How to Read Parking Signs in Australia

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Have you ever found yourself in a new area, looking for a place to park, and feeling overwhelmed by all the signs and markings? Understanding parking signs in Australia can be confusing, but it’s important to know the rules to avoid getting a fine or having your vehicle towed. In this post, we’ll break down how to read parking signs in Australia in a way that anyone can understand.

Start with the colour:

The color of the sign is the first thing you should look at. Red signs indicate a no stopping zone, which means you cannot park your vehicle there at any time. Green signs indicate a parking zone, where parking is allowed, but there may be restrictions.

Look at the text:

What does the P mean?: When you come across the letter P on a parking sign, it means there’s no time limit, and you can park there at any time of any day for as long as you want. However, it’s more common to see a number before or after the P, indicating a time limit that depends on the number on the sign. For example, 2P means you can park for two hours while 1/4P means that you can park there for 15 minutes.

What does Ticket mean?: This means that you will need to pay for parking in this area. There will be a parking meter that you need to use or alternatively there may be an App you can download.

What does the arrow mean?: This specifies which direction these rules apply to.

Check for any restrictions:

Sometimes there are additional restrictions on parking in the zone, such as only being allowed to park during certain hours or on certain days. For example: 1P means you can park for up to 1 hour. The 1P parking sign might also tell you what day or days the rule applies. If the 1P sign also says SUN, parking is only limited to 1 hours on a Sunday. Make sure to check the fine print on the sign for any such restrictions. If there is no specified time limit, but there are other restrictions, make sure to follow those as well.

No stopping

If you see this signs, it means that you can’t stop in this area for any reason. Sometimes the sign is accompanied by a solid yellow line along the side of the road. If you see this sign, DO NOT STOP by any reason!.

Disability Parking

You might come across a sign featuring a wheelchair symbol, which is used on Australian parking signs for people with disabilities. This symbol indicates that only a driver with a certified mobility parking permit can use the designated parking area. If you choose to park there, it’s crucial to display your permit on the windscreen in a way that’s visible from the outside of the car.

Disability parking spots are generally larger and situated closer to a major entrance or destination to ensure easier access for people with disabilities.


A clearway sign is typically applicable during peak traffic hours and displays specific days and times when it’s enforced. If you come across a clearway sign, it’s essential to note that stopping for any duration of time is strictly prohibited. Violating this rule may lead to a fine, and in some cases, your vehicle may even be towed away.

Look for any additional markings on the road: In some cases, there may be additional markings on the road that indicate where you can and cannot park. These may include painted lines, arrows, or other symbols. Always check for these markings to make sure you are parking in the correct spot.

Loading zones, bus zones, taxi zones and works zones

Loading zones are reserved for commercial vehicles that need to load or unload goods. However, other cars can stop to pick up or drop off passengers.

Work zones. The only vehicles allowed to stop or park here are those that are engaged in construction work nearby. Other cars can stop briefly to pick up or drop off passengers.

If you’re not driving a public bus, you can’t stop in a bus zone for any reason. Keep this space clear for buses to drop off and pick up passengers (you’ll appreciate it when your next bus runs on time).

Don’t stop in a taxi zone for any reason (unless you’re driving a taxi). A taxi zone is a designated area for taxis to pick up and drop off passengers.

It’s important to always pay attention to parking signs and follow the rules to avoid getting a ticket or having your vehicle towed. If you are unsure about the parking rules in a particular area, it’s best to err on the side of caution and find another place to park.


1. P means you can park there.

2. The number after or before the P tells you how long you can park for (3P is 3 hours)

3. Some rules only apply on certain days, but the sign will tell you what days.

4. In some parking spots you may need to paid a parking ticket.

5. No parking and no stopping are different (you’re allowed to pick up and drop off passengers in a no parking area)

6. There are designated areas for: disability parking, clearway, loading zones, buses, taxis and large construction sites.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to navigate the parking rules in Australia with confidence.

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