Tips and tricks for cheap parking - The ultimate guide

CARIFY - April 14, 2021

#Parkzone #Parkieren

Everyone wants to avoid the unpleasant moment when you get into the car and a note is stuck under the windshield wiper. The fine can start at 40 CHF and quickly goes into triple digits. So that you can say goodbye to these annoying white notes, we have summarized the most important tips and tricks for parking. 


  • Blue parking places

  • White parking places

  • Yellow parking places

  • Additional special: Do you already know the green parking places?



Parking options easily and briefly explained

The official parking spaces in Switzerland are all marked and mostly not free of charge. Especially in the cities, there are rarely free parking spaces. In addition, these are regularly controlled. The parking spaces are marked either with a white, blue or yellow border. Regardless of the color of the parking space, it is important to park the car within the parking space, otherwise you may be fined. When your tires touch the line of the parking place, you could get a ticket.

Blue parking places 

From Monday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., you can park here free of charge for between 60 and 89 minutes with the blue parking disc (also EU parking disc). Since the parking time can vary from place to place, we recommend checking the website of the municipality or city. In cities, the maximum parking time is usually 1 hour.

If you park in a blue parking place between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., you can leave the car until 2:30 p.m. (assumption: max. parking time 60 minutes.) Many people don't know that the blue zone also has a free "parking lunch break", so to speak.

On Sundays and holidays, parking is free between 7:00 p.m. in the evening and 7:00 a.m. in the morning. It must be explicitly marked if this would not be the case. Meaning, if there is no sign, you can be sure that you can park without worries and time limit on Sunday and holidays.

Now you know the most important facts about the blue parking places. What you need to know now is how to set the blue parking disc correctly, because this way you can still get a lot of free parking time. The arrival time is always rounded up to either the half hour (xx:30) or the full hour (xx:00). That means, if you arrive at 09:22 a.m., you can set the parking meter to 09:30 a.m. But if it is 09:31 a.m., then you can round up to 10:00 a.m.

White parking places

White parking zones are usually metered, numbered and there is a parking ticket machine nearby. Note the maximum time you can park in the white parking space. For example, some white zones have a maximum of half an hour. In addition, white parking places can sometimes be very expensive (e.g. city of Zurich 7.50CHF/h).

Confusingly, there are also white marked parking spaces in certain municipalities, for which you do not have to pay, instead you must deposit your blue parking disc. To be on the safe side, we recommend that you to look for signs with further information when you see a white free parking space or consult the municipality's website.

Yellow parking places

These are often reserved for private individuals or companies and may only be used by themselves, their customers, or guests. Unauthorized parking there can be very expensive or lead to your car being towed away.

Yellow parking zones must be additionally distinguished according to the pattern marking. For example, a yellow zigzag (ex. bus stops), lines painted by crosses or yellow crosses within a parking space signalize a parking ban. Getting in and out is allowed here if you are not obstructing anyone else.

However, if you wait for someone or move away from the car, you can be fined, as these actions are classified as parking. Basically, if there is a no-parking zone, you are not allowed to park there. This sounds obvious, but the gradation of when you are declared parking leaves more room for interpretation. As a rule of thumb, we recommend that someone always stays in the car in case another car or bus is coming.

Finally, never park on a street wheel marked with a solid yellow line or in parking spaces without yellow crosses.

Additional special: Do you already know the green parking places?

In addition to the blue, white and yellow parking zones, a green zone specifically for electric cars will be added in the future. The aim is to set up the appropriate infrastructure at these locations so that electric cars can be charged simultaneously while parked. Some shopping centers, such as Glattzentrum, already offer green parking spaces with charging stations (source).

Parking options for CARIFY cars

Basically, you can park in "all" parking zones, given you rent the yellow parking space yourself. With CARIFY you also get the blue parking disc for free in a subscription.

Especially for city residents or people who live in a municipality where they have no parking possibilities, we recommend ordering additionally the parking card for inhabitants. This parking card is valid for the surrounding area of your home. To apply for the parking card for inhabitants, you only need the license plate number. We will be happy to help you with this. Just let us know as soon as you have booked.

You pay for the parking card directly for an entire year. The remaining value will be refunded if you return the parking card before the end of the year. This means that even if you subscribe for 3 or 7 months, you do not pay for the whole year.

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The most important parking tips summarized

We would like to summarize the most important facts about parking for you:

  • Blue parking place: You need a blue parking disc, which you get from CARIFY for free. You can park for free between 60-89 minutes, depending on the parking space. City residents or people who do not have parking facilities should apply for the parking card for inhabitants. CARIFY is happy to help you with this. And last but not least: Timing! You may round up your blue parking disc to the half or full hour and between 11:30 a.m. and 13:30 a.m. you can also park for free.

  • White parking place: Here you usually have to pay and if you don't, check the city or municipality website to make sure you don't have to place your blue parking disc. 

  • Yellow parking place: The yellow parking zone is generally best avoided unless you are a tenant.

    If this is not the case, we recommend that you simply let people out and then drive off. As a rule of thumb, always have someone sitting in the car when you are in a yellow zone. If it's going to take longer, it's best to find a blue or white parking place.

  • Green parking place: All our electric vehicle subscribers will benefit more and more in the future from the green parking fields, where they can charge directly.

With this parking guide we hope we could answer all your questions about parking. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact us directly here. If you also want to find out about the traffic rules 2021 in Switzerland, you will find all relevant information here. We have also summarized the most important traffic rules abroad for you.

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