The Best Parking Tip Ever

Ever driven around LA at night and had trouble finding parking? If so, what I’m about to say will save you plenty of headaches in the future. Every night from 6 pm to 7 am (and all day Sunday), yellow loading zones turn into legal parking spots. That’s right, you’re allowed to park in a yellow loading zone for as long as you to want without getting a ticket. This is especially useful in downtown LA, where all streets are lined with yellow loading zone spots. It’s also useful in Santa Monica and Venice, as well as in certain areas of Hollywood. So do yourself a favor and stop wasting money on ridiculously unnecessary valets, and instead park in a yellow loading zone at night.

Note that yellow loading zones can be marked by either a yellow sign (pic above), or by the curb being painted yellow (link below). The exact law is here:

Disclaimer – If you tell your friends about this, somebody will surely claim they got a ticket doing exactly what I’ve suggested. The key is to not listen to them — what most likely happened is they parked in a white loading zone and didn’t know realize it was illegal. I know this because one of my friends called bullshit on me, when he showed me the exact spot he parked in, it was white. So trust what you read, and next time you see that yellow loading zone spot open at night, TAKE IT!


20 Responses to The Best Parking Tip Ever

  1. Michael Dunn says:

    I cant remember how many times ive thought i found a parking spot and it ended up to be a loading zone so I continued to look.. :(

  2. JULIYA says:

    wow…I wish I knew this sooner! Thanks for the awesome advice!

  3. Megumi Hosogai says:

    Good to know. Does this rule apply in City of West Hollywood or Santa Monica?

  4. Ben says:

    Good question — The West Hollywood and Santa Monica traffic guides don’t specify, but I would surmise to say that the same rules apply there (meaning you can park in loading zones past 6 pm)

  5. Robo says:

    Thank god I know this now, I usually pay $20 or whatever for a valet

  6. Indira says:

    I WISH i knew this before!! could have saved me a lot of time

  7. Pat says:

    Parking signs in LA are impossible to figure out unless you spend like 5 minutes reading the 4 different signs posted telling you what days and what hours you are allowed to park there.

  8. Casanova says:

    Pat- you are absolutely right! At least with this post you have an advantage over people who are unaware that they are actually allowed to park in loading zones! Score!

  9. Oscar says:

    Ahha! Didn’t know this. What a wonderful tip. Thanks so much.

  10. Yes says:

    This was horrible advice… I got a ticket at 2 in the morning… Not cool

    • backdoorLA says:

      Where did you get the ticket? This only applies to places with a Los Angeles address (downtown area, hollywood, westwood, brentwood, etc)

      • Irene says:

        Many streets in DTLA have signs for no parking between 2am and 5am nightly (for street cleaning) so that’s probably what happened.

  11. chris says:

    Your website is fantastic! Keep up the good work.

  12. spacekat says: known this for years and no ojne ever believes me…oh well, the less people who know the better

  13. battlegirl says:

    thanks so much! have been using this great tip for the past year. i was hesitant at first but spoke with 2 parking officers and they confirmed it. of course you do need to confirm all the other signs around because a lot of valet only areas override loading zones after 6pm. having said that i did get ticketed at 6:15 at a loading zone i regularly parked at and had to go through and contest the ticket. however, they did rule they gave me a ticket in error and refunded my money.

  14. g says:

    DONT TELL PEOPLE THIS! thats the point of a secret

  15. DL says:

    Next time you are looking for an available ‘Loading Only’ spot they’ll be taken cause you’ve turned an inside tip into an announcement.

    • Joel says:

      A buddy of mine had a jock that was doing that (stealing my buddy’s homework and his only smart move chgnniag the name), and for some reason getting away with it. The jock was, however, missing a number of assignments, and had taken some pop quizzes that he had failed miserably hence his leaning on my buddy. The mid-term test was a paper, and the jock went after my buddy. I got to my buddy first (thanks to a well-developed spy network) and we concocted a paper that read quite well at first glance, but went on to be an entire confession. The jock took it and turned it in. BUSTED!! The jock got an F for the first half of the year, and ended up being held back a year. Fortunately for my buddy, the jock moved away shortly after the end of the year. We were sweating, but the payback was DELICIOUS!The moral to your story? I’d hope it was he learned his lesson in school and started working hard. More likely, he learned how to gather a talented circle of support and has rode their work to success. Life doesn’t go how you expect after school one year after our high school class graduated, 9 of the top 10 students had entered AND dropped out of college (including the valedictorian), 2 of them having been in more than one college!

  16. Scott says:

    Some loading zones do have posted operating hours that are outside the 6PM to 7AM free space hours. Those loading zones must post those operating hours.

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