How to Park Stress-Free in Los Angeles

If you are reading this, you would know that Los Angeles is not your best friend when it comes to parking. Finding Los Angeles parking spots vacant is a rare sight, and unless you have made reservations, expecting to drive into a parking space can be a terrible idea. However, not everyone in the City of Angels is fortunate enough to have all the premium locations in L.A within walking distance. While there are alternative options like the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA/LA Metro), biking, and walking, sometimes, a car makes traveling more comfortable. So how can you make parking a stress-free activity in Los Angeles so that you can drive into a spot, park, and return to your car without worries!

Bear in mind that Los Angeles has a pretty active parking authority that doesn’t hesitate to slap expensive citations for parking violations.

parking in LA

The parking you go for in the City of Los Angeles should ensure that the space is secure, affordable with premium amenities like pre-booking through parking apps and contactless parking. If you think that such parking spaces can be hard to come by, here are some essential tips to help you park stress-free in Los Angeles.

Just make sure you remember these essential things before going for parking in LA.

  1. Pre-Book Parking Before Heading Out 

Now, this is something everyone who doesn’t want to drive around looking for a parking spot in Los Angeles needs to do right now! You can save yourself from loads of trouble by having guaranteed parking in LA, booked in advance before heading out. The city of Los Angeles has one of the worst traffic in the country, and while there are plenty of parking spaces across the city, there are even more vehicles that go around looking for these Los Angeles parking spots. Your best shot at ensuring that a parking space is ready for you to drive-in would be to book a spot online through parking service apps like the Way App.  

2. Stay Clear of Popular Neighborhoods 

Like any other busy city in the United States, Los Angeles also has popular attractions and neighborhoods that attract many tourists and residents around the year. Hollywood, Downtown, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Dodger Stadium, and Staples Center are all good examples that reflect the same. If you plan to visit any of these neighborhoods, it would be a good idea to park farther away and take a cab or pre-book a guaranteed spot before heading out. Drive-in parking spots across these areas are really hard to come by and could cause you to drive around impatiently, looking for affordable Los Angeles parking. 

3. Avoid Parking Tickets at All Cost 

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation responsible for enforcing parking across LA is very active in detecting parking violations. There are lots of rules and regulations for parking in Los Angeles as well, which makes the task of driving without getting booked – pretty tricky. Having a general understanding of Los Angeles parking rules and regulations can help you stay clear of expensive parking citations. Always look out for parking signboards before leaving your car. LA has a street cleaning schedule that restricts you from parking at a particular side of the road. Always move out your car from a parking meter before the meter expires if you are seriously considering staying clear of expensive parking citations.  

4. Free Parking Spaces Exist

Yes, you read it right! Free street parking zones in Los Angeles are not as rare as you think. There are plenty of free parking spaces across the city if you know where to look. However, these are also potential baits that could land you in trouble if you are not careful. For instance, some of these free parking spaces may be in areas that have residential parking requirements. Unless you have a residential parking permit, you could end up with a parking citation for parking at these free spaces. Most of the free parking spaces also come with a time limit of one or two hours. Parking more than this could again land you in citations.  

5. Colored Curbs and What They Mean 

Los Angeles is one of the cities in the US that follows a colored curb parking system. However, not everyone is sure about what each colored curb means. Having a basic understanding of what each colored curb means can make life a lot easier. Here is a quick look at what the different colored curbs stand for:  

Red Curb

No stopping, no parking, or standing/waiting at any time. Stay clear of red curbs if you don’t want expensive parking citations.  

Yellow Curb

These are commercial loading-only spots that come with a 30-minute time-limit. Vehicles parking at these curbs needs to be equipped with commercial license plates. Yellow curbs are available from Monday through Saturday, 7 AM to 6 PM unless otherwise posted on signs.    

White Curb

These are zones for passenger loading and unloading. You are allowed to park here only for a maximum of five minutes.  

Green Curb

Short-term parking spots that let you park for 15 to 30 minutes as marked. All green curbs are available for parking from Monday through Saturday, 8 AM to 6 PM unless otherwise posted. Green Curbs are applicable regardless of whether the spot is a metered or unmetered space.  

Blue Curb

Disabled parking zones, exclusively reserved for disabled people or their drivers displaying a valid disabled parking placard or license plate.  If you are not a valid holder of the placard or do not qualify for this role, you can be charged with hefty parking citations.   

While these tips help you save money and time on parking in Los Angeles, these steps alone do not guarantee that you will have a parking space when it’s time. The only clear shot way to ensure that you can park stress-free for sure would be to book a spot online through websites like or through the Way App.