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Read This Before Paying for Parking Again

{ Posted on Dec 04 2010 by Marcus Alston }

I recently drove to New York City to enjoy the holiday season and to visit Rockefeller Center and the huge Christmas Tree they have there.  My wife has wanted to go for years and I thought, let’s just do it!  I thought about taking the commuter rail in from Connecticut, but my wife and kids wanted to drive in.  I thought the kids would like to take the train, but they preferred to ride in the car after I told them that it was a commuter rail train and not such a “comfy” train.  I think the DVD player in the car and new videos also had something to do with their decision to ride in the car.  We also went to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, New York on our way home and had an increadible time viewing the Christmas decorations on the houses.

If you read my article on my vow not to pay for parking, you know that I do not like to pay for parking.  I would rather drive around and find a parking spot and save my money.  This is part of my “ConsumerMiser Mentality” and  I love being frugal.  However one must have a balance: given the cold weather in New York City this time of year and knowing that my family does not like the cold or walking very much, and the low probability of finding a free parking spot in the City, I decided I would most likely have to make an exception for my vow and pay for parking.

As part of my planning for the trip, I went on the Internet and did some searching for parking in New York City near Rockefeller Center.  After a few checks, I stumbled upon a great site through Ask.com for parking which list parking lots and garages for major US and Canadian cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Montreal, New York City, Philadelphia, and Toronto.  You can also select more locations by using airport locations.

After you pick a location, you can search for a daily rate or a monthly rate.  Next you narrow your search by neighborhood, address, cross street, or attraction.  I used the attraction method and put in “Rockefeller Center”.  I found 1 parking garage that was $10 for up to 10 hours if you printed off the coupon and made a free reservation.  Another parking garage was $20 for up to 6 hours—the regular price was $37!!!  I printed off both coupons.  Both places were indoor valet parking garages run by Icon Parking.

The $10 location was about 6 blocks away from Rockefeller Center and the $20 parking parking garage was 1 block away.  I gave my wife a choice since I wanted her to have options and enjoy her much delayed visit to New York City during the holiday season.  Predictably she picked the $20 garage since it was closer!!!.  I double checked with her to make sure she knew it was double the price since she called it the “Closer one” by asking her, “You mean you want the more expensive one?”  And she said “Yes”.

Well, the good news is we reduced our cost (I won’t say saved because I did not actually physically put money into a saving or investment account) by $17!!!  The regular price was $37 and we paid only $20 with the coupon.  The Parking Lot accepted the coupon.  The guy directly in front of me paid $37 and was distraught after finding that they accepted coupons.  I tried to inform him, but I was too late.  He actually had found a coupon on the ground that was from another website ( I believe it was Iconparking.com) that did not require a reservation, but he presented it after the cashier rung up the charge and the cashier said it was too late.  The lady behind me had a coupon from Icon.com as well for the $17 discount.  I reviewed the Iconparking.com site and Icon covers New York City pretty well and they offer generous coupons so check them out before going to the City.

I later ran into a self proclaimed “coupon man” that was from New Jersey that was not aware of the coupon and therefore was going to pay full price.  He rationalized it by saying based on what he spent that day in New York on his family (shopping, a show, food, dinner), the $17 discount would not have helped much.  Yet, every little bit helps and that’s the whole idea with coupons—a little discount here and there can add up over time.

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  1. 3 Trackback(s)

  2. Our Trip to New York City and Dyker Heights – Part 1 of 2 | ConsumerMiser.com
  3. Our Trip to New York City and Dyker Heights – Part 2 of 2 | ConsumerMiser.com
  4. My Top Blog Posts from November and December 2010 | ConsumerMiser.com

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