Sunday , December 10 2023

Da Lat parking lots charge arm and leg

After winning bids to run downtown parking lots in the resort town of Da Lat, operators have more than tripled their prices in some cases by charging every 30 minutes.

At a parking lot outside the Hoa Binh Theater, cars are now charged VND15,000 every 30 minutes during the day, with the price doubling to VND30,000 at night. After 90 minutes, both prices become VND10,000 each.

Another parking lot in front of Lam Vien Square has been charging motorbikes VND3,000 every 30 minutes during the day, and VND5,000 at night. The prices are halved after 90 minutes.

Hung, a driver serving tourists in Da Lat, said he would have to pay VND250,000 if he leaves his car overnight at a parking lot in the city’s downtown.

“It’s as much as a night at a motel in Da Lat,” he said, adding that there’s extremely high demand for parking the downtown, especially during weekends and holidays.

For about seven years until now, parking fees in Da Lat have remained at flat rates of between VND15,000-30,000 for cars and VND3,000 for motorbikes.

The fees were hiked after the city opened up parking lots for bidding, at which the winning prices were several times the asking prices.

The opening asking price for the Hoa Binh Theater parking lot, which is 400 square meters, was VND1.14 billion, but an operator won a five-year contract by bidding more than VND5.5 billion.

Spanning 2,400 square meters, the Lam Vien Square parking lot was open for bidding at the price of VND535 million a year, but the winning price was VND2.2 billion a year.

Nguyen Duc Cu, Head of the Da Lat Economic Office, said the city has required winning bidders to keep the old prices.

But it seems many have broken this commitment.

“Violating parking lots will be fined,” Cu said.

Several parking lot operators were contacted by VnExpress refused to comments.

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