Ever sat in front of the perfect parking spot, but were unsure if you are allowed to park there?
Well you’re not the only one.
In Germany parking can be a pain, so there are some hints and tricks. If you want to sightsee in one of the many cities in Germany try looking for a parking garage, if you see parking along the streets make sure it is not for “Anlieger frei” or people with a parking permit only, that usually means that it is only for residents.
Or you fins Signs like this, telling you to use a Park disk. These parking disk are required on many parking lots/ parking spaces on and off base.
Before placing them on your dash board in clear sight for one to read from outside the vehicle, you set those blue wheels to the next full HALF hour when you park. that means, if you are parking at 10.32am you set it for 11am. If you park at 10.58am you also set it for 11am. Also it should be mentioned that this Parkscheibe has to be blue. Some stores sell fancy looking other Parkscheibe in pink or other colors with funny quotes or alike (‘gone shopping”). However, using a different color makes it invalid and they can fine you anyways.
Ankunftszeit = arrival time
Failing to use parking disk can become expensive.
Many super markets and other stores off base now have their parking lots supervised to avoid overflow by people parking longer than allowed or parking and not even shopping at their stores. This company will ticket every car that fails to provide a correctly used parking disk and people that park longer than the parking lot sign allows.
THESE TICKETS WILL COST YOU 30 EURO, which makes for some expensive parking.
The signs are mounted in the entrance area of their parking lot and by entering and parking you agree to the rules.
Allowed times to park for your shopping visit at the particular stores that own these private parking lot varies and can be seen on these signs.
If the parking along the streets is open to anyone, check for parking meters or leave the blue park disk in your window just in case. Park meters will charge by the hour so make sure to put enough change in the meter and then place the print out on your dash inside your car (if has to be easily visible or you will still get a ticket). You may want to check on the times displayed on the meter, often they only charge on weekdays during business hours.
Either way make sure there is no sign with a tow truck anywhere.
Here are some tips.
If unsure leave a note with your cellphone number on your dash, German courts have ruled in the past that if a phone number is left, the tow company should call before towing your car. No guarantee of course.
“Halteverbot” und “Parkverbot”…. 2 different signs 2 different meanings. Parkverbot is the sign with one red bar. It literally means no parking, but a quick stop is allowed. So if you’re just dropping someone off or running in to get something (up to 3 minutes) you’re within all legal limits.
Halteverbot (with the red X) means no parking or stopping at all.
Parking garages… Most garages have video surveillance and are fairly safe. Some of the nice features are Lady parking ( parking spots next or close to the exit/or guardhouse) for female drivers that are driving alone; and yes men can get in trouble for parking there, disability parking and discounts when shopping at affiliated stores or staying at affiliated hotels.