The Cost to Own Parking in DC

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If you own a car in a big city, you probably faced the dilemma of choosing street parking over buying or renting a space. In DC, many buildings only have parking spaces for 50% of the units in the building, which means that a) inventory is low and b) demand is high, spurring steep, steep prices to give your car a home.

For me, the choice was simple five years ago: pay less than $200 a year to park on the street, or finance a spot for $40,000 (an astronomical figure in Shaw at the time) at around $150 per month. I was young and optimistic, so of course, I chose street parking. Since that time, however, I’ve spent (this hurts) thousands of dollars in tickets, tows, bumper/tire damage, and not just hours or days — WEEKS — of my life circling the neighborhood for parking. You can’t put a price on time, but I can certainly put a price on parking in DC. 

Here’s what you’re looking to pay in some of the most popular neighborhoods in DC, as of early spring 2019:

Logan Circle: $40,000 (assigned outdoor), $50,000 (garage)

Dupont Circle: $45,000 (assigned outdoor), $50,000+ (garage)

Foggy Bottom: $50,000 (assigned outdoor), $55,000+ (garage)

Shaw: $35,000 – $40,000 (assigned outdoor), $45,000 (garage)

Columbia Heights: $30,000 (assigned outdoor), $40,000 (garage)

U Street: $40,000 (assigned outdoor), $50,000 (garage)

Adams Morgan/Kalorama: $30,000 (assigned outdoor), $40,000 (garage)

Penn Quarter: $50,000+ (garage)

Petworth: $20,000 (assigned outdoor)

H Street: $40,000 (assigned outdoor)

Capitol Hill: $35,000 – $40,000 (assigned outdoor)

Buying a parking spot means more than just buying convenience and protection from the elements/damage/theft. Just like your condo, a parking spot is an investment: one you can rent out right away (and likely turn a profit), or one that will pay you back once you sell. You will, however, lose that “KING OF THE WORLD!!!” feeling when you parallel park in a tight space right next to your building on a not-street-sweeping day.