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Cars in the parking lot in ro

Parking in Adelaide: A Complete Guide

Over 190,000 families in Greater Adelaide own one or more automobiles, according to a 2021 census done by Profile. Given that this enormous number is still increasing, it‘s normal for Adelaide’s streets to become quite busy and congested occasionally.

Some of the major (and most stress-inducing) results of the city streets getting crowded are having difficulty dealing with parking restrictions and finding a suitable parking spot. 

We understand how frustrating these can be, so we’re here to lend a hand. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced motorist, continue reading to learn about parking laws and where to find parking spots for a stress-free drive!

Parking Restrictions and Laws in Adelaide

The South Australian government has implemented a long list of parking restrictions and laws that motorists must always follow. The subsequent sections will thoroughly discuss these street regulations.

Parallel Parking Restrictions and Laws

Parallel Parking Restrictions and Laws

Parallel parking is when you park your vehicle parallel or close to the roadside. 

Australia has a law that states that you must always do parallel parking unless some signs or markings indicate some other options.

Here are other significant parallel parking restrictions and laws.

If…What you should do
Facing the traffic flowPark in the direction where the traffic flow is headed
On a two-way streetParallel park as close as you can to the left side of the street
On a one-way streetParallel park as close as you can to the right side of the street
There are markings of parking spacesAutomobiles must be parked in one bay only
Exception: Automobiles that are too huge or lengthy to fit in one bay (they should only park in the minimum number of available parking spaces
There are no markings of parking spacesKeep a one-meter gap between your automobile and the automobiles on your front and back
There are continuing dividing lines Keep a three-meter minimum gap between your automobile and the dividing lines
Exception: Parking areas where a different minimum gap is indicated by a sign
There are no continuing dividing linesKeep a three-meter minimum gap between your automobile and the other side of the road

Angle Parking Restrictions and Laws

Angle Parking Restrictions and Laws
Photo courtesy of EPermittest

Angle parking is when you park your vehicle at an angle appropriate to the curb. This regulation should be followed by motorists when there’s an “Angle Parking” sign or marking in the street’s parking zone.

If…What you should do
There’s a street marker indicating that angles other than 90 degrees are allowedAutomobiles must only be parked with their front side facing the curb
Exception: If there’s a sign or marking that directs otherwise
There’s an Angle Parking signage but no specific angle is statedA 45-degree position must be strictly maintained
Exception: If there’s a street marker that directs otherwise
On a street where a marker demands a 90-degree parking anglePark only with either your automobile’s front or back side facing the curb
Exception: If there’s a street marker that directs otherwise

Heavy Vehicle Parking

Heavy Vehicle Parking

Motorists operating very heavy vehicles must 

  • Not block the street access of pedestrians and other motorists 
  • Not park in a built-up area for more than an hour
A built-up area is a portion of the road with street lights or buildings situated on the land adjacent to the road. 
For a zone to be considered a built-up area, these structures must be separated by a distance of not more than 100 meters.
  • Exception 1: There is a marker, sign, or other traffic control mechanism that permits a longer stay
  • Exception 2: f you’re dropping off or picking up passengers
  • Exception 3: If you only stay for as long as is required to complete your task of dropping off or picking up goods
  • Exception 4: If you have a council-approved exception permit

Stopping and Parking Restrictions and Laws

Stopping and Parking Restrictions and Laws
Photo courtesy of IStock

“Stopping” is when a vehicle remains stationary for a certain period. Motorists are not permitted to stop in any portion of the road that has a “No Stopping” sign, marker, or continuous yellow edge lines.

If…What you should do
A “No Stopping” or “No Parking” marker is present on the road area where a motorist wants to parkDon’t stop or park at all costs
Exception: Motorists doing critical activities, such as dropping off/picking up goods or people 
This will only be legal if the following criteria are met:
Criteria 1: The stationary vehicle is going to be attended and the motorist is not going to move at a distance of more than three meters away from the vehicle
Criteria 2: The motorist successfully fulfills their task as soon as possible or within a two-minute timeframe

Where Stopping and Parking Are Banned

Unless there’s a sign or marking that allows you to do otherwise, you’re not allowed to park or stop your vehicle when you’re

