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A parking garage is any building or structure that is designed for the purpose of parking multiple cars, trucks and other vehicles. These garages are built in places where there is a need for a large amount of vehicles to park at the same time. There are many different designs for parking garages and they can be built in a wide variety of places.
The most basic types of parking garages are simply parking lots that are covered with a roof, which can be convenient in inclement weather but are usually limited in the amount of cars they can park. A more common type of parking garage has two or more levels that a driver can park his or her car on, including the roof. The way these are usually built is with a series of ramps, and entire levels are built on an incline so that cars can drive up to the different levels with relative ease.
A parking garage may be built so that it is directly connected to the building that it is intended for. Common examples of where parking garages can be built like this are when they are part of an apartment complex, shopping mall or office building. The garages are usually built adjacent to the building, but many times they are built at the base of the structure. In a few cases, the garage is built a considerable from the place where people park their cars, causing drivers to need to take a bus or shuttle to their destination. These are usually found in places such as airports that have a large number of people that need to park daily and also must sometimes leave their cars parked there for extended periods of time.
There may or may not be a fee charged to park a car in a parking garage, but more often than not an hourly rate is charged that does not exceed a daily limit. Some garages also offer monthly or yearly rates, where a flat fee is charged for unlimited usage within the paid time frame. For garages that are part of apartment complexes, these charges are sometimes covered by the rent, or there may be a fee charged for each car that is to be parked by the tenant.