Transportation

5 Simple Ways to Save on Parking in Singapore

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Ryan Ong

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Parking fees are bogus. Living space I understand…but paying for a space for your car? That’s as close as you’ll ever come to paying for nothing. Yep, thanks to parking lots, cars are now the only products that cost money when moving (petrol), and when not moving (parking). Thanks to parking, your car costs you money just by existing. Still, you’ve bought it, and there’s not much you can do about it…until now. Follow this easy guide to slashing those parking fees:

 

1. Find Parking in a Related Building

Don’t obsesses with parking in the same, exact building you’re going to. Sometimes, it’s worth walking one or two blocks to save on parking.

When I worked Sundays at River Valley, for example, I’d park at UE Square, a five minute walk from the office. UE Square has all day free parking on Sundays, so I saved about $40 a week. And yeah, I worked Sundays, when my boss wasn’t busy reigning in Hell. Other favourite “free parking” zones are:

    •  IMM building (First three hours)
    • The basement of Mustafa Shopping Centre
    • Short Street (Near Prinsep Street)
    • The Old Turf Club

*Goodwood Park Hotel was previously on this list; but the parking is now $5 per entry.

You can also check parking rates for the best prices. Pick the parking spots first, and plan your activities near them.

 

Goodwood Park Hotel
Good+Wood+Park: Home of every “romance in the car” joke in Singapore.

 

2. Use Slip Roads

There are a lot of slip roads near private property. You know, the ones you turn into when looking for someone’s house, find out they’re dead ends, and wreck a bumper trying to back out. They’re cramped; but as long as you don’t obstruct the house gates, the residents’ knives won’t obstruct your tyres.

Residential areas like Siglap have good proximity to malls and restaurants. Not one person I know has paid parking at Siglap; they find a discreet slip road and walk over from there.

 

Car parked on roadside at Little India
“For the last time, I’m not parking on this road! I just can’t frigging move!”

 

3. Mix Public and Private Transport

If you do sales at all, you probably “cluster” your meetings around certain areas. If you have several meetings in a general zone (e.g. central, east, west, and so forth), consider mixing public and private transport.

If most of your meetings are around town, for example, you can park at Lucky Plaza; it’s $3.50 for all day parking on Sundays. From there, use the bus or train to make short hops to Bugis, Dhoby Ghaut, Somerset, or any related places. When you’re done for the day, get your car and drive home. And if you do need the car, it’s close by.

On weekdays, park at Shaw Tower. The parking rates are $1 for the first hour, and $2.15 for every subsequent hour. The building is close to the MRT, and just a few train or bus stops from Somerset or Bugis. I used to park there all day, and travel nearby to close sales.

 

Crowded MRT train
Reach last stop: Suddenly realize you drove to work. (True Story)

 

4. Always Use HDB Parking

If there is a HDB parking lot nearby, always use that. The longer your meeting, the better it is to find a HDB lot and walk over. This is one of the biggest advantages of Heartland areas.

Plenty of HDB carparks are free on weekends, and even on weekdays, prepaid parking beats anything in a mall. You can even get a $10 all day parking ticket. If you’re going to Parkway Parade, for example, there’s a huge, cheap parking lot around the Marine Parade flats. It’s also easier than the homicide-inducing mall carpark, and free on weekends.

 

HDB Parking Lot
“The residents WANT us to park here. That’s why they make the lots so clean and welcoming.”

 

5. Park and Move

If you find a carpark with a grace period, such X hours free, try to park and move. It’s a bit inconvenient, but all you have to do is drive out and drive back in. As mentioned above, the IMM building has a huge grace period of three hours; it’s a simple matter to drive out and back between a meeting or shopping spree.

This is a huge benefit to sales people. A sales pitch shouldn’t take more than an hour, so schedule your meetings near these carparks.

 

Colourful stopwatch on the wrist
“I’m in a rush, I have to drive back to where I already am.”

 

A Note on Mosques, Temples, and Churches

Some of you may have noticed that religious sites have free, ample parking; like a heaven or Nirvana for stray cars. Aside from the fact that parking there (when you’re not attending) is a jerk move, there’s a serious drawback to these spaces.

If you park there and a service starts, you won’t be driving out till it’s well and over. Other people attending the service will park around you, jamming your car in the middle. And if you park at the front of the crowd, you will get caught…because the vehicles behind you can’t leave until you do. So you’re facing an angry mob when you get back.

 

Parking outside a Hindu temple
Yeah, just park there. Because why stop at annoying mortals right?

 

Image Credits:
LHOONtata_aka_TnotsogoodphotographyNate RobertpetrrblakespotalantankenghoeRudy Herman

Got any tips on cheap or free parking? Comment and let us know!

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Ryan Ong

I was a freelance writer for over a decade, and covered topics from music to super-contagious foot diseases. I took this job because I believe financial news should be accessible and fun to read. Also, because the assignments don't involve shouting teenagers and debilitating plagues.