San Francisco Overnight Parking
February 10, 2022 11:48 AM   Subscribe

I have a San Francisco trip in the works where I drive and stay for about a week. What are some economical options for places to park my car while I’m there?

My original plan was to stay at the Motor Inn Nob Hill which includes free parking, as that worked out fine for me in the past. Recent reviews make that option seem a bit dodgy and most hotels don’t include parking and instead charge something like $50 per day, which is a lot to pay for a car to sit around.

As it’s looking like it will cost me no matter what I do, I’d prefer spending on a nicer hotel and parking my car farther away over paying for a mediocre place and enjoying the convenience of parking on the hotel grounds. But if there are hotel recommendations that fit my needs, I’m all ears. I plan to stay somewhere I can walk or take public transportation to the SoMa district within 25 minutes with a budget of up to around $200/night.

There are many, many stories about cars parked on the street getting windows smashed and property stolen so I’d prefer to park in a lot or structure unless it's farther out in the suburbs.
My two priorities are:
- A safe place to park
- Paying $20/day or less for parking
posted by Goblin Barbarian to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you don't need to get your car at all during your stay, I'd look into the park & fly style lots as an option. Even the long term parkin at SFO itself is under $20/day, and private lots will be cheaper (and possibly better located.) You get a place to park were a car sitting around for a week doesn't stand out. The biggest downside is once you've parked public transit into the city will be a pain--you'll probably need to go the airport itself, then catch something.
posted by mark k at 12:05 PM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

BART has long-term parking, if you're coming from the south or east . From the south (guessing from your profile location) Daly City should work, which has very frequent service to downtown SF. $6 per day, and less of a hassle than the airport - if you used airport parking you'd have to get to the airport proper and then catch BART from there.

(Disclaimer: I have not actually used long-term BART parking, and I haven't lived in the Bay Area in nearly a decade.)
posted by madcaptenor at 12:30 PM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

Seconding BART multiday parking (PDF guide). I've left my car at Daly City BART for a week without incident.
posted by pmdboi at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2022

The Parker Guest House has queen-bed rooms with a private but non-attached bath (in the hall outside, I guess?) for 209.00 a night for a random week in late April, and when I called, a nice person named George said that their parking rate is 28.00 a day. (It's right next to Dolores Park - you can't swing a backpack without smacking into beautiful views and delicious food in this neighborhood. ^_^)
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 1:42 PM on February 10, 2022

As an SF resident, the only way you'll pay $20 (or less) per day is to park OUTSIDE the city. And if you do choose BART parking, remember, you have to PAY BART to get there. That's $3.50 each way and takes 35 minutes (assume Daly City to Powell St. Station).
posted by kschang at 1:46 PM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

I know you said no street parking, but if you decide to go that route as the suggestions above aren’t exactly promising, these are the rules I followed for no window damage in SF for 5 years:

- Never leave ANYTHING visible in your car while it’s parked, including charging cables, spare coats, bags, etc.
- Don’t park adjacent to schools or vacant lots (fewer people around to see/hear if something happens on the weekend)
- Don’t park near festivals and street fairs
- Park on hills, not flat parts of the city (in my neighborhood, there was a dramatic difference between the amount of broken glass on flat areas vs. just barely up a hill)
- Don’t forget to move your care for street cleaning
- Park in residential neighborhoods
posted by A Blue Moon at 2:03 PM on February 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

You could try something like Curbflip or SpotHero -- many condos and apartments in downtown SF come with dedicated parking spots in a building-wide garage, and not everyone who lives in one owns a car.
posted by phoenixy at 2:38 PM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

I was pleasantly surprised by Cow Hollow Motor inn, on Lombardi. . There was free parking.

*I stayed there 4 years ago. Things might have changed.
posted by jennstra at 4:56 PM on February 10, 2022

The BART parking isn't that great, in my opinion. You have to leave a long-term parking piece of paper in your car which makes me think that the pickings will be easy. I've never seen a BART parking lot attended by anyone. Probably slightly better than street parking, but not much.

SpotHero is a good idea, you can see whether the parking is enclosed and the prices are pretty good. You might get a a better price or more convenient location by splitting your stay up on the site.

One other option is that it's easier and faster to get to SOMA from Oakland via transit than much of SF.
posted by wnissen at 7:11 PM on February 10, 2022

- Never leave ANYTHING visible in your car while it’s parked, including charging cables, spare coats, bags, etc.

According to a friend of mine living in the area, don't leave so much as a Kleenex box in your car.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:03 PM on February 10, 2022

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