Parking stall costs in Vancouver

Parking stalls are at a premium in Vancouver. But exactly how much do parking stalls cost? With many people commuting to the downtown core to get to work parking costs can add up. Public transit and car sharing like Evo and Car2Go have made life easier, but still, wouldn’t it be nice to just own a parking stall somewhere close to your work and not have to worry if the same stall will be there today? Or not have to worry about paying excessive amounts for parking on daily basis, upwards of $20.

Why you can’t buy parking stalls in Vancouver

Parking stalls in residential buildings are rarely for sale. But why? For the vast majority of residential strata buildings parking is only allowed to be sold to owners in the building. So even though an owner may own 2 parking stalls and want to sell you one for what seems to be the going rate of $40,000 he will not be allowed to.

The first reason is safety concerns. Allowing the general public access to the underground imposes certain problems with maintaining the overall safety of the building and the residents who live there.

Second, most parking stalls are actually owned by the developers and are assigned to the current owner with interest of a life lease. This is done to give the developer more freedom with pricing during the pre sale phase and to make sure parking spaces are not sold to people who do not live in the building.

For example, there was a case where a seller who owned 2 parkings stalls decided to sell his condo unit along with just 1 parking stall. He wanted to keep the second parking stall and sell it privately on his own. However, once he sold his condo unit and the new owner took possession that second parking stall that he owned no longer legally belonged to him. Because it is assigned by the developer and can only be owned by someone in the building he then had to forfeit over the second parking stall to the new owner, and virtually lost himself $40,000. What he could have done, and should have done, was sell the additional parking to stall to another owner in the building before the new owner took possession. This is the only scenario where selling your parking stall will be allowed.

Now that I’ve surprised you with how parking stalls work let me tell you that there are still some buildings which allow parking to be sold to the outside public because the parking is deemed limited common property and is not assigned by the developer. Such as this building at Pacific & Davie that had one for sale for $45,000. 

Renting Parking Stalls in Vancouver

So although it may be difficult to actually buy a parking stall in Vancouver you can still easily rent one. I have heard of many people renting a stall in a residential building on a monthly basis. Your average rate downtown ranges anywhere from $100-$160. This practice is seriously frowned upon by strata as it means someone from the general public will have a fob to access the underground garage. The person renting it out could also be liable to pay penalties that are accrued by the renter for things such as not allowing a gate to close completely and further fines should strata discover it’s been rented to someone who does not reside in the building.

If you’re really set on having a parking stall in Vancouver your best bet is probably to rent one from a commercial parking lot, monthly rates range from $120-$200 on average. Or if you can hack it, don’t drive at all!