21 car parks in Singapore you didn’t know had free parking (2018 edition)

PHOTO: The Straits Times

If I had to nominate one cliché that rings all-too-true in Singapore, it would be “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Every year, more and more of our favourite car parks decide to stop offering free parking. But we’d like to reassure you that there are still some places where parking is free—for now.

Mustafa Centre

First hour free daily, $2 per subsequent hour or part thereof.

Not only does Mustafa Centre offer cheap groceries and some of the best money changing rates in town, you also get free parking for an hour. Yay. Great if you just want to stop by for a quick prata meal nearby. The only thing you want to avoid doing is actually shopping at Mustafa, since that’s going to take at least 10 years.

Ikea, Giant Hypermarket and Courts Megastore at Tampines Retail Park

Free parking daily.

While the Alexandra branch requires you to spend money at IKEA in exchange for free parking hours, Tampines is still ulu enough to offer parking space completely free. The same goes for Giant and Courts next door.

The Grandstand

Free parking daily.

We’re noticing a pattern here. The more ulu or inaccessible a place is, the more likely you are to enjoy free parking.

OUE Downtown/Downtown Gallery

Free parking from Mon-Fri from 6:00pm to 6:59am (next day), Sat 1pm onwards and all day on Sun & PH.

This is the true “hidden” gem in the CBD. Free parking in the most expensive part of town?! Yes, it’s real. You no longer have to worry about parking in the evening, regardless of whether you’re going for a fitness class, or grabbing a bite at Lau Pa Sat.

West Coast Park

Free parking daily from 6:30am to 8:30am, then $0.0167 per minute.

Parking at East Coast Park may no longer be free, but there’s still West Coast Park… although this applies only if you’re the disciplined type who can haul yourself out of bed early in the morning to exercise.

Clarke Quay

Free parking from 12:30pm to 1:29pm, $1.28 for first hour afterwards, then $0.43 for subsequent 15 minutes.

To make people feel better about the fact that they’re about to get ripped off, Clarke Quay tries to lure the lunchtime crowds by offering free parking. We just hope that helps subsidise the cost of your $20 beer.

Dempsey Hill

Free parking daily.

Dempsey Hill is one of those places that is a pain to visit if you don’t have a car. But if you do, you’re rewarded amply for your atas-ness with free all-day parking.

Gillman Barracks

Free parking after 5pm on weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holiday.

If you’ve never even stepped into the Gillman Barracks (who cares about art, right?), you might be interested in the fact there are some restaurants there… and that parking is free after 5pm every day of the week.

IMM

Free 2-hour parking daily for first entry only from Monday to Friday (excluding PH), then $1.07 for third hour and $0.30 per subsequent 15 minutes.

IMM’s got a lot of competition from the other Jurong East malls these days, which is probably why they’re the only ones who still offer free parking after JCube decided to withdraw the privilege.

Jurong Point

Free parking from Monday to Thursday (excluding PH) for two hours between 12pm to 2pm, $1.07 per subsequent hour or part thereof until 5pm.

Each time I enter Jurong Point (which is, admittedly, not often), I feel like I’m Mufasa falling into that wildebeest stampede. But with a rather generous two hours of free parking, Jurong West dwellers might be encouraged to brave the crowds and head there for lunch.

Leisure Park Kallang

First hour free on weekdays, then $0.50 per subsequent 30 minutes.

You might have all the grace of an elephant at an ice skating rink and your bowling balls might always head straight for the longkang, but you should still visit Leisure Park Kallang if you need a quick hour-long free parking session.

Singapore Flyer

Free parking from 12pm to 2pm on Monday to Friday (no PH), subsequently $2 per hour or part thereof.

Office workers in the area can park for free at the Singapore Flyer during lunchtime. Even if the only time you bother to venture that close to the giant ferris wheel is, um, never, this is a pretty attractive incentive to try out the restaurants in the area.

Pasir Ris Park

Free parking daily at Carpark D, free between 6:30am and 8:30am at Carpark A.

Some people like Pasir Ris Park for its tranquil views of the sea. Well, we’re just thankful it hasn’t gone the way of East Coast Park, and still generously offers free all-day parking at Carpark D.

Chinese Garden

Free parking daily for first hour between 6am to 6pm, then $0.50 per subsequent 30 min.

This place is like Haw Par Villa minus the ten courts of hell and uh, all the other bizarre statues. Exotically oriental, cheap to visit and filled with mosquitoes.

Labrador Nature Reserve

Free parking daily.

Labrador Park connects to Mount Faber, where parking is also free, so hike between the two without paying a single cent.

Alexandra Retail Centre

Free parking from 6:30pm to 11pm on weekdays, 7am to 11pm on weekends and public holidays.

This shopping mall near Mapletree Business City has the distinction of being one of the few malls in the country without an H&M, Uniqlo or anything interesting, but who cares when they’re bestowing upon us one of the most generous free parking offers in town, for a shopping mall anyway.

The Rail Mall

Free parking daily.

Whether you’re there to get your groceries at Cold Storage, or to visit the restaurants, or just to admire the unique architecture of the building on this narrow plot of land, you’ll be happy to hear that parking is free. Just be careful though, there are only 95 parking lots available.

Our Tampines Hub

Free parking from 12 to 2pm on weekdays, then $0.02 per minute. Free parking from 12am to 6pm on all public holidays.

If you don’t actually live in Tampines, you’ve probably never heard of Our Tampines Hub, a new community and lifestyle centre set up by the People’s Association with a library, swimming complex, football pitch and of course, a shopping mall (this is Singapore after all). Not that we’re complaining, since parking is free during lunchtime on weekdays and on all public holidays.

BreadTalk IHQ

Free parking for first hour on weekdays 5pm to 2am, and all day on weekends and public holidays.

This shopping mall in the Paya Lebar area deserves a prize not just for its name, but also for the fact that it offers free first hour evening parking, as well as all day parking on weekends and public holidays. Those who frequent nearby Geylang (for the durians, of course!) might want to take note.

TradeHub 21

Free parking for first hour on Mon to Fri, $1 for additional hour, and all day on weekends.

Not sure why you would be hanging around TradeHub 21, which is an industrial building in Jurong East. But the free parking offer on weekends makes it an attractive proposition for those who don’t mind walking half an hour to the big malls at Jurong East.

Mount Faber

Free parking daily.

Now we know why Mount Faber is one of Singaporeans’ favourite paktor spots.

This article was first published in MoneySmart.

Purchase this article for republication.

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