking will vary significantly based on several factors, including where you live, how much parking is available in the neighborhood, whether parking is covered (garage) or un-covered (surface parking), and whether it is reserved or unreserved parking. Here are some general guidelines on costs –
- If you live in a major city and you are based downtown, you can expect to pay between $150 and $450+ every month. In New York City, expect $500+ a month.
- If you live in a major city but on the fringes of downtown, your parking costs will range from $75 to $200 per month.
- If you live in a suburb 40 to 45 minutes away from a major city center, parking is usually $0 to $75 per month.
- If you live in a rural area, parking tends to be free ($0).
Keep in mind these are estimated costs only. You will need to find out the exact parking costs from the listing agent or landlord for an apartment you are interested in. For example, parking costs in Philadelphia range from $75 to $200 per month.
Is it Worth Paying for Parking At Your Apartment?
Some apartments don’t offer parking to their tenants. Those that do offer parking, have fees that vary from free parking to very significant monthly charges. If you own a car, parking within your apartment community can have many advantages:
- Easier to access your car (for both loading and unloading things like groceries, other items)
- Potentially better lit-up areas and closer to your apartment door which might mitigate risk (there are a lot of factors that go into this though)
- A guaranteed spot so you don’t have to worry about finding parking every time you take your car out. Find out how much parking is available on site and if spots are guaranteed.
Is Parking Important When Searching for Apartments?
Yes, parking is an important consideration if you own a car or expect to buy a car in the near future. Here are some factors that may influence how you prioritize parking in your search for an apartment community –
- If public transport is not easily accessible
- If you need to drive to your workplace
- If you and your family/friends go on weekend trips
- If your job requires you to travel from place to place
- If you need to drop your kid(s) to school/weekend sports activities
Since some apartment complexes charge for parking, and parking costs can vary considerably from community to community, you need to address this early in your apartment search. Speak to your landlord or listing agent if you have any questions regarding parking.
What if your apartment doesn’t have parking?
If your apartment building doesn’t have parking, consider looking at nearby lots. Call them up and ask for their monthly rates (if they offer it). Find out if street parking is available and rules regarding when you can/can’t have your vehicle there. There are, of course, downsides to apartments that don’t have parking. If you have a car or plan to get a car in the future, you should evaluate whether it is worth it to rent at an apartment complex that doesn’t have parking.