While visiting Colombo, visitors may find it difficult to navigate around town due to the high levels of traffic and limited parking options.
Not only in Colombo; Gampaha, Katutura, Kandy, and many other major cities also have the same issues. Sometimes, finding a parking lot becomes even more difficult.
Parking knowledge is important for any driver – not just those aiming towards their driving exam. These quick tips may come in handy: So, be sure to read the full article.
We will discuss some important parking rules, current fines, and how the parking system works in this post.
What are parking rules in Sri Lanka?
You need to be aware of the parking rules in order for you not to get fined. And there are many parking rules; you can learn more here.
The following are some of the parking rules:
- Do not park in a handicapped spot without proper credentials.
- Don’t park in a way that blocks other vehicles from entering or leaving the parking lot.
- Only park one vehicle per space.
- A person should not enter a parking lot other than for the purpose of parking or an official duty (with permission)
- All vehicles must follow the appropriate passage when entering or leaving a public vehicle parking lot.
- In a public parking lot, you’re not allowed to wash your vehicle or repair (unless such repair is essential to move the vehicle from the parking lot)
- You cannot enter or park a vehicle in a public parking lot unless you have a valid ticket, a permit issued by the municipal commissioner, or a permit issued by an authorized officer/agent.
Cost of parking in Sri Lanka?
The following table shows information about the parking fees of types of vehicle classes.
|Type||Parking fees for the hour||Parking fees for the month|
|For a Motor Cycle||Rs. 20|
|For a Motor Tricycle||Rs. 20|
|For a Motor Car or dual purpose vehicle||Rs. 50|
|For a Bus, Motor Coach, Motor Lorry, Light Motor, Lorry, Heavy Motor Lorry||Rs. 70|
|For a school Van||Rs. 600|
|For a School Bus||Rs. 1000|
|For a staff service Van||Rs. 1200|
|For a staff service bus||Rs. 2000|
How to pay the parking fees in Sri Lanka?
There are three ways you can pay for your parking:
1. Parking attendants
The most common type of parking in Sri Lanka is paying directly for parking attendants, where you pay for a ticket and then place that same ticket inside your windshield or pay when you leave the parking lot.
If you’re not aware, most of these parking attendants are appointed by privately-owned companies who rent out the space to people. The company is given a contract from their respective district’s Municipal Council.
That’s why sometimes your tickets may look different than other areas. But the prices must be equal or lower no matter where you get them from!
Note: Private parking attendants usually wear an orange color vest and should carry a staff ID card. And municipal council parking attendants usually wear a green color vest.
2. Pay machines / Pay Point
The pay machine parking system is not widely popular, and people often complain about it being unavailable or broken.
The pay machines are available in certain places on goal road and near Colombo. However, they’re not everywhere.
If you are using a pay machine, after you are parked, make sure to get a ticket from the machine and place it under your windshield before you leave the parking lot. If you are a bike or three-wheel owner, keep the ticket with you.
And be sure to come back before your time is up, or you’ll have to pay a fine!
3. App systems
There is only one parking app available in Sri Lanka, and according to user reviews, it’s not working properly as of 2022. (I’m adding a link only as a reference. Here is the app Tenaga Park Smart; you can download the app for yourself to check out how it works.)
How much is parking delay charges (fines)
Delay charge works as follows:
The longer you wait to pay the fine, the more you have to pay. Meaning the best way is to pay within an hour of the parking penalty charge notice. Otherwise, you will end up paying more.
The following table shows information about parking fines and delay charges.
|Type||Within 1 hour||Within 2 hours||Within 28 days||Within 56 days||After 56 days|
|For a Motor Cycle||Rs. 40||Rs. 80||Rs. 600||Rs. 2000||Rs. 10000|
|For a Motor Tricycle||Rs. 40||Rs. 80||Rs. 600||Rs. 2000||Rs. 10000|
|For a Motor Car or Dual purpose vehicle||Rs. 100||Rs. 200||Rs. 1500||Rs. 5000||Rs. 25000|
|For a bus, Motor Coach, Motor Lorry, Light Motor Lorry, Heavy Motor Lorry||Rs. 140||Rs. 280||Rs. 2100||Rs. 7000||Rs. 35000|
|For a School or Staff Service Van||Rs. 100||Rs. 200||Rs. 1500||Rs. 5000||Rs. 25000|
|School and Staff Service bus||Rs. 140||Rs. 280||Rs. 2100||Rs. 7000||Rs. 35000|
When can you park for free?
There are two times when people do not have to pay a fee for parking:
1. The parking fees will not be charged from 12 midnight to 6.00 in the morning, but there is a possibility of this changing by way of a board displayed by the Municipal Commissioner. (Pay attention to boards displayed at parking lots)
2. There will be no charge for parking in front of schools from 6:45 am until 7:45 am and from 12 pm to 1.30 pm.
How to pay the parking fines and delay charges?
The easiest way to pay off fines is through the Pay & Go machines found in places like supermarkets, hospitals, or banks all over Sri Lanka.
Another way is going to Municipal Council.
I want to know if there’s any other way. If you know, let us know in the comments below.
Can my car be towed without warning?
Unlike other countries, it is very rare for vehicles to be towed away from Sri Lankan parking lots. So nothing to worry about unless your situation is crappy and you’ve forgotten where the car was parked! And not returning for days or something like that.
Sri Lankan parking can be a challenge.
As you know, it’s not easy to understand Sri Lanka’s systems that include the parking systems, rules, and regulations.
It’s good to see some companies have tried to improve parking systems, but none of them were able to a give good service so far.
In our opinion, these projects should focus on what customers want (at least at first), and not just fines. For example, if a system doesn’t work properly, people will get fined for no reason, which is unfair to them.
A question like how to know whether you have a parking violation ticket? Yet to be answered by these companies.
In conclusion, this blog post was created to help you understand the parking system in Sri Lanka. We hope that we were able to give you a head start with your parking-related questions. We want to update you more about this parking system. Did you have any questions or suggestions? Let us know in the comments!