Major metropolitan areas are notorious for being either too expensive for parking or entirely impossible for finding parking. After spending 30 minutes looking for a spot, you are much more likely to risk getting a ticket just to be able to get out of the car.

Here are five free apps that you can use knowing that they are among the best for managing parking, from finding your car to monitoring the meter:

  1. MetroMile is a great app that will help you locate your car in San Francisco, as well as monitoring your gas mileage. These are not the only features on the app either. You can get reminders when your car is in a cleaning area.

  2. PayByPhone is another San Francisco app that helps you track your time as the parking meter. Avoid the heavy fines associated with parking in this huge metropolis by allowing you to pay for your meter from your phone, saving you the jog back to your car.

  3. ParkMe comes with a number of priceless features, such as finding the closest parking garages and rates or streets with meters. Even better, it lists what is available in real time. This app covers many of the nation’s largest cities, from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

  4. PrimoSpot is an app designed to help drives in New York, Boston, and Seattle. It helps locate nearby parking spots and garages. While it does not provide real-time information, it does provide addresses, phone numbers, and other information for parking garages so you can call ahead.

  5. SpotHero serves New York, Boston, Baltimore, Newark, Washington D.C., Milwaukee, and Chicago. Now you can get price comparisons for parking and reserve a spot before you get there so you can save yourself the cost of another parking ticket.

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