Where to park
Parking restrictions (e.g. timed parking) exist to ensure: traffic flows smoothly in and around the city; clearways, school and bus zones are kept safe and clear; residents can park locally; public and business areas remain accessible to all.
Find out more at our Safe and legal parking tips page.
Find out how to pay or view a parking fine (infringement notice), plus information on the City’s Parking Infringement Notice (PIN) Review Policy.
You can report issues with illegally parked vehicles by visiting our Report a problem - Vehicles page and lodging an online complaint, calling the City Parking enquiry line on 07 5667 5989, visiting a customer service centre, or by downloading our mobile app. Our City Parking officers will respond to your request and enforce the City’s parking regulations where applicable.
City of Gold Coast (City) uses parking meter machines with the latest technology to make it easier to find parking and to keep our city moving.
Various parking permits are accepted for parking in the city, including disability parking, resident and visitors (specific areas), and commercial vehicles. Find out if you are eligible, and how to apply if you are.
The City Parking Plan addresses the issues of keeping our city moving, managing parking, to increase availability while improving customer service and boosting economic activity.
- Cycling, pedestrian networks and sustainable transport
- Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) Review Policy
What is a parking sensor?
A parking sensor is a small electronic device that is installed in the ground to detect and record the time a car arrives in, and departs from, a parking bay. Each parking bay is fitted with its own sensor.
City of Gold Coast has gradually introduced around 5000 sensors since December 2014 in busy city areas with ‘time-restricted’ and ‘paid' parking. The sensors went 'live' on 1 July 2015.
How do the sensors work and do they affect how parking fines are issued?
Once a vehicle has overstayed the maximum time permitted in a bay, as indicated by the sign, the patrolling parking officer will receive a message from the sensor. The officer will still check the vehicle to confirm its details and gather other relevant evidence before deciding to take any further action.
Are the sensors accurate?
Yes. The sensors are very accurate. They record the exact time that a vehicle enters and departs a parking bay. Each sensor is tested daily to ensure it is working properly. If the test reveals a fault, the sensor automatically switches off for the day and alerts our parking maintenance staff.
When does my parking time start?
Your parking time starts as soon as your car stops in the bay and activates the in-ground sensor, not when you step out to pay for it at the meter or on your phone. The onus is on you, as the driver, to pay for your parking as soon as you park your car and abide by the signage for that bay.
How do the sensors affect me as a driver?
There has been no change to your obligations as a driver. You still need to pay for parking where necessary and observe the time limit on the parking sign.
Are sensors linked to parking meters?
Sensors and parking meters are two separate devices and are therefore not linked to one another.
Why did the City of Gold Coast install the sensors?
Sensors offer a more consistent and accurate approach to parking management by encouraging drivers to comply with parking restrictions.
This supports the steady turnover of parking spaces and helps to make on-street parking more readily available for shoppers, visitors and residents.
It also ensures the limited supply of on-street parking is managed in a fair and equitable manner for the high number of vehicles in the city each day.
The sensors collect valuable information on how often parking bays are being used on any given day or part of the day. This provide us with a better understanding of the city’s ongoing parking needs and helps with future planning.
Are sensors installed in non-standard size loading zone bays?
No. Parking officers will continue to enforce parking restrictions for these bays in line with the signage. The expectation for commercial drivers using non-standard size loading zone bays remains the same – to observe the time limit on the parking sign.
What if the sensor time is slightly different to the time on my watch/clock?
The sensors are synchronised through a central server, which is set to Australian Eastern Standard Time. The devices used by parking officers to issue infringement notices are synchronised through the same server.
Why invest in new parking technology?
- The new technology will make available real time parking information to minimise frustration and congestion for drivers.
- Enable initiatives such as variable parking tariffs based on demand, time, type of user, and type of vehicle e.g. low (CO2).
- Promote commercial activity for local businesses by optimising bay turnover.
- Provide planners with comprehensive historical and real time parking usage information to assist planning for future public transport initiatives.
What new technology will be available and when?
- As at April 2015 - bay numbers have been painted, with modern parking meter machines and in-ground sensors installed.
- Late 2015/early 2016 - a smartphone/website app to show available parking nearby, sorted by price, proximity and availability will be online. Electronic on-street directional signage installed to provide near real-time information directing drivers to available nearby parking.
Where can I find information on long-term off-street parking?
Off-street parking is available in various locations across the city. Weekly or monthly tickets can be purchased from any City customer service centre with the exception of Bruce Bishop Car Park. These must be purchased directly from the ticket window at the car park.
Where are the new parking meter machines installed?
