UCF is the largest university in Florida by enrollment, which makes for a lot of students trying to find parking each day. It's also one of the biggest commuter schools in Florida. Commuters can expect a few challenges as they learn to navigate such a big campus. We’ve put together all the information you’ll need, plus a few tips and tricks. Whether you’re a first-time student or returning upperclassman, this guide could help prevent some future parking tickets.
Should I Drive to Campus?
If you’re within close distance to campus, walking or biking is in your best interest. To find apartments within walking distance to campus, check here. If you’d prefer not to walk, the UCF Shuttle Bus also makes stops at 22 apartments near campus. These options are worth looking into if you’re determined to avoid the hassle of parking. If you’re one of UCF’s many commuters and driving to campus is your only option, find a couple of friends to carpool with. Finding one parking space is easier than finding three. It also saves on gas!
Buying a UCF Parking Permit
Having an expired or not properly displayed parking permit is the number one reason for student citations. Decal permits and hang-tag permits can be purchased on UCF’s parking website and are required to park on campus. Visitor’s passes can also be purchased for the day or by the hour at the Visitor and Parking Information Center. Permits can be purchased year-round and are registered by student and by car, so they cannot be shared. Hang-tag permits can be transferred from vehicle to vehicle, in case a student is driving a different car for a day, but not student to student. All permits are registered to the student who purchases them, making all citations and tickets liable to that person.
Permit Types and Cost
Permits vary by student type. For on-campus students, “R,” “RL,” and “KP” parking passes are available depending on which residence hall you live in. To see which lots each pass gives access to, visit the Student Permit page. A single semester permit is available for $71-76* for a decal or hangtag. A multi-semester permit is $144-151.
Commuting students can purchase a “D” permit, which allows for parking in all green “D” parking lots and unreserved parking garages. These can be located on the Campus Map and Parking Guide. A single semester permit is available for $48-50 for a decal or hangtag. A multi-semester permit is $95-100.
Daily permit parking is available for $5 and is a good option for those not regularly visiting campus. These can be purchased at parking kiosks outside most green “D” parking zones.
For more on permit fees, visit UCF’s parking website. To purchase a permit, visit UCF’s Parking Portal or register directly on the mobile app.
*Prices are reflective of the 2021 school year.
Where to Park
UCF Parking Permits are valid for their select locations from 7:00am to 5:30pm. After 5:30pm and on weekends, students may park in B and C lots, as well as red, blue, or green spaces, except those marked 24-hour reserved or otherwise designated spot. Always pay attention to signs and lot markings to ensure you won’t be ticketed. Whether you’re driving to campus for class, a library study session, or to hit the gym, it’s a good idea to have the Campus Parking Guide handy.
Parking at UCF is not something you should figure out the night before classes start. On such a big campus, it can be hard to find a spot central to all of your classes. Using the map, locate your classroom buildings and decide which parking garage or lot is within walking distance. Don’t worry if your classes are spread out – the on-campus shuttle is a great option to get you to and from class if you can’t park close enough. Remember that your first option might not always be available, no matter how early you arrive. Always have a second and third parking option, and head to campus with enough time for any possible parking obstacles. Especially for the first few weeks of the semester, it’s a good idea to give yourself 30-45 minutes of extra time before your first class starts. Once you establish a routine and memorize your route, you won’t need as much time.
Paying a Parking Citation
Hopefully, this guide will help prevent any citations, but if you end up with a ticket under your windshield – don’t panic. Pay careful attention to where you are at the time and what the ticket says. This will help you avoid the same mistake in the future. Double-check that your parking permit is not expired and in the right place, as these are the two main reasons for citations.
Citations happen. Often, it’s best to pay it as soon as possible and learn from the experience. If you think the citation is undeserved, you can appeal it with Parking Services. Make sure to note any areas of confusion or snap a picture of a sign that may have mislead you. Assure that you won’t do it again, and you might be able to talk yourself out of the fine.
To pay or appeal a citation, visit the citation portion of the UCF parking website.
The Pegasus Express
The UCF Shuttles run both on-campus, taking students from class to class, and off-campus, visiting the Downtown and Rosen campuses and 22 apartments around UCF. Everyone rides free with a UCF ID. Shuttles arrive and depart about every 15-minutes and are a reliable option and alternative to driving. If you can’t park close enough to your classroom building, park near a shuttle pick-up spot and shuttle to class.
For more information, check out our shuttle article or visit the parking website. To see which apartments have UCF shuttle transport, check here.
- Arrive early. It’s best to get there well before 10am. Between 10am-2pm on weekdays is the busiest time for parking. Lots are often at full capacity.
- If you arrive at a busy time and your first option is full, try Garage A. It’s usually the last to fill up.
- Avoid Garage H between 9am-11am, when many students arrive at once. This garage is the only one-way parking garage on campus, often resulting in long wait times and increased traffic.
- Park on the outer regions of campus and walk or shuttle in. This can often save time and avoid frustrating traffic.
- Carpool with friends or classmates!
- Don’t park in B or C lots until after 5:30pm.
- Parking is front-in only. Don’t back into spaces to avoid citations.
For more tips, check out Reddit, or the UCF FAQ page.