Oh, the nimble scooter?! One of the perks of driving a scooter is all about how they maneuver well and so tiny that they can fit in the craziest places. That said, can you park them in the craziest places? Will you come back to find that you’ve been granted an award for your crazy parking – a ticket? This gets tricky across state and local regulations, but there are some general rules of thumb to stay out of trouble and keep your money and time in check.
Do NOT park your scooter in the following locations:
- Areas with diagonal lines indicating no parking (white, yellow, red, or blue)
- Bike racks
Use the following guidelines to follow most rules:
- Pay any parking fees and display parking permits just like a traditional vehicle (unless signage indicates otherwise)
- Park with your scooter angled towards the road with the rear wheel touching the curb when street parking
- Park in designated motorcycle spaces if given the option
- Park to 1 side & rear of a full-sized vehicle space
That said, you will want to confirm the law of the land where you hope to park if at all possible. While not common, there are spots that do not allow parking spot sharing, and you get that law + common sense don’t always go hand-in-hand, right?!
Before diving into parking, also keep in mind the security of your scooter as you look for a prime spot. Here is a guide on layering security to keep your scooter from being stolen.
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Can I park a scooter on a sidewalk?
Do NOT park your scooter on a sidewalk. In general, scooters are classified as motorcycles. Motorcycles generally follow the laws for vehicles, and seeing a Ford Focus in the middle of a sidewalk would be more than annoying.
Make this extra bold if you live in a location where electric kick scooters are a thing. Parking on a sidewalk is a nuisance.
Can I Park My Moped at a Bike Rack?
No, parking at a bike rack is not ok. Ok, this has some gray area depending on the type of moped. The historical term for a moped is basically an electric bicycle. If that’s what you have, yes, you can park your motorized bicycle on a bike rack.
If you have a scooter such as a Vespa, then no parking at a bike rack for you!
What About Scooter Street Parking?
This is where the city by city or state by state nuances come into place. For example, Chicago requires scooters to be perpendicular to the road (aka facing the road at an angle instead of going with the road as if you were in a vehicle).
Then there is California that requires a wheel to literally be touching the curb.
If you are unsure, it would be best to follow what other scooters or motorcycles are doing in the area. Following what others do is not always the best advice, but if you’re unsure, it’s a good guide until you can confirm.
Even if you don’t see other motorcycles or scooters around, see if you can find motorcycle-specific parking for the win. On occasion, you’ll find that, and for the rare times I do find 2-wheeled friendly parking, it tends to be a prime location, too.
When parking on the street, park your scooter with your back wheel touching the curb and the front facing towards the street. Pay any meters in the area just like a traditional vehicle, and you are likely to avoid any issues.
Do I Have to Pay a Meter for a Motor Scooter?
Usually, the meter will have any rules and exceptions posted (but not always). Expect to pay any meters for a space just as a traditional vehicle when parking your scooter even if you are sharing a spot with another motorcycle or scooter.
It is expected that each vehicle pays for the space they take up (even though I get that your 2-wheeled beauty takes up less space than the 4-wheeled beasts).
You can tempt fate, but usually, you will find that the parking fee is cheaper than the parking ticket ‘award’.
What Do I Need to Know to Park My Scooter in a Parking Lot?
Parking lots tend to be private property, so you are at the mercy of the rules of the parking lot owner. However, there tend to be less rules to follow.
Do not park in any yellow or red lined areas or those with a bunch of diagonal white lines as those lines are an indication that it is a no-parking zone. Do not park in pedestrian spots. That should cover you.
Check for motorcycle or scooter parking in the lot. If those are available, they tend to be a better parking spot closer to an entrance or with some extra visibility at least. It is good etiquette to park in these spots over a full-size vehicle spot (if available) since the cars do not have alternate options.
If you need to park in a full-sized vehicle space, it is a good idea to park so that the rear of your scooter is in line with the rear of the cars in the area. This makes the spot appear taken even from a ways back to avoid irritating a car. I know, I know. Why should you have to worry about them? Well, you don’t. It is just nice, and it minimizes the chance that they don’t whip in onto your scooter (or tip it on their way in).
Also, park to one side of the space to allow room for another 2-wheeled pal, as well.
Do I Need a Parking Permit for My Scooter?
Yes, if you are parking where permits are required, then you need a parking permit for your scooter.
The good news is that generally, the fees are smaller, and you’ll likely have a designated area for your scooter that is likely to be a better spot than you’d get if driving a car.