If you are going to park then it is always mindful whether you have to pay for it or not. In this blog I'm going to explain to you the different options. Am I in a parking disc zone? Or in a paid parking lot? Is parking not free? How do you put the parking disc and for how long can you park there? Below I explain it to you in more detail.
Is parking free?
A lot of places in Belgium have free parking. You often have paying parking in busy areas where there are a lot of cars. You have to pay in more and more places because it is getting busier and busier. Think of the center of a city, shopping streets or market squares. Where there are more cars than parking spaces. There you will probably have to put something down, too. Or a parking disc or money. Many large stores and supermarkets then usually have free parking lots. Your own driveway is also free of course 😀.
What is a parking disc zone?
A parking disc zone is also called a blue zone. Often blue lines are also drawn on the ground. The blue zone is indicated by these signs.
It can apply to a street. But it can also apply to a larger area. Then they call it a zone. This sign applies to the whole area. If you park there, it's free. You can usually park there for a maximum of 2 hours. Sometimes shorter. This is then indicated by lower signs.
Now a theory exam question. Are you allowed to turn your parking disc forward again after 2 hours of parking. To continue shopping after that?
No. It's not allowed. Many people do. But the idea is to leave after 2 hours of parking. So someone else can park there for free.
Not putting down the parking disc is worth a fine. A waste of money. Will cost you about 25 Euro. You can buy a parking disc in many newsagents for a 1 or 2 Euro. So definitely handy to have one in the car. Mine is in the glove compartment at the front of the car. So I always have it handy.
What are the rules of a parking disc?
If you park in a parking disc zone, you must place the parking disc under your windshield. Theory exam question. When should you place the parking disc? Every day you must place your parking disc under your windshield. This must be done between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. On a Sunday or holiday, it is not required.
You always set the disk to whole or half hours. You may always round your disk to your advantage. You always get extra time.
Theory exam question. You park at 12:15. At what time do you then set the parking disc? Then you put the disc at 12:30.
Do you arrive at 9:35. So then you may set it at 10:00. Always round forward in your favor. Still nice.
How does paid parking work?
If you come across this sign. Then you have to pay. How expensive it is depends on where you park. The busier the neighborhood the more expensive the parking. Downtown is usually not payable. Some places still have a free quarter. Sometimes even two hours free. To pay, you can do so through a parking pole. There you enter how long you want to park and then you can pay directly. The disadvantage is that if you finish earlier. Then you don't get your money back. Also, those poles are not always nearby. Sometimes they are also broken. Check this video how the parking column works. (tiktok)
You can also pay via a mobile app. On this app, you enter that you have started parking. When you are done shopping. You turn off the parking app just before you leave. So you only pay for the minutes you were there. Check this blog for more handy apps.
Is a parking garage cheaper?
If you park in a parking garage it is always paying. The advantage is that it is slightly cheaper than street parking. Another advantage is that there is more space available. On the street you sometimes have to search for a long time for a parking spot. In a parking garage you know if there is space before you drive in. Just be careful of the short turns and the walls. Notice how many scratches there are on the corners in a parking garage. Those are people who have driven past them with their cars. Take your time in a parking garage. You know the saying. Haste is seldom good.
Now you know a lot more about the parking disc and paid parking. Good luck with continuing to learn your theory! A complete online course explaining all the theory clearly and calmly is online. Choose your package on TheorieDoen.be and I'll see you at the first part! Good luck with learning.