The terrible, no good, very bad prospect of parking in Paris


So you brought a car to Paris and now you need somewhere to put it. Because of course you now realize Paris mass transit is great, and trafficfalse congestion is awful, and really, who wants to be on the road with Parisians anyway? They drive like maniacs.

Forbidden is a favorite word for the French

Finding an on-street space is particularly difficult because parking is forbidden on many streets in the center of the city, especially main access routes designated as “red routes” ( “Stationnement Interdit” means parking is forbidden and may be illustrated by the letter “P” with a line through it. No parking may also be indicated by a “Stationnement Gênant” sign with a picture of a truck towing away a vehicle, or by yellow markings on the curb. Your options are limited and it’s going to be either stressful, expensive, or both.

There is hope yet for the unlucky car-ridden Paris tourist

This site highlights some of the parking regulations you need to keep in mind. There is a fee for street parking Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm – night time and Sundays are free. On public holidays and during the month of August, it is possible to park for free on certain streets; look for a yellow sticker placed on the parking meter.

Be prepared to pay top euro for parking in the center of Paris

For parking purposes, Paris is divided into three zones. You will pay the highest rate closest to the center of the city, usually €3 per hour. Outside the Périphérique, rates drop to as little as €1 per hour. Since you cannot use coins in parking meters, you will need to get a Paris Carte, dispensed from machines at tobacconists. These cards can be loaded with amounts ranging from €10 to €30. Place the card on your windshield, and make sure it can be seen clearly from the outside. Bear in mind, you cannot park on the street for more than 2 hours.

Avoid the frustration of on street parking and spring for a car park

Another option is to find a car park (map of garages). There are many conveniently located underground car parks to choose from, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just look for a white “P” on a blue background. Twenty-four hour security is provided by guards and cameras. Again, rates will vary according to the garage’s location. In the city center, allow around €2.50 for 1 hour, €5 for 2 hours and €20 or more for 12 to 24 hours. On the outskirts of Paris, prices are generally lower, averaging €10 to €15 for 24 hours. Underground car parks frequently offer special rates for the weekend.

Car parks in Paris

Finding a garage on your own, in an unfamiliar city, can sometimes feel overwhelming, but don’t despair. Here’s the best of what’s available. Be sure to search for last minute and off season discounts before booking.

Paris France Parking (
T: +33 (0)1 44 64 90 60

They claim to have around 2,000 parking spaces both on the outskirts of Paris and in the city center, including locations at all the railway stations, airports, event venues and popular neighborhoods. All the parks have been renovated and supply 24-hour video surveillance. PFP claims to be able to offer the best pricing because they operate their own parks, eliminating the middle-man. You can book your space online and there is no booking fee or advance payment required. This site stood out from the others because the pricing is easily accessible and does not require you to enter details to obtain a quote. Their general pricing for a vehicle less than 2 meters in height, ranged from €19 for 24 hours to €149 for 30 Days.

OnePark (
T: 0811 69 25 25

OnePark appears to be one of the “middle-men” alluded to by Paris France Parking. This site claims to have “the best price, always.” You can book a spot from wherever you are using your mobile phone. Just enter where you are headed and they’ll show you all the parking lots in the area. In order to bring up specific pricing information and availability, you will need to enter your arrival and departure dates. Once you book, you will be sent a confirmation email with instructions and are guaranteed a parking spot upon arrival at your chosen location.

Parkings de Paris (

Parkings de Paris partners with Saemes and offers a multi–park pass that allows you to park in 10 different facilities for the duration of your booking. They advertise the largest selection of car parks affiliated with the Parking City Pass network and will create packages tailored specifically for you – to events, games, concerts, parties, shows, exhibitions, fairs and exhibitions. You can reserve a place, modify, and cancel up to two hours before arriving and up to six months in advance.

Exclusive to their website are fixed-price parking passes created especially for visitors going to the Paris Le Bourget Exhibition Center, located around 10km to the north of Paris, alongside Le Bourget airport. These spots are in “a cheap and safe car park situated very close to an RER station (Regional Express Railway).” You will then take the RER line B which will drop you off in 5 to 25 minutes at the railway station “Le Bourget.” Then, a shuttle bus (Bus 152) will take you to the exhibition center. It sounds a bit daunting, but could be worth avoiding the stress of trying to get closer to the venue. Parking de Paris describes all the various options, including railway and shuttle bus instructions, on their site. Again, you cannot get specific information as to rates until you enter the details of your request.

So, if you must explore Paris by car, with tenacity, you should be able to find a place to park – but vehicles in Paris are best left to the locals unless absolutely necessary.

September 3, 2015 |