If you’ve driven in any major downtown area, you know that parking is one of the biggest unavoidable hassles you’ll face. Through Parking Panda, drivers and parking space owners can help turn parking into an effortless experience.
For drivers, finding a great parking spot that isn’t taken, permit-only, or ridiculously overpriced can be an incredibly time-consuming process. At the same time, plenty of single parking space and parking lot owners aren’t fully utilizing their space each day. Parking Panda’s entry into the sharing economy creates the connection between these two stakeholders that solves both problems at once.
In this article, we’ll show you how you can use Parking Panda to save time and earn money.
What Is Parking Panda?
Parking Panda is a mobile app and desktop platform that allows drivers to reserve their spot in a parking garage or parking lot before they get there. This is especially helpful if you’re heading to a time-sensitive nearby concert, sporting event, meeting, or flight. Originally founded in Baltimore in 2011, the platform now connects users to parking spots in over 40 major cities in the United States and Canada, including:
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
Much of this growth was thanks to a 2017 acquisition by SpotHero, another parking reservation service that has raised over $100 million to date. While Parking Panda was focused on partnering with sports teams and convention centers to provide reliable event parking, SpotHero helped bring more small-scale parking spots and everyday parking garages to the platform.
Today, most of Parking Panda reservations are actually fulfilled by SpotHero, but it remains a standalone platform with a loyal user base.
How Parking Panda Works for Drivers
When drivers are spending an average of 17 hours and $345 just searching for parking each year, it’s clear why Parking Panda is needed. Parking Panda helps drivers save money not only by reducing the amount of time and gas you waste circling around the block, but also by helping users compare prices for their desired time frames. According to Parking Panda, this helps drivers attain up to 70% in savings each time.
If Parking Panda already sounds like a great deal to you, you can sign up using one of two methods:
- Head to parkingpanda.com on your desktop and tap “Sign Up” on the upper right-hand corner.
- Download the Parking Panda app on your Android or iPhone, tap the menu icon on the upper left-hand corner, and select the “Account” tab.
Once you’re at the sign-up page, create an account with your email, Facebook account, or Google account.
Booking a Parking Space
As soon as you’re logged into your Parking Panda account, you can book your first parking spot. To do so:
- Head to the home screen of the desktop website or mobile app.
- Search for your desired parking location.
- Fill in your desired date and time frame.
- Browse through the real-time list of available parking options, sorting by distance and amenities as needed. Some examples of helpful amenities that Parking Panda lots may provide are wheelchair accessibility, overnight parking, and free shuttle services (typically to the airport). While browsing, make sure to read through all listing details, as some lots have specific rules about re-entry, vehicle size limits, and where you can park.
- Once you find your desired lot, tap the orange “Reserve” button on its listing.
- Review your reservation details to ensure they’re correct. At some locations, you may see that your reservation duration is extended for free, if the location allows for more time at the same cost.
- Input your credit card information (Parking Panda doesn’t currently offer any other payment method) and tap “Pay for Parking.”
Depending on the parking lot you’ve booked a spot at, you may receive a QR code to scan or a parking pass to show an attendant during your reservation time. Then check out as specified on your booking. Many locations simply allow you to leave with no further action, making your parking experience even easier.
How Parking Panda Works for Parking Space Owners
Since its acquisition, Parking Panda has stopped accepting direct applications from parking space owners. This is because the company has transitioned away from fulfilling reservations, leaving SpotHero as the go-to place for owners of both single parking garages, lots, and spaces.
To get your parking location listed on the SpotHero and Parking Panda, you actually need to first fill out information about your parking space. To do so, head to the property managers page and tap “Learn More” or head to the parking space owner page and tap “Start Earning.”
Within 48 hours, an account representative will reach out to you to confirm your listing and help you set up your monthly payments. You’ll need to have three images of your parking location ready by the time they reach out.
Your earnings on Parking Panda and SpotHero will mostly depend on your location and parking availability. When you get on a call with your account representative, they’ll help you select a competitive hourly or monthly rate to help you make the most money from online parking reservations possible. This has helped parking lot owners with as few as eight spots in a desirable location earn nearly $3,000 per month.
If you plan to sell hourly parking, you should expect to pay SpotHero a 20% fee on bookings, plus 99 cents for reservations over $10. You’ll only need to pay a 15% fee, plus 99 cents, for monthly bookings.
Even with the fees, SpotHero is a great marketing opportunity that can help you fill up your lot days ahead, especially if you strategically up your availability on your slowest days. Or if you simply have parking spots that would otherwise be left unused, it serves as a great passive income opportunity to help you earn effortlessly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Parking Panda is a great solution for drivers and space owners alike, allowing both sides to benefit from every transaction. If you’re still itching to learn more about the platform, here are some frequently asked questions for you to read through:
1. Do I need to pay a cancellation fee if I don’t need my parking spot anymore?
No, Parking Panda assures that you can get a full refund as long as you cancel before the time of your booking. All you need to do is go to the “Reservations” section of your app to get a refund in the form of Parking Panda credits, which you will immediately receive, or a monetary refund, which will return to your card within three business days. You can also use the “Reservations” tab to change the timing of your booking, if you just need a parking spot at a different time.
If you run into any issues, you can contact Parking Panda at [email protected] or at 800-232-6415.
2. Will I have a dedicated parking spot reserved for me?
The majority of locations listed on Parking Panda will not have a dedicated spot for users, and those that do will have this noted on their Parking Panda listing. Instead, your purchase will be for a guaranteed spot in the location’s general parking, meaning that the lot owners will ensure at least one spot is available at the time of your arrival.
3. How do I get paid when my parking spots are sold?
SpotHero will pay you on the first day of every month for any parking spaces you sell in the previous month. This payment can be received in the form of an ACH payment, which goes directly into your checking account, or in the form of a check, which will take a few days longer to arrive in your mailbox.
Take the Headache Out of Parking
Since its creation, Parking Panda has built a great parking ecosystem that helps lot owners maximize their space, while helping drivers waste less time and money. When you sign up for the platform as a driver, you’ll never have to worry about walking several blocks to your destination or fighting for the last parking spot nearby. As a space owner, you’ll be able to help drivers get reliable parking, while earning effortlessly.
Have room for people to stay but not for cars to park? Consider becoming an Airbnb host instead to help travelers while making money with your spare room, vacation home, or unused property.