Parking in Brisbane: 10 Tips to Save Time and Money

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Parking in Brisbane can often feel like a game of hide and seek, especially with the city’s growing number of vehicles. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with our top ten tips to save time and money on parking in Brisbane.

Whether you’re a daily commuter, a casual visitor, or someone who needs long-term parking, these tips will help you find convenient and affordable parking options in Brisbane. And remember, using services like Share with Oscar can make your parking experience even smoother.

1. Plan with Parking Apps

Firstly, plan ahead. Using parking apps like Share with Oscar and Spacer allows you to book your parking spot in advance. These apps often offer discounted prices compared to drive-up rates. You can find hidden gem parking spaces in less busy streets or opt for monthly parking passes to save even more. Planning with these apps will ensure you have a parking spot waiting for you when you arrive.

Additionally, opting for monthly parking passes or seeking hidden gem spaces in less busy streets can further cut your costs. Booking through Share with Oscar saves you from the daily hassle of finding a parking space. Whether you need short-term parking near Suncorp Stadium for a big game or long-term airport parking near Brisbane Airport, there are cheap and convenient options available. Share with Oscar allows you to reserve a spot in advance, ensuring you don’t have to circle the car park repeatedly searching for the perfect spot.

2. Take Advantage of Free Parking on Holidays

Secondly, on public holidays, many parking restrictions do not apply. Any parking signs that specify a day of the week, such as ‘Mon–Fri,’ ‘Sat,’ or ‘Sun,’ don’t apply on public holidays. This allows you to park for free and as long as you like. However, remember that signs without a day of the week still apply. Always double-check to avoid fines.

3. Park During Off-Peak Hours

Parking during off-peak hours can save you both time and money. The busiest times in Brisbane are usually from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. If possible, try to park early in the morning, late in the evening, or on weekends. This strategy not only helps you find available spaces but also potentially lowers parking rates.

Finding a parking space in high-traffic areas like Brisbane CBD, Fortitude Valley, Newstead, Petrie Terrace, South Bank, South Brisbane, Spring Hill during peak times can be particularly difficult during peak hours and the after-work rush. If you have the flexibility in your schedule, try to park during off-peak hours. With that said, you also have to note Brisbane’s busiest times.

Generally, peak travel times in Brisbane occur during the morning and afternoon rush periods The morning rush starts around 6:30 am and continues until 9:30 am, while the afternoon peak extends from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. By choosing to park early in the morning, late in the evening, or on weekends, you’re more likely to find available spaces and potentially pay lower parking rates. Off-peak parking can also mean less traffic, making your overall driving experience more pleasant.

Also, it is important to note that a two hour limit applies to all on-street parking spaces within the Brisbane Central Traffic Area between 7am-6pm, Monday to Friday, and 7am to midday on Saturday unless signed otherwise. To help motorists easily identify when they have parked within the Brisbane Central Traffic Area, Brisbane City Council has installed high visibility traffic area information signs. These signs are located underneath street signs and complement larger boundary signage, located on roads leading into the area.

If you live outside the suburb of Brisbane City in the Brisbane Central Traffic Area, you can apply for a parking permit.

4. Know Brisbane’s Parking Rules and Regulations

To avoid fines and save money, familiarise yourself with Brisbane’s parking rules. Many parking bays have time restrictions, such as 1-hour or 2-hour limits, which are strictly enforced. Permit zones require a residential or business permit to park. Clearways prohibit parking during certain times to keep traffic flowing smoothly. Knowing these rules will help you avoid costly mistakes.

Parking regulations in Brisbane vary by area and type of zone. Here’s a summary of key rules:

**Disclaimer:** The information here is accurate at the time of writing. Always verify with local councils or relevant authorities for the latest updates on parking regulations.

Time Limits

Many Brisbane parking bays have time restrictions, such as 1-hour or 2-hour parking. Always check the signs and set a reminder to avoid fines for overstaying your limit. These areas are marked with “1P” or “2P,” specifying the allowed parking duration and the hours when the limit applies.