Approximately 20 meters from a junction with traffic lights
10 meters in an intersection that doesn’t have traffic lights 
Exception: If your automobile is parked on the T-intersection’s continuing road that’s opposite the terminating road
Photo courtesy of News
Across/on a driveway or on a different path of entry for automobiles that are headed to private land 
Exception: Motorists dropping off or picking up individuals within a 2-minute timeframe (this exemption will only work if the vehicle will be attended) 
Photo courtesy of TheTelegraph
Within 20 meters of a pedestrian crossing or within 10 meters following a pedestrian crossing
On an area where “Keep Clear” signs or markings are erected
One meter within a fire hydrant
Within 10 meters ahead of a bus stop zone and within 20 meters before a bus stop zonePhoto courtesy of Commons
Within 20 meters before and after the nearest railway’s track or rail
Next to a vehicle that’s currently in a double parking positionPhoto courtesy of BKReader
Within a loading zone
Exception: Motorists who are loading or unloading goods within a 30-minute timeframe or any period specifically allowed by the zone’s sign or marking
A public or taxi or bus driver who’s dropping off or picking up passengers
On a ramp, causeway, bridge, culvert, or tunnel
Exception: If the road has the same length within or on the structure as it has on all of the structure’s approaches
On nearby a curve or crest just outside of a built-up area 
Exception: Motorists who are visible to other motorists driving in a similar direction for at least 100 meters of the zoned area
On the following road areas: dividing strip, nature strip, or footpath
Within a 3-meter distance of a post box 
Exception: Motorists dropping off or picking up passengers or mail
In a PWD-reserved parking area 
Exception: Motorists who hold permits

It’s also crucial to remember that a motorist who drives a vehicle with an alcohol interlock device is not completely invulnerable to these regulations and restrictions.

The motorist will only have a defense against a parking infraction if they stay within the car. Stopping longer than the timeframe needed to finish the legal requirements of this instance is also not allowed.


Photo courtesy of IStock

Clearways are the streets’ lengths where parking is strictly prohibited during hours when traffic’s at its heaviest.

The hours when parking on clearways is allowed are stipulated by a street signage or marker on the clearway’s entry point.

Kindly keep in mind that motorists dropping off or picking up passengers (with the exemption of bus drivers) during operating hours are not exempted from this rule.

Time Limits

Time Limits
Photo courtesy of WTOP

When referring to traffic regulations, the term “Time Limits” is used to let motorists know exactly how long they can park in a certain spot on the road. 

Motorists will be penalized with a driving offense if they linger longer than allowed in an area where there is a time limit in place. Additionally, motorists would face greater sanctions if they put more money into the parking meter or ticket machine.

Of course, this limitation has several exceptions. The following perks apply to automobiles that show an Australian disability permit:

  • The right to park for 30 minutes even if the parking sign says that there is a shorter time restriction
  • If the parking sign merely specifies a 30-minute time restriction, the right to park for up to an hour
  • The advantage of parking for twice as long as it says on the notice (only if the sign states a 1-hour or more time limit)

It’s important to remember that a permit holder is only obligated to pay the time specified on the parking notice if there is a payable cost for street parking. 

They’re not required to make the additional payment during the period they’re allowed to stop, though.

It’s also important to remember that these additional time allowances are voided on parking spaces set aside specifically for people with disabilities.

Parking at Night

Parking at Night
Photo courtesy of UnSplash

Parking at night can get confusing so here are the restrictions and laws to help you.

If…What you should do
Your automobile doesn’t have any parking lightsDon’t park at night
Exception: Automobiles parked near a source of illumination
Criterion: These sources (e.g. street lights or lamps) should be clear enough to make the stationary automobile visible from within a 200-meter distance
The parking or stopping zone doesn’t have a close source of nighttime illuminationDon’t park at night
Exception: Automobiles that are equipped with clear and not blindingly bright front and back parking lights
You’re operating an automobile that’s 2.2 meters wide or widerYou’d be required to have side clearance and marker lights that would make your automobile visible from a 200-meter distance
Exception: Clearly illuminated vehicles with the same width or wider

Exemptions to Parking Rules

Photo courtesy of CanberraTimes

The aforementioned parking restrictions and laws do not apply under the following circumstances:

  • If the motorist is trying to avoid or has avoided colliding with other automobiles, pedestrians, or road/roadside structures (e.g. road barricades and nearby establishments).
  • If the motorist’s vehicle (no matter what the size or length is) is unable to move due to a variety of factors (e.g. mechanical, human, and natural)
  • If certain a condition (with medical issues as the prime example) of the motorist or passengers comes up
  • Motorists operating automobiles that are in a rush due to an emergency (e.g. fire trucks and ambulances)
  • Motorists cooperating with the area’s law enforcement officers 
  • If the motorist is complying with a different law or restriction
  • The amount of time when the cooperating motorists are shielded from road restrictions or laws will be determined by the timeframe required by whatever circumstance they’re facing. 
  • Movement of the vehicle must continue as soon as the task is fulfilled or as soon as the motorist is capable of it.

Here are other important reminders motorists must always keep in mind.

