One universal truth at the University of Texas is that parking sucks! I really don't even recommend buying an on-campus parking permit if you can avoid it. The number of students more than triples the number of parking spaces available on campus, and that does not even factor in the faculty and staff. One way that you can get around the parking nightmare is if you have a motorcycle, as a motorcycle permit is relatively inexpensive, and there is almost always a place on campus to park your bike. Really don't try to park on campus without a permit. The guards will not even let you drive on campus unless you have a UT permit until after 5:45 p.m. So unless you can sneak around them, you don't even have the opportunity to look around for a nonexistent parking space to get a ticket in.
If you live near campus, you are in luck-most apartments come with parking spaces. But if you have several roommates, know that most apartments come with one parking space per bedroom. The parking situation is not only horrible on campus, but is also horrible in all areas surrounding campus, such as West Campus. So if you don't have a spot at your apartment, it is not the easiest task to find one everyday. The best ways to avoid the parking hassles are to walk to class, bike to class, or take one of the many buses that travel all over Austin and to the University.