Smarter Parking FAQ

We get that finding and paying for parking can be confusing, so we're here to help you.

Here's what has changed

  • You now get one hour of free parking every day after logging in your reg in the meter 
  • When you park in the CBD, you now have the choice to pay for additional time by coin, debit/credit card or the CellOPark app on your phone  

  • You are paying to park anywhere in the CBD, so you can move around the whole CBD within the time you have paid for. Your payment is linked to your car registration, not a car park. 

  • There are no paper tickets anymore, so you will no longer need to put a ticket in your car.

How does the one hour free parking work?

You can park anywhere in the CBD and move between car parks during this one hour as often as you like. All you need to do to claim your free hour is add your rego into a parking meter, or press start once you’ve set up the CellOPark app. Your free hour can be used across different parking spaces but not across different parts of the day.

Why do I still need to enter my registration when I won’t stay over the hour?

This is simply so we know when you arrived. Unless we know when your free hour started, we won’t know when it ends. If you don’t register with either a meter or a smartphone app you are liable for a parking fine. 

If I move from one park to another do I need to re-enter my registration plate?

No, all meters are connected so you do not need to re-enter this information.

Where can I park all day for free (or $6.50 and less)?

Your first hour of parking in the CBD is free, per day, per vehicle. You must sign into a parking meter or the CellOPark app to claim this free hour.   

You can also park free for two hours at the Eastwood Street car park (near Coles and Woolworths), the Curtis Street (Big W) car park and at the Central Square car park. You do not need to sign into any parking meters or the app in these areas. 

There is free all-day parking at Eastern Oval and the Creswick Road Car Park. You do not need to sign into any parking meters or the app in these areas. 

All-day parking is capped at $6.50 per day at the Field Street, Anderson Street, Peel Street North and Peel Street South car parks. Here your first hour is free, then $3 per hour (capped at $6.50). 

The Doveton Street car park is $3 per hour. 

I don’t have a smartphone, so how can I pay to park?

No worries, you can still use coins to pay for parking.   

You’ll find a mix of coin and card meters and card-only meters around the CBD.

Do I need to press STOP to end every parking session?

If you used a parking meter – no, you do not need to return to a parking meter to end your session. The parking meters are prepaid, so you only pay for the time you want to stay in the CBD for. Then, when you're finished your parking session, just drive away. 

If you are using the CellOPark app – yes, you need to remember to hit ‘stop’ to end your session. Unlike the meters, your fee is calculated at the end of your stay (after you press ‘stop’ in the app) and is then charged to your nominated credit or debit card. 

How does this affect disability parking permits?

The good news is nothing has changed for those with blue disability parking permits.  

Blue permit holders can park in any all-day park (including off-street car parks) for free, all day.   

You can also park in time-restricted parking spots for twice as long as the signs indicate, for free!   

You do not need to add your rego into a parking meter, but we’d appreciate it if you could (if it’s convenient).  

Everyone with a green permit gets their first hour of parking free, then can stay for double the time they pay for. You must add your rego into a parking meter. 

Our parking officers will still be on-foot checking for your permit. 

How do people with disability permits interact with the system?

This system has not changed for people with a blue disability permit, they must still display their permit on their dash, that is all.

How do the licence plate scanning vehicles work with disability permits?

The system will notify the officers that there is a vehicle that has not paid, the officer will then do a visual inspection to check for a permit.

How does moving a car work once the first free hour is up?

Within Zone 1 there are NO time restrictions. You can move anywhere within Zone 1 whilst you have valid paid parking. You can stay as long as you like and simply pay for the time you are there. You can move around within Zone 1 and not have to restart your time. Remember you only get your  one hour free for the first time you park.  

How much is it to park?

The first hour of parking is free and then it will be $3 an hour after that. If you stay on street from 9am until 5.30pm, it will cost a maximum total of $22.50. However you can choose to park at on off-street car park for $6.50 per day. 

Are there any different charges for concession card holders or pensioners?

No – this is unchanged. 

How do infringement notices work?

As per the current system, with parking inspectors putting paper parking fines on cars, handing a ticket to the driver or infringements mailed out to the registered vehicle's address if there are adverse conditions for the parking fines to be placed on car windows. 
How do the number plate scanning vehicles work? 

Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) vehicles scan, mark and photograph a vehicle's location from any angle, not dissimilar to the chalk and walk method currently used but with more reliable and efficient technology. 

Do the number plate scanning vehicles only work on cars parked at 90 degree angles?

No, it works on all angles 

Do the number plate scanning vehicles work on cars parked bumper-to-bumper (as some people tend to do)?

Yes, and it is illegal to park closer than 1 metre to another vehicle. 

Do the number plate scanning vehicles issue fines, or do they alert staff on-foot about potential infringements?

They alert the driver and passenger who will either get out and perform their duties or in some cases it can be posted. 

Will there still be staff on-foot putting paper tickets on cars?

Yes, this will still be the predominant method for infringements as is current practice. 

Will parking tickets arrive in the mail?

In some circumstances, infringements are posted out. This happens for a variety of reasons and is part of the current parking process. 

How will people know they've been fined?

As per the current process, by either a ticket on the windscreen, a ticket handed to the driver or it posted to the registered vehicle's address. 

Will there be alerts in the app if time is running out?

This is an option via the premium CellOPark app which is $1.99 a month 

Will there be an expansion of Zone 1 or 2?

As the city grows, then yes there may be changes but this will be determined on evidence based assessments. 

When will the system be reviewed?

It will constantly be reviewed as was the commitment to Council and the Community. 

Are there plans for more new free car parks in the city?

Eastern Oval Car Park is now open and is free. Also we are still waiting to see how the Victorian Government will roll out their commitment to 1000 free CBD car parking spaces.