Why Do Hotels Charge For Parking? Simple Explanation

If you travel a lot, you may know that traveling by plane is easier in most cases than traveling by your car. If you are using your private transport, you will always be thinking about parking. We mean that yes, every hotel may have parking places, but most hotels will charge some money for parking your car. And it sounds ridiculous because you have just paid a lot for your room and now you have to pay for parking your car.

Today, we’ll be discussing the car parking questions because many readers ask us why hotels charge some money for parking in the US and in Europe. And we have some answers to this question. Unfortunately, it’s hard to explain in a short sentence, so we’ve decided to write a full article about this.

Here’s what we’ll be talking about:

  1. Parking places in hotels in cities – why are they expensive?
  2. Where can you park your car for free near a hotel?
  3. Some kinds of hotels with free parking.
  4. Can you save and not pay for parking in your hotel?

Let’s get started!

Why do hotels charge their guests for parking?

This is a complex question that needs to be explained from different points of view. You may know that nearly all cities have the problem of transport contamination. If we are talking about big cities like LA, NY, London, Berlin, etc., we see that these places are full of cars, buses, taxis, and other kinds of transport.

Finding a parking place in an average capital city in Europe or any big city in America can be a really hard task. This is one explanation of why parking places in a hotel will cost you some money, and sometimes a lot of money.

But you should also take into account some other factors:

  1. The land in cities costs insanely expensive. It means that to build a parking lot, hotels will spend millions of dollars to just buy or rent that piece of land. Even if the parking is underground, it costs a lot to build and maintain.
  2. Hotels in cities very often don’t have any adjacent territories for parking cars. They have to build some parking lots that are integrated into the hotel building and this reduces the space that they can use for commercial operations (rooms, laundries, renting out commercial areas).
  3. Hotels just want to make money, so they will not offer free parking in most cases. By the way, in Europe, more hotels are ready to offer this service, while in the US, they will most likely charge more money.
  4. Sometimes, hotels are using parking lots nearby and just partner with the owners of those parking lots. It means that they will have to pay for your car once it goes there. And you will have to pay them to compensate for their losses.

But we should say, it depends on the hotel and on the area it has. For example, a lot of luxury hotels that have a big territory in their possession build parking complexes and offer free places for their guests’ cars.

So, now we know a couple of important things: not all hotels take money from you for parking your vehicle, and the hotels that do take money usually do this because they can’t choose any other option. But should you care about a hotel’s revenue? Let’s talk about some ways to reduce your expenses.

Where can you park your car for free near your hotel?

If you are traveling in your car and you don’t want to pay your hotel for parking, you can find a different way to park your car that will be at least cheaper or sometimes even free of charge. For example, you can google for some commercial parking spaces or complexes in the area of your hotel. Very often, the prices in these complexes will be cheaper than in your hotel.

Also, you can try and find some streets where parking is free. If it’s in the central part of a big city, it seems to be impossible. But if it’s about downtown or about some suburb area, you are likely to find something.

Here are some ideas for free parking:

  1. Supermarket parking lots. Choose a 24/7 supermarket or shopping mall and just use their parking to park your car without any charges.
  2. Sports stadiums. Very often, these stadiums have a huge parking area and they can let you put your car there free or for a little charge.
  3. Streets with free or cheap parking. On the internet, you can find information on parking prices on the streets around your hotel. Very often, these prices are more reasonable than a hotel offers to you.
  4. Fitness centers. A lot of them have absolutely empty parking lots at night and you can easily get there to put your car. It’s not illegal unless they have some objects limiting access to their parking zones.
  5. Quite often, churches have solid parking spaces for people. And you can easily use one of the parking lots around the church. But check if parking is free there – it can still cost you some money.
  6. Fast food restaurants. You can drop your car near McDonald’s or Taco Bell – they usually have a lot of parking places for clients with no charges. Just don’t forget to get a coffee in the restaurant to thank them for parking.

There are a lot of other options – we’ve just given you the ideas of where you can park your car for free near your hotel and forget about problems with extra charges. But of course, we only recommend parking your vehicle in commercial parking lots because it’s relatively safe for the car – no one will break in and steal your things.

Parking your car in an empty supermarket parking lot is not safe. Even though they have some cameras on the parking lot, thieves know well how to do things. So, leaving your car right on the street or near a shopping mall can be dangerous in many cities – just check it by reading some reviews.

Which hotels don’t charge extra for parking?

We’ve tried to find some big and well-known chains of hotels that don’t charge extra money for parking, but it appeared to be really hard. There is no common policy in any chain that allows guests to not pay for parking. Unfortunately, every single hotel can decide whether it’s appropriate to allow guests to park their cars for free or not.

It doesn’t depend on a chain, it depends on a place. For example, in Las Vegas, many hotels offer free parking and a lot of other free services. First of all, because the land is not that expensive, and secondly, they earn more money on casinos, not on hotel and parking services.

Here are some types of hotels that don’t take extra money for parking:

  1. Hotels in small towns with a lot of cheap land. If a hotel can easily buy some area nearby to provide parking services, this hotel will not charge extra.
  2. Most motels will not charge extra money for parking because the idea of this hotel is to offer parking and room as one service.
  3. Resort hotels. Many resort hotels have huge territories with numerous parking locations and they don’t charge you extra, but there are some exceptions, of course.
  4. Hotels in suburbs of big cities. These hotels know that their clients are not people who travel by plane. So they allow free parking to get more guests.

If you are about to go to some other city by your car, you should know that there are many hotels that will not charge you extra for parking. Unfortunately, if we are talking about the best locations in big cities, it’s extremely hard to find something like this.

Free parking is only available in small towns, villages, motels, and also in suburbs and the outskirts of big cities. This is not a strict rule, so some exceptions are possible.

By the way, you should check the parking options in your hotel when you are booking a room. Because this may become a big disappointment when you come there and understand that you have to pay extra.

Final words

We don’t think that parking charges are too big for a person who travels by car. But we’ve tried hard and found some ways to reduce these expenses. We’ve offered free parking ideas and some other ideas that will make your parking bill much more pleasant than in a hotel. But of course, you should think about the safety of your vehicle.

We still recommend parking your car in a hotel parking lot because it’s the safest option. Just check this when you are booking a room and choose a hotel that doesn’t charge too much for parking or just offers free parking for guests.