  • Motorists operating for the country’s postal and medical departments are only invulnerable from these rules if they are doing their tasks.
  • Bus drivers are allowed to stop to drop off and pick up passengers in restricted areas, but this perk won’t apply if the passengers are going to be dropped off or picked up on the following roadways: the South-Eastern Freeway and Southern Expressway.
  • Lastly, motorists traversing the said roadways are only permitted to halt in the emergency stopping lanes if an emergency occurs.

Things to Do if You Receive a Parking Expiation Notice

Things to Do if You Receive a Parking Expiation Notice
Photo courtesy of ABC

Expiation notices are given to motorists who commit a traffic offense or offenses. 

There are several reasons why these notices are issued, but the most common ones are careless driving or unlicensed driving.

If you ever receive an expiation notice, here are the following things that you should do.

  1. As much as you can, maintain your composure because panicking might make you sound guilty or uncooperative. 
  2. Always check the camera photo used by police officers to verify your identity and offense. You can access these photos by going to ExpiationPhoto.
  3. If you want to dispute the photos or the expiation notice, you can submit a demand request online at ExpiationPhoto
  4. If you’re proven to have committed an offense, the law will require you to pay your expiation notice. You can do this online via Bpoint, by cheque addressed to “SA Police,” through post offices, via landline at 1300 361 335, and by installments at 1800 659 538 or FinesSA (an additional fee will apply if you choose the installment options).
  5. You may also go to court by electing to be prosecuted for the alleged offense written in your notice. You can do this right after receiving the expiation notice, or if your application for reviewal or dispute gets denied. We recommend getting legal assistance before fully committing to this move.

Demerit Points

Demerit Points
Photo courtesy of LifeHacker

It’s also very important to remember that the country of Australia has a demerit point system that’s intended to limit road accidents or offenses.

Once you get your license, you’ll start with zero demerit points. You’ll only gain one if you commit a traffic offense. 

Motorists who receive 12 or more demerit points within 3 years will be subject to license disqualification.

A 6–12 month license disqualification period would also take effect in the case of holders of a learner’s permit or provisional license. This will happen if they would receive four or more demerit points. 

The longevity of the disqualification period highly depends on the level of the offense.

Last but not least, the number of demerit points an offending motorist will receive shall be calculated based on how likely the offense will cause an accident. 

The table below shows the number of demerit points certain offenses will give you.

By less than 10 km/h2
By 20 km/h or more but less than 30 km/h5
By 45 km/h or more (excessive speed)*9
Failing to stop for a red traffic light3
Using a mobile phone while driving3
Not wearing a seatbelt3

The expiration of these points will be three years after the exact date the offense is committed.

For example, the points you received for an offense on May 21, 2016, will all expire on May 21, 2019.

List of Parking Locations in Adelaide

Photo courtesy of ParkingAustralia

Listed below are the places in the city of Adelaide where you can park your vehicle.

Wilson Parking – East End Car Park

8 Union Street

Open for 24 Hours

Secure Parking – Rundle Place Car Park

90-100 Grenfell St 

5 am t0 12 am

Upark – Parking Rundle

163/185 Rundle St

Open for 24 Hours

Secure Parking Lot – 165 Franklin Street Car Park

165 Franklin St

5 pm to 6 am

Wilson Parking – Adelaide Central Car Park

215-225 North Terrace

6 am to 12:30 am

Wilson Parking – 23 Franklin Street Car Park

26 Grote St 

Open for 24 Hours

The Myer Centre Car Park

Myer Centre Adelaide

Open for 24 Hours

Secure Parking – 431 King William Street Car Park

25 to 27 Holland St

Open for 24 Hours

Secure Parking – State Centre Car Park

State Centre, 172 Gawler Pl

5 am to 7 pm

Secure Parking – Plaza Car Park

14 Solomon St

5 am to 12 am

Secure Parking – Solomon Street Car Park

16 Solomon St 

Open for 24 Hours

Car Park

100 Waymouth St

Open for 24 hours

North Terrace Car Park

Adelaide City Centre

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking – 247-259 Pirie Street Car Park

247-259 Pirie St

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking – 30 Hindley St Car Park

30 Hindley St

Open for 24 Hours

UPark Wyatt

18-34 Wyatt St.