Permit Zones

Certain areas require a residential or business permit. Look for signs indicating that a permit is needed. Parking without a permit in these zones can result in a fine. Signs will typically say “Permit Zone” or “Permit Holders Excepted” and detail the required permits and applicable times.


Clearways are off-limits for parking during peak traffic hours to keep traffic moving. Parking in these areas during restricted times can lead to towing or hefty fines. Look for a red circle with a “C” and a diagonal line, indicating restricted parking times.

Loading Zones

These zones are for commercial vehicles to load and unload goods. They have specific time limits and are not for regular parking. Watch for signs marked “Loading Zone” with details on allowed times and duration for loading/unloading.

Tow-away Zones

These areas prohibit parking at certain times, with vehicles towed if parked. Signs clearly state “Tow Away Zone” with the times when towing is enforced, often combined with clearway or no-stopping signs.

Metered Parking

Brisbane has metered parking bays requiring payment for the duration you park. Rates vary by location and time. Remember, “feeding the metre” to extend your parking time is illegal and can result in a fine. Signs will display payment hours and rates, often accompanied by metres or pay-and-display machines.

Disabled Parking

Designated spaces for vehicles with a valid disabled permit are available. Parking without the proper permit in these spaces can incur a fine. These areas have the international accessibility symbol (a wheelchair on a blue background) and may include text specifying permit requirements.

No-Stopping Areas

These zones prohibit stopping for any reason, even momentarily. Stopping in a no-stopping area is illegal, regardless of whether the engine is running, people are in the vehicle, or hazard lights are on. Signs show an “S” with a line through it.

To avoid fines, familiarise yourself with local parking rules and double-check signage before parking.

Note: This information is for general guidance only. Always check local signs and regulations. We are not liable for any fines or penalties incurred.

5. Research Your Parking Options

Do your homework and research different parking options. Decide whether you prefer indoor or outdoor parking and consider proximity to your destination. Check online for information on parking garages, lots, and street parking availability. For major events, such as those at Suncorp Stadium, look for event-specific parking options. This preparation can save you a lot of time and hassle.

6. Utilise Hidden-Gem Parking Spaces

Brisbane is full of hidden gem parking spots that aren’t widely known. These can be found in less busy streets, residential areas, or smaller car parks. Local tips from community groups, forums, or social media can lead you to these hidden gems. Share with Oscar is also a great app for discovering these spots, often featuring affordable listings from locals.

7. Take Advantage of Early Bird Specials

Many commercial car parks offer early bird specials. These provide discounted rates if you park before a certain time in the morning and stay for a minimum number of hours. This is perfect for commuters or anyone spending the entire day in the city. Early bird specials can significantly reduce your parking costs compared to hourly rates.

8. Consider Alternative Parking Options

If traditional street parking or commercial parking providers aren’t meeting your needs, explore alternative parking options. Consider parking at nearby hotels, private garages, or renting spaces in residential areas. Platforms like Share with Oscar connect drivers with hosts who have spare parking spaces. This can provide more convenient and secure options, especially during busy times.

Whether you’re looking for a car parking space in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane or searching for ‘parking near me’, Oscar can help you find the perfect spot that’s convenient for you.

9. Use Public Transportation

Consider using public transportation for the last leg of your journey. Park your car at a more affordable, well-connected location further from the city centre, and use Brisbane’s efficient public transport system to reach your final destination. This option is cost-effective, reduces the hassle of finding parking in busy areas, and is better for the environment.

10. Join a Carpool or Ride-Sharing Program

Finally, if you commute daily, consider joining a carpool or using ride-sharing apps like Uber, Didi, or Ola. Carpooling with colleagues or friends can split the cost of parking, cut down on traffic, and help the environment. Some workplaces offer designated carpool parking spaces that are more convenient and affordable. This is a great way to save money and make your commute more enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

Parking in Brisbane doesn’t have to be stressful. By planning ahead, using parking apps, taking advantage of free and discounted parking options, and knowing the local rules, you can save both time and money. Remember, Share with Oscar is a valuable tool to make your parking experience in Brisbane smooth and enjoyable.

So next time you’re heading into the city, keep these tips in mind.

Happy parking!

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