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Eight parking apps to save time and money

Parking can be expensive. Save money, by using these apps to find the best and most affordable parking in the city.

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    In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 photo, a motorcycle travels through lanes of vehicles during rush hour traffic along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines.
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Finding affordable parking can be a challenge, especially when you live in a heavily populated area. In fact, IBM found that 30% of a city's traffic is attributed to drivers looking for parking. Fortunately, there are a number of apps available to help you find and compare spots, save money every time you park, and even reserve a parking space right from your phone. This will help you get out of traffic and into a safe spot in a fraction of the time and effort.

1. BestParking

BestParking is a top parking app, and has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Forbes, ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC. It locates all the available parking spots in your area so you can quickly compare and save. Available in 105 cities and 115 airports throughout North America, it will find you the best spot, no matter where you are. It even sorts spots by price, so you can instantly visualize where the most affordable (and most expensive) spots are. The app has 850,000 monthly users and is backed by outstanding reviews from people who have saved time and money.

2. Parker

Parker can help you find available parking spots, prices, and hours for 24,000 garages and lots. You can also filter parking spots by space, payment type, and more. Built-in GPS navigation can even guide you to the nearest open spot, so you will never have to drive around confused in a new city again. It can help you find a spot in a parking lot or garage, or it can help you navigate local street parking. It will also run a timer, so you don't have to worry about parking tickets. Parker has outstanding online reviews and was voted one of the most highly recommended apps by Forbes and Mashable.

3. SpotHero

SpotHero is an app recommended by Forbes because it can help you find and compare parking and reserve a spot for up to 50% off the drive-up rate. The app has its own dedicated unsold spots from parking facilities in the area. You can quickly reserve one of those spots from your phone and enjoy a discounted rate in the process. Not only will you save money, but you also won't need to worry about losing your prized spot to another driver. It is available in most large cities and is introducing new locations everyday.

4. ParkMe

ParkMe offers the largest and most accurate parking database in the world. With over 84,000 locations in over 64 countries, it can compare the most available spots and save every time you park. You can also reserve a spot in advance with your credit card so you never have to worry about losing your spot again. The app can even tell you where to find parking up to two weeks into the future.

5. Parking Mate

Parking Mate shows you where the closest and safest places are to park. It also keeps a log of where you've parked and how much time you have left in your spot, notifying you when you are getting close to expiration. You can even add parking rules to the app to inform others of neighborhood parking regulations. The app is also highly reviewed online and recommended by Mashable.

6. Parking Panda

Parking Panda is recommended by Forbes because it sets itself apart from the rest. It partners with stadiums, family attractions, and other events so that you can find a spot close to the action without wasting time searching for parking. There is also a referral program, which will allow you to earn free parking.

7. ParkWhiz

ParkWhiz is another app recommended by Forbes because it promises to help save you more money than all the rest. While most apps can only promise savings of about 50%, this app promises savings of up to 60%. The app will help you compare, reserve, and pre-pay for parking in no time.

8. City Specific Apps

There are several options for city specific apps, which are ideal when you live in a large, heavily populated city. Some of the apps for big city parking that you may want to check out include:

  • VoicePark — San Francisco
  • Can I Park Here? — New York
  • PrimoSpot — New York, Boston, Seattle
  • Chicago Parking — Chicago

Avoid Driving Altogether

If you're still having trouble finding parking, consider alternative transportation. Riding a bike is good for your fitness, taking your city's public transportation system will save you money, and walking when you can is great for your health, so try giving your car a break when you can.

This article is from Andrea Cannon of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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