Apartment Parking: Everything You Need to Know

Lilly Milman

By Lilly Milman

Sep 25, 2023

When you have a car, moving to an apartment with parking is nonnegotiable. However, not all parking spaces are created equal. Depending on what type of building and what area you are living in, you’ll be presented with different options — ranging from assigned, covered spaces to free street parking.

In this article, we go through the most common types of parking options that you’ll see and their pros and cons.

Street Parking

City renters will likely be very familiar with street parking. While large buildings in dense urban areas will often offer their tenants assigned parking spots in a garage or lot in exchange for a monthly fee, these charges can add up quickly and price car owners out. The free alternative to renting one of these pricey spaces is finding parking on the street, which can be difficult but is possible for those willing to put in the work. You may also see an apartment listing advertising street parking if it’s in a slightly less dense area, with more multi-family homes or small buildings than skyscrapers, where finding a spot nearby isn’t a huge challenge.


  • It’s free.
  • You have the potential to find a spot very close to home.


  • You may have to move your car for street cleaning.
  • There’s no guarantee you will find a spot.
  • You can’t aren’t promised any easy visitor parking.
  • The spot is uncovered, so you will not be protected from weather.
  • Depending on parking regulations in your area, you may need to get a resident sticker to avoid getting parking tickets.


If you are living in a more suburban area, then your apartment or multi-family home may come with a driveway. This may be shared with other tenants of the building. While a driveway will come with some of the cons of street parking, it can be a better option for those looking for a more consistent parking space.


  • You have a consistent parking spot close to your apartment.
  • If your driveway is large enough, you have consistent guest parking as well.
  • Your car is a bit more protected from other cars on the street.


  • The spot is uncovered, so you will not be protected from weather.
  • If the driveway is shared with another tenant (like a tandem parking spot), you may get blocked in.
  • The driveway spot may or may not be free; some landlords rent out their driveways for a fee.

Unassigned Parking

If you are living in a large building or an apartment complex or community, one of the amenities offered may be a parking space in an apartment parking lot. However, if the parking is unassigned, then that means you will still have to find a spot in the lot by yourself. Depending on your building’s parking policy, guests may also be allowed to temporarily park in the apartment community’s lot. You may also need to apply for a parking pass to park in your building’s lot.


  • You have a guaranteed spot in a private parking lot.


  • You may still end up circling around the lot if you cannot find an open parking spot that’s close to your apartment, which can be a hassle.
  • Non-residents may be parked in the lot if they are guests, taking up valuable parking space from residents.
  • If the spot is uncovered, you will not be protected from weather.

Assigned Parking

Assigned parking means that you get a designated spot in your apartment building’s parking lot — sometimes as a perk and sometimes for a fee, depending on your lease agreement. It may be uncovered or covered parking depending on your building’s parking situation.


  • You have a guaranteed spot in a private parking lot.
  • You don’t have to worry about other people parking in your designated spot.


  • Assigned parking usually comes with an added fee.
  • If the spot is uncovered, you will not be protected from weather.

Parking Garage

A parking garage is arguably the safest option for storing your vehicle. You don’t have to worry about the weather, and usually spots in an apartment building’s garage are assigned, so you won’t have to worry about anyone taking your spot, either.


  • The spot is covered, so you will not need to worry about the weather.
  • The spot will likely be assigned, so you will have a guaranteed parking spot.
  • If the garage is densely packed, there may be a valet to help you park.


  • Garage parking usually comes with an added fee.

The Bottom Line

If you are moving to a new apartment with a car in tow, it’s important to consider the building’s parking options before you sign the lease. Different buildings will have different parking rules. If you are looking for a hassle-free parking space, find a building with an assigned parking option. If you want to save some cash on parking, try to find a multifamily unit with a driveway or with ample street parking nearby.

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