The new parking meter machines have replaced the previous 'Pay and Display' parking meters, with some additional machines installed in those areas to support new infrastructure and legal requirements. In-ground sensors have been installed in high-use business and tourist centres to optimise bay turnover.
Why do paid parking bays, and some timed parking bays, have numbers?
High demand parking bays have been clearly marked with a unique four-digit number. Motorists are required to input the specific bay number their vehicle is parked in on the first screen of the new parking meter machines, to park legally and avoid a fine.
These bay numbers are assigned to in-ground sensors that record when a vehicle arrives and departs a bay, providing live parking data to inform for daily parking operations and for City Transport Planning.
Some areas have bays that are numbered and yet don’t have paid parking. How does the community know whether they have to pay for parking (seek out a meter) or not?
The customer must read the parking sign closest to the bay the customer has parked in.
- Signs that indicate 'METER' require a parking fee to be paid.
- Signs that do not have 'METER' on them are time-based, monitored by the in-ground sensors that record the customer parking times.
Numbered paid parking bays will have signage that includes the following information:
- the time limit if it is applicable (e.g. 1P = 1 hour maximum parking)
- the sign will include the term ‘METER’
- the days and times will be stated on the sign
- this area is regulated for parking.
Numbered timed parking bays will have signage that includes the following:
- the time limit if it is applicable (e.g. 1P = 1 hour maximum parking)
- the days and times will be stated on the sign , where applicable
- this area is regulated for parking.
Numbered unregulated parking bays will have no signage.
- this area is NOT regulated for parking.
How do you extend your stay in a timed parking bay? Will the new technology provide payment options to do this?
- Staying in a parking bay beyond the maximum allowable time is prohibited. This remains unchanged and risks infringement.
- Timed areas are signed accordingly (e.g. 1P = 1 hour maximum parking) and have not changed.
Currently, if you don’t use the allocated time that you have paid for there's no capacity to get a refund for the time not used. Will the new phone app (PayStay) allow a user to only pay for what they use and only be charged for this amount of parking?
Yes, the PayStay app will only charge you for the exact amount of time you have parked for. You select start and stop through the app for exact costs.
If you pay for time at the meter with a credit or debit card you can choose your time in 15 minute increments.
If you pay by coin, you will pay for the time based on the value of coins inserted and the hourly rate for that area.
Note: A 32c per transaction fee was charged on PayStay transactions prior to 1 July 2015. No transaction fee is charged after 1 July 2015.
What if I forget to press stop on the PayStay app when I drive away?
You will continue to be charged until you press "Stop" or the maximum amount as indicated by the parking zone's signage is reached.
How will the City issue infringement notices? Has this process changed?
City Parking officers will be alerted by the in-ground sensors if a vehicle has overstayed the time limit. The procedure for issuing an infringement will remain the same as it is currently, i.e. the officer attends the vehicle to check details and gather evidence before taking any action. The City does not retain account holders' information from the payment app.
I have a valid parking permit, will the new system recognise this?
There is no change to the permit process. The valid permit will still need to be displayed on a vehicle, and an officer will still ensure a valid permit is checked before issuing an infringement.
How do I register for the PayStay app?
PayStay is available from the App Store of IOS and Android Devices, and is also available at PayStay.com.au
Download the app and register your details including credit card and vehicle registration.
What if I don’t own a smartphone?
Phone 1300 322 111 and use text options.
How many vehicles can be attached to a PayStay app account?
Up to 10 vehicles can be registered per account.
Is there a transaction fee for using the PayStay app?
A 32c per transaction fee was charged on PayStay transactions prior to 1 July 2015. No transaction fee is charged after 1 July 2015.
Can transactions be reported or printed for audit purposes?
Yes, a history of all transactions is available at www.paystay.com.au.
Credit card statements will also provide payment history.
For coin payments please contact our Customer Contact Centre to obtain an emailed receipt on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326), 07 5582 8211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be required to provide your name, address, email, phone, time and date of payment, parking meter machine number and location, bay number, amount paid and payment method.
Can records be split for private and work related parking expenses?
Reports are generated for each vehicle and are unable to be split between private and work related use for that vehicle.
Has this technology been used elsewhere?
The chosen vendor is a field leader in parking technology, and various components of this technology are in use in cities in Australia and around the world. Full integration of technology is a new innovation in the parking industry and will provide many benefits for the community and business groups in terms of parking bay turnover and availability on the Gold Coast.
How does the PayStay SMS reminder message system work?
- The PayStay mobile application's SMS reminder is an opt in/out option and is sent 10 minutes prior to the parking session expiring.
- You can change the SMS setting on the app in the account settings to: always send, never send or ask each time.
What charges apply to the PayStay mobile SMS reminder messages?
- Refer to the PayStay Fees Guide.