The days of free parking in Myrtle Beach are over.
Since July 1, two major changes have taken hold that will increase revenues for the city and hit drivers with some of the country’s highest booting fees in paid lots.
And with thousands of people streaming into the region for fall bike week and the city being named among America’s best autumn travel stops, knowing the new rules could save on headaches and cash.
Here’s what you need to know:
Year-round paid parking started over the summer for visitors
The city this summer ended its longstanding policy of not charging at meters from March 1 through Oct. 31, keeping on-street rates between $2 and $3 an hour and up to $15 a day.
The move is expected to bring $250,000 in additional revenue. Officials have allocated $2.6 million in seasonal parking revenues for 2024.
Drivers still can get complementary parking with the acquisition of a decal, which are free for city residents and $100 a year for those who live outside municipal limits. Mayor Brenda Bethune said the shift should also help eliminate confusion by having a uniform parking rate policy.
Paid parking in Myrtle Beach began in 1947 when some 300 meters were installed. Today, there are 2,500.
Vehicles are set to get the boot if their owners ignore the rules
A booting policy finalized by the city in June set fines of up to $125 for motorists that ignore advertised rates inside private lots. It’s an all-inclusive penalty to replace added towing costs and inconsistent vehicle immobilization policies.
Parking lot owners had 30 days to erect signs outlining the new rules, and as part of its enforcement policy the city would require them to have scannable QR codes so people understand rates and penalties.
The $125 price tag would likely be the largest statewide and put ahead of major southeastern cities, including Atlanta and Orlando. By comparison, New York City charges $185 to free-booted vehicles.
Parking meters are disbursed across the city. Here’s where to find them.
Beach accesses and street ends cost $3 an hour or $15 all day
The core business district including 6th to 16th Ave N. between Ocean Boulevard and Kings Highway is $2 an hour with no all-day single rate
On all other secondary streets, the cost is $2 an hour and $10 for all day
Complete information on the city’s parking policies and guidelines can be found on its website.