In most major metropolitan areas, searching for parking is painful. In one study, researchers found that the average motorist spends 17 hours every year searching for a spot. That number multiples significantly in the largest U.S. cities. In New York, you could spend over 100 hours a year finding a place to park, which not only wastes time but clogs the roadways and contributes to traffic issues too.

SpotHero, the most extensive parking reservation service in the nation, wants to fix this problem. The company offers reserved parking in 30 major cities and 3,300 different locations across the country and launched service to 13 new areas in early 2017.

SpotHero parking serves both business commuters as well as travelers and tourists and has a free-to-use app and website where you make and pay for your reservation.

In this helpful guide to SpotHero parking we’ll give you the details about the service, what it is, how it works, and answers to frequently asked questions. We’ll also include information on participating cities, coupons and promo codes, and a step by step guide to setting up your reservation.

What You Need to Know About SpotHero

Here is a rundown of all of the details about SpotHero.  We’ve included information to answer the most frequently asked questions about the service.

What is SpotHero?

SpotHero is a parking reservation service where drivers can secure a spot in a garage a lot beforehand. The company partners with these locations to obtain discounts off the drive-up rate that can stack up to 50 percent at some sites.

SpotHero is available online through their website, or via an iOS or Android app. Through the technology, you can search options in the area, compare the cost, and then reserve and pay for your spot.

Does SpotHero Own the Parking Garages?

While SpotHero partners with over 3,300 locations nationwide, they do not own or operate any of the lots or garages. Instead, they work closely with their partners and negotiate guaranteed, reserved spots at premium rates on your behalf.

How Do You Know How Much Parking Will Cost?

When you search in the app or on the website for your options, you’ll see a list of available spots. The rate displayed is based on a date and time that you enter and reflects the entire time period. It’s not based on an hourly total, and you won’t need to do any calculations to make comparisons.

If I’ve Reserved a Parking Spot, Is It Guaranteed?

SpotHero guarantees that you will have a parking spot available for the date and time that you booked one through their service. Although they are not physically on-site at each of the lots or garages, they coordinate with their parking partners to keep an accurate record of their inventory to ensure the space is available.

If there is ever a problem with your reservation when you arrive, their customer service team is able to find you an alternate parking solution at no additional charge in the vicinity.

What Happens Once I Book a Reservation with SpotHero?

Once you confirm your booking with SpotHero, you’ll receive an email with your parking pass to the address you provided.

You can also log onto the website or into your app to view your parking pass under the “My Reservations” section.

Your parking pass is both your receipt and the place you’ll find the vital information about your reservation including:

  • The date and time period of your booking
  • The address of the parking facility you’ll be using
  • Directions and a map of the area to help you find the location
  • Photos showing you the facility and its surroundings to help with landmarks, entry points, and general navigation
  • A how-to guide on redeeming your pass at the location
  • Other important details specific to the lot or garage you’ve chosen

What Happens Once I Book a Reservation with SpotHero?

SpotHero understands that your plans may change, and they give you some flexibility with your reservation. You will have access to your parking spot only during the exact times you requested, but you aren’t confined to only moving your vehicle during those windows.

You will be able to enter the structure or lot any time after the listed start time and leave any time before without incurring additional charges. For example, if you have reserved a space from the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you want to leave at 4 p.m. instead, you can do that without a penalty.

However, if you need to access your space earlier or stay later than your scheduled reservation period, you may have to pay additional fees at the facility. You could also be subject to being ticketed or towed from the parking facility depending on their policies.

If you are an NYC commuter and you use one of the SpotHero specials, there are additional requirements to park. You’ll need to enter before a particular time to validate your reservation. Any time there are special considerations, they will be noted in the “Spot Parking Details” section of the parking pass you receive via email.

Do I Need to Print My Parking Pass?

