Shopping in Kuala Lumpur doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive affair, even with the expensive parking rates the malls and shopping centres have. Some would say that the most obvious way to save would be taking the public transport. Unfortunately, in KL the public transport doesn’t quite connect seamlessly to all the malls with the exception of Suria KLCC. Once your shopping party exceeds 3 people, it becomes more economical and convenient to drive. Otherwise can you imagine pushing and being squashed up on the train with all your shopping?
So what can you do to save on your parking fees?
This applies if you don’t live too far from the One Utama Shopping Centre. With a rate of RM1 for a whole 6 hours for both weekdays and weekends, it is a sure cost saver! This is especially so if you are planning on watching a movie. No problems with parking even if you are watching the Lord of The Rings Trilogy! It wouldn’t cost you an arm and leg in parking! But if you are not fortunate enough to live near One Utama, do consider the cost of petrol and toll (if any) in getting there!
- Time your shopping excursions
Most shopping malls usually start with a relatively lower rate for the first hour or first 3 hours for Midvalley Megamall. It wouldn’t cost you too much in parking then if you think you can get your grocery shopping, banking or window shopping done in those 3 hours. If you happen to exceed that time limit by a few minutes into the next hour, stay on for the whole hour. After all, you would be paying for the whole subsequent hour so you might as well get more shopping in! It is a little more inconvenient in having to time yourself and keep an eye on your watch but the parking charges you will save will make up for it! Please note that this may not apply during sale periods when one loses track of time!
- Look for cheaper parking nearby
Some shopping malls have cheaper parking options nearby which are usually a short walk away. These places tend to charge cheaper hourly rates or even flat rates which will save a lot if you are planning to stay in the mall for quite a while. I have heard that JW Marriot Hotel offers valet parking for RM10 which is an option to consider if you are planning to spend the whole day in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. The only downside to these alternative parking lots is that they are usually open air which can be quite cumbersome if it starts to rain or if you have lots of shopping to carry. They are also sometimes quite far so some exercise would be necessary!
Parking on weekdays naturally tends to be cheaper than the weekends as retailers know that most people tend to have shopping excursions during the weekends with their families. Weekend parking can sometimes be as much as double or triple the usual price on weekdays! Hence, choosing to shop after work on a weekday will be cheaper in terms of parking. Shopping on weekdays also helps you avoid the mad jam getting in and out of the shopping centre. Getting a parking lot is also a breeze and you will enjoy crowd free and stress-free shopping as the malls are usually near empty on weekdays! It’s a great option!
Some loyalty cards or stores have started offering parking rebates to help encourage sales. One card I particularly love is the Isetan Member Card. It is available for a fee of RM20 for 2 years and holders are entitled to collect points and earn rebates whenever they shop at Isetan. Best of all, it gives you 2 free hours of parking whenever you shop above RM100 at any Isetan store. I tried using it in The Gardens last weekend and I found that for The Gardens, you get the first 3 hours parking free which is the equivalent of RM1 on weekdays or RM3 on weekends! You will recoup your card fee in no time at all if you are a regular shopper in Isetan! Naturally, in light of saving, do exercise control in spending and buy only if you have to! It wouldn’t be worth spending unnecessarily to hit the RM100 limit just to save RM1 or RM3 on parking!
Hopefully these tips work well for you during The Malaysia Shopping Carnival happening now!