6 am to 12 am

Wilson Parking – 21 Bent Street Car Park

21 Bent St

6 am to 12 am

UPark Topham

52/54 Waymouth St

5:30 am to 12:30 am

Wilson Parking – 251 North Terrace

251 North Terrace

7:45 am to 6 pm

Auto Park on Mill Street

19-21 Mill St

6 am to 7:30 pm

Adelaide Car Parking

11 Wright St

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking – City West Car Park

189/208 Hindley St

6 am to 3 am

Secure Parking – Tatham Street Car Park

9 Tatham St

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking

111 Angas St

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking Halifax Street

Halifax St

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking – 252-260 Street

252-260 Pirie St

9:30 am to 7 pm

UPark Andrew

2-8 Andrew St

Open for 24 Hours

UPark Central Market

60 Gouge St

Open for 24 Hours

Franklin Central Car Park

83 Franklin St

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking 229 Flinders Street

229 Flinders St

Open for 24 Hours

Park on Franklin

50 Franklin St

6 am to 10 pm

Wilson Parking – 14-24 Rosina Street

14-24 Rosina St

Open for 24 Hours

Wilson Parking 169 Morphett Street

169 Morphett St

Open for 24 Hours

15 Pitt St Garage

15 Pitt St

Open for 24 Hours

Adelaide Car Parking – Flinders St

218 Flinders St

Open for 24 Hours

Upark Gawler

9/17 Gawler PI

7 am to 8:30 pm

UPark Light

22/140 Currie St

Open for 24 Hours

Upark Frome

Level 1/22-30 Frome St

Open for 24 Hours

Upark Pirie Flinders

191-207 Pirie St

6 am to 12 am

Different Parking Options in Adelaide

Listed below are the parking options the city of Adelaide offers.

Disability Parking Scheme

Disability Parking Scheme
Photo courtesy of AdelaideCityCouncil

The Disability Parking Scheme refers to a specialized parking option that can only be accessed by those who own the Australian Disability Parking Permit

For those looking to get a hold of a Disability Parking Permit, it can be processed at SA.Gov.

Residential Parking

Residential Parking
Photo courtesy of AdelaideCityCouncil

Residential parking is a parking option that allows owners of properties in Adelaide without a private parking space to park in the following areas.

  • Time-limited zones with a time limit of an hour or more
  • Paid/ticketed zones with a time limit of an hour or more
  • Designated residential permit zones

Automobiles parked in these areas must be transferred every 24 hours. You must also check if there are markers in these parking spaces that indicate zone changes.

For you to acquire the benefits of the Residential Parking option you 

  • must be a resident of the City of Adelaide Council area, 
  • an owner of a property 
  • or someone with a tenancy/lease agreement that is eligible in the said area, 
  • and you must own a valid and active vehicle registration certificate.

If you meet these requirements, you may proceed to CityofAdelaide to process or renew your permit. 

On-Street Parking

On-Street Parking
Photo courtesy of AdelaideCityCouncil

On-street parking refers to the act of parking a vehicle in car parking spaces on the road within an assigned area

Please take note that the city of Adelaide has multiple on-street parking spaces that have time limits. This is to ensure that all motorists using the city’s roadways can get parking spaces no matter the time.

Off-Street Parking

Off-Street Parking
Photo courtesy of ParkingSpotz

Off-street parking refers to the act of parking a vehicle in available parking spaces within an enclosed private or public lot or garage.

The city of Adelaide publicly owns and operates off-street car parks referred to as UPark. 

These car parks are situated in 9 locations (you can check these locations in the parking locations section) throughout the city and have over 6,000 parking spaces.

Accessibility Parking

Accessibility Parking
Photo courtesy of AdelaideCityCouncil

Accessibility Parking is a parking privilege that grants you access to the UPark car parks. An Accessibility Pass is required to attain this privilege.

The processing of the Accessibility Pass can be done at CityofAdelaide

The great part of owning the Accessibility Pass is it will also grant owners up to two hours of free parking up to 52 times every year.

Motorcycle Parking

Motorcycle Parking
Photo courtesy of AdelaideCityCouncil

Motorcycle parking refers to the areas where motorcycles are allowed to park. This includes motorized scooters.

Motorcycle parking zones may also include free parking spots on dedicated footpaths. The same thing is true on designated ticketed motorcycle zones within the car parks of UPark. 

These zones may also include limited (the time limit will vary from zone to zone) free on-street parking.

Royal Adelaide Hospital Parking Options 

Royal Adelaide Hospital Parking Options
Photo courtesy of RAH

There are parking zones at the Royal Adelaide Hospital car park. Keep in mind that RAH has nearly 2,300 car spaces on-site. 

These car parks include 15-minute patient pick-up and drop-off areas situated on levels 2 and 3 of the hospital’s parking zone. 

This hospital also offers 50 accessible spaces for those who can present a Disability Parking Permit. 

These accessible spaces are located close to the hospital’s lift lobbies and main entrance. 

FAQs about Parking in Adelaide

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