How to find cheap parking in the CBD

Your guide to affordable parking in the city for every type of situation

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CBD parking is stressful!

The one way streets, loading zones, congested roads, road works, no stopping signs, 1 hour parking zones. Did you know the City of Sydney issues $35 MILLION DOLLARS worth of parking fines each year!? That’s the reality of parking in Sydney CBD. So here are some tips from the Oscar team to find cheaper and more affordable CBD parking.

Hourly parking

A recent study by RACQ reported that it costs on average $56.22 to park for 2 hrs in the CBD on a weekday. Although street parking is $7.20/hr and commercial parking lots start at $9/hr, if you’re going to stay for more than 2 hours, it is often cheaper to find all-day parking instead (see below).

All day parking

Some parking lots have early bird rates – but they run out early! Arrive after 8:30am and your chances of finding a park at that rate is slim. And often the fine print means your $30 early bird parking could very quickly turn into $80.

If you have unpredictable work hours, need to drive in and out of the city for a few hours or need to leave your car overnight, the best option is to book ahead for 24-hour parking, however, be careful, many car parks in the city charge an additional fee for overnight stays.

We recommend checking out our parking options below:

Town Hall parking near Pitt St Mall or Townhall station for $30/day (Book here)

World Square parking for just $4.50/hour (Book here)

King St Wharf parking on Shelley St for just $30/day or $35/day on weekends (Book here)

Darling Harbour parking on Sussex St for an unbeatable price of for just $20/day or $12 on weekends or after 5pm (Book here)

The Rocks parking at Shangri-La Hotel for just $5.80 per hour for Oscar customers (Book here)

Central parking located just a few min from UTS & Tafe offers parking for $20 flat day rate. (Book here)

Martin Place parking on Elizabeth Street for $30 per day, $15 for entry after 5pm or $18 on weekends (Book here)

Check out our map of cheap parking options here.

Monthly parking in Sydney

You may prefer to lock in a permanent parking spot and save yourself the trouble of having to think about parking every day. Arranging monthly parking (whether it’s 24/7, just Monday to Friday, or for a few days a week) is also something Share with Oscar can help with. Monthly parking is also generally cheaper than booking daily as you are locking yourself in for the month.

Share with Oscar now also offers monthly parking across Sydney CBD. If you’re looking for a secure and undercover space with unlimited parking access to your spot, then you’re in the right place!

Check out our range of cheap monthly parking options here.

Free parking

There is limited free parking in the City, but you may be able to score free parking if you plan ahead. Spot Parking have mapped out all the streets in the city with free and paid metered parking so check out their map before you head out.

If you just need to somewhere to stop your car, the City of Sydney have introduced free 15 minute parking in some areas. Find these streets here.

Street parking

Many streets in the CBD are off limits for parking during the work week – reserved for loading zones. Where there is street parking, its usually $7.20 per hour, and maximum 2 hours of parking during work hours (8am -6pm), and then 4 hours maximum after 6pm at $3.90 per hour. The off-peak rate of $3.90 also applies on weekends.

The City of Sydney has a map of the pricing of parking meters (see here), but honestly, we wouldn’t take a chance on finding street parking mid-week.

Weekday parking

If you drive into work everyday, monthly parking is the way to go. Monthly parking is often cheaper than paying for parking on a daily basis but it also means you’re locked in for a minimum of 4 weeks. Monthly parking rates at the commercial car parks in the city start from $400 per month or $100 per week. If this is a suitable option for you, ask the Oscar team as we have long term rental options for less.

Evening parking

Evening rates are often much cheaper than daytime rates, however there are various pockets in the city where evening rates are just as expensive. These areas include the likes of Circular Quay, Barangaroo, Chippendale and Surry Hills.

If you’re heading into Chippendale, the restaurants will tell you how hard parking is to find and can cost as much as $12 per hour or a $60 flat rate. Mercure offer have a flat rate of $30 which means you can take your time with your meal (Book here). By the way, we hear Bistrot Gavroche on Kensington St is a must try! 😉

If you’re dining near Oxford St or Surry Hills, Cambridge Hotel offer parking for just $5/hr. The team are also very friendly and you can leave your car overnight for just $30 (Book here).

If you’re dining in the city, we have plenty of night rates available close to Townhall, Pitt St Mall or King St Wharf starting from just $10 (Book here).

Parking for larger vehicles

If you drive a larger vehicle over 1.8m tall, you’re probably not a big fan of driving in the city and street parking might seem like the only feasible option. The majority of car parks in the city have a max vehicle entry height of 1.9m or 2m if you’re lucky. The parking lot under the Opera House can fit vehicles under 2.2m and if you’re able to get the early bird, is only a flat rate of $16.

Alternative ways into the city

If the above options don’t work for you, you can always break up your journey and drive and park at a train, ferry or bus stop, and catch public transport. Alternatively, if you have a friend(s) or colleague(s) that is heading in the same direction, why not car pool and split the costs.

Have a question about this article? Send the team a note at

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