For the majority of the SpotHero partner locations, you won’t need to worry about carrying a paper copy of your parking pass with you. However, there are a handful of sites that require a print-out. Be sure to check your spot reservation in the description section before you go to see if yours is one of them. If you don’t have a printed copy at a location that requires it, you won’t be able to use your reservation.

How Do I Know What to Do When I Arrive?

SpotHero makes it easy to redeem your pass at any of their partner locations. They include “How to Redeem” steps with every parking pass to let you know what to expect, and it’s important to read them before you arrive to ensure a seamless experience. The instructions can vary depending on the location and type of structure.

Can I Cancel My Reservation If My Plans Change?

Booking travel can be stressful, especially if there is a complicated cancellation policy. SpotHero wants to eliminate that part of the experience as it relates to parking. You can get a full refund for your spot up to the minute that your reservation is scheduled to begin. You can cancel online or in the app in the “My Reservations” section.

If you need to cancel or modify your reservation after your start time, you can always call their customer service team at 312-566-7768. While they may not be able to secure you a full refund, they will work diligently to get you an account credit or discount to make up for the expense.

How is SpotHero Different from Other Parking Apps?

Not only is SpotHero the largest in the market, but they also provide exclusive deals to their customers. While there are other apps and websites that offer reserved parking, few have as many locations and options at rates as competitive as their service.

Does SpotHero Have Good Reviews?

The company has parked over 10 million cars since its inception in 2011, and while you can find a handful of negative SpotHero reviews online, most people have an overwhelmingly positive experience.

According to their results in the app store, they have a solid 4.5+ rating from over 2,500 users who have commented

Participating Cities

SpotHero has had huge growth since they started in 2011.  In early 2017, they added 13 new markets to their list of participating cities to nearly double the number of people served year over year.

According to a press release, from their start through the end of 2016 they had parked over 4.5 million vehicles, and by the end of 2017, that number reached over 10 million.

Here is a list of cities where SpotHero operates:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin/San Antonio
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Jacksonville
  • Los Angele
  • Miami
  • Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • New York City
  • Newark
  • Oakland
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Sacrament
  • San Diego
  • San Franciso
  • San Jose
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Washington D.C.

Big City Examples

While there are popular sites and attractions at all of the major cities listed above, here are just a few examples of parking needs that SpotHero can accommodate with their thousands of locations.

SpotHero NYC

In the Big Apple, you can find spaces in near impossible locales like Manhattan, near Times Square, in Midtown, or Downtown.

SpotHero Chicago

Want to catch a Cubs game? You’re in luck. SpotHero has partners near Wrigley Field, as well as conveniently located by Navy Pier, The Loop, Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, and other popular destinations.

SpotHero DC

Touring the nation’s capital? You can book affordable parking close to the Smithsonian, the Verizon Center, National Mall, Dulles Airport, Reagan Airport, the National Zoo, and most of the prominent hotels in the city.

SpotHero Coupon and Promo Codes

SpotHero runs regular promotions for new customers that can save you money. Check online regularly for what’s available in your area.

If you are already a customer and want a SpotHero promo code, you can use their refer a friend program. Send an email to friends, family, and colleagues so that they save $7 off their first parking reservation. If they book, you’ll get a $7 credit in your account too.

Three-Step Guide to Using SpotHero

SpotHero wants to make finding your parking spot as simple as possible. To use the website or app, you’ll only need to follow three steps to secure your reservation.

Start by either logging onto the website or downloading the app on your mobile device. Once you log in, follow these instructions.

  1. 1
    Start your search by entering the time, date, and location where you want to park your car. You will see the rates for all open places and can compare amenities among your options.
  2. 2
    Select your spot and confirm your booking. You’ll need to enter your payment information to complete your reservation. Check your email, or log into your account and view the “My Reservations” section to see your parking pass and read the details.
  3. 3
    When you’re ready to redeem your pass, head to the designated location to park. Be sure you have any necessary items, such as the QR code or printed pass handy for a seamless transaction.