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Smarter Parking FAQs

Your questions answered

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

Here's what has changed ...

  • You now get one-hour of free parking everyday
  • When you park in the CBD, you now have the choice to pay 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 actually linked to your car's registration, not a car park.
  • There are no paper tickets any more, so you will no longer need to put a ticket in your car.



Q. How will the new meters work?

You now get one-hour of free parking every day.

If you are going to be less than an hour, you won't have to pay. Just register your rego and hit complete.

If you are going to be more than an hour, top up after your first hour free at any meter by paying with coins and/or card


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.


 How does the app work?

Search your app store for the CellOPark app and download it. You then simply need to register your car's registration number in the app. The app will know your location when you park and you simply press “start” to start your session and stop to end it.

Note: If you don’t end your session with the free* version of the app, you may be charged for parking time after you have left. Alerts are an option via the premium CellOPark app, which is $1.99 per month.


I don’t have a Smart Phone?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a Smart Phone – you can still use the coin and credit card operated meters instead.


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. 


What will happen with disabled parking?

Disabled parking will remain exactly the same as it currently operates, with permits still to be displayed on dashboards. Blue permit holders will be able to park all day for free, green permit holders will get double the time they pay for.


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. 


 Will people with disability permits still get double time in disability car parks? 



 Can people with a disability permit park in other car parks without penalty? 



 I’m using my disability permit in a car that is not my own, how will the licence plate scanning vehicle see I hold a permit? 

The permit is attached to a person as opposed to a vehicle, so as long as the permit is clearly displayed there will have no concerns. 


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.


What is happening with the Coles/Woolworths carpark?

This carpark will remain free for the first 2 hrs as per existing conditions, however drivers will have the option to stay longer and pay for the additional time.


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 meter 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


What's next for the Smarter Parking plan once the meters are installed?

The Smarter Parking Plan is an iterative plan designed to adapt to the changing CBD and surrounds. Initially the focus will be on education of the new process. It also gives us time to look at other modes of transport, eg buses.


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.


How much is council spending on this plan, including infrastructure, marketing and comms, and new vehicles?

This is detailed in the 2019/20 budget


Are there any new jobs?

No new jobs and more importantly no job losses


Is this plan expected to increase revenue for the city?

Given this is a significant change to how parking works, we don’t know yet. It is ultimately determined by the compliance rate.


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.