US operators adopting size-based parking charges

14.05.14SUV

As an adjunct to our Madrid post, we note that some parking operators in the US are also adopting variable pricing measures, but this has more to do with a scarcity of space than any green initiative.  According to the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, drivers of large SUVs are being charged extra to park in some major cities.  Garages in Manhattan, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Boston have implemented SUV surcharges typically ranging from $10 to $40US per day.  With many of those immense SUVs taking up nearly twice the space of smaller vehicles, it’s not difficult to see the rationale behind this practice.

The surcharge is particularly prevalent among valet operations in city garages and hotels.  With valets trying to squeeze in as many cars as possible, an SUV takes up more room in the lot, which means fewer cars can get in, and hence SUVs are charged more to compensate.

Some garages, for example Colonial Parking Garages in Washington DC and some ICON Garages in New York City, go one step further and deny entry to SUVs and oversized vehicles.

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