In many major cities in America, selecting a parking spot is a decision that can have costly financial implications. Choose wisely and you will have a pleasant parking experience. If you fail to understand and follow local parking signs and rules, however, then you may have a hefty parking fine on your hands. The severity of parking fines varies from city to city, with the steepest fines being doled out in the larger cities across the United States. Here is a look at three of the most expensive cities in America when it comes to parking fines. You should think twice before parking in the wrong spot or parking incorrectly in these cities.

San Francisco
A study released by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency shows that San Francisco has some of the most expensive parking fines in America. The California city has a long list of expensive parking violations, and if you violate any of them, you should be prepared to pay. Some examples include a $1,000 fine for obstructing traffic without a permit, a $110 fine for blocking a charging bay and an $83 fine for parking in a truck-loading zone.

These fines are just a select few from the long list of parking violations that are waiting for drivers in San Francisco. Prior to parking in San Francisco, it is prudent to pay special attention to any street signs, and be sure to keep clear of any handicap ramps or fire hydrants, because that will cost you even more.

New York City
Another city in the U.S. that is infamous for its high parking ticket fines is New York City. Some key examples of expensive parking ticket fines in New York City include a $115 fine for stopping, standing or parking where signs, street markings or traffic control devices do not permit you to do so.

You can also expect a $65 fine for standing or parking at an angle to the curb and a $165 fine for parking in front of a pedestrian ramp. Similar to San Francisco's list, New York City's list of parking violations is considerable. Parking in New York City can be quite tricky, with the increased traffic, overabundance of signs and tremendous amount of parking laws to follow.

Rather than risk a hefty parking violation, be cautious and keep a close eye out for any parking restriction signs.

The Windy City is home to the highest parking meters in the U.S., and its parking violation fines are among the highest as well. In Chicago you can get a $150 fine for blocking a fire lane, a $150 fine for parking or standing in a bicycle lane and a $200 fine for parking in a disabled parking zone. Chicago is a city that does not take parking violations lightly. Some of the practices that are strictly prohibited include feeding the meter in a two-hour parking zone and blocking a handicap ramp. Rather than risk getting a parking ticket, and paying a hefty fine, take the signs seriously and use caution with the parking spot that you select.

The Bottom Line
One sure-fire way to ruin any day or night out on the town is to return to your car, and find a parking ticket. When visiting a city or area you are unfamiliar with, it is important to pay special attention to the parking signs.

Cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago take parking violations very seriously. In cities where parking is scarce due to a large population, you can expect parking violations to be more strict. Next time you park in a major city, take a look at the street signs around you, make sure your meter is fed and steer clear of all fire hydrants, handicap ramps and fire zones.