10 tips to take the stress out of parking

Carlton Boyce / 05 November 2015

Take the stress out of parking and avoid bumps and scrapes with 10 simple tips to help you park your car.

Research undertaken by Citroen, the French car manufacturer, shows that 25% of drivers admit to having bumped another car when parking, while 65% of us will search for a parking space with no other cars nearby to avoid a struggle. 

That’s an awful lot of stress that could be avoided by following these 10 simple parking tips!

1. Take it slowly

Drive slowly when you’re parking. Don’t succumb to pressure from other drivers to speed up and get out of their way, making you vulnerable to a costly mistake made in haste. 

Even a scuffed alloy wheel, something that is easy to do with the latest generation of low-profile tyres, can cost upwards of £100 to repair.

Read our tips for safer overtaking.

2. Think about how you will get out of the space

Reverse into a parking space in a car park if you can. It’s safer to drive out into traffic than it is to reverse.

3. Use your eyes

Don’t rely on your car’s parking sensors if you have them; check your mirrors and over your shoulders regularly when you’re maneuvering your car.

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4. Practice makes perfect

Few drivers enjoy parallel parking but as you can see from the slide show above, it really isn’t that hard. 

Why not set up a practice area in an empty car park? An hour invested now will probably turn you into a parking genius!

5. Which side of the road to park on?

Try to park on the left-hand side of the road when you’re parallel parking on the street. It’s safer and much easier than having to cross both lanes of traffic to park.

Don't get caught out by the 'crash for cash' scam.

6. Use technology if you have it

If your car has a self-parking mode, why not use it? It might seem like black magic but it really does work and removes any parking angst. 

If you aren’t confident in using it, your dealer will be happy to demonstrate it in action.

7. Think about other road users

Be mindful of leaving enough space for lorries and other large vehicles to get past your parked car. This is especially important near bends and side roads where they will need to swing wide to make the turn.

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8. Don't forget when your parking ticket runs out

If there is a time limit on your parking space, set your phone’s alarm to remind you when you need to return.

9. Take a note of where you've parked

Parking apps are available for your smartphone that remind you where you’ve parked your car, something that would be very useful in a strange city or in a large multi-storey car park.

10. Be prepared

It’s worth keeping some change in your car to ensure you’ll always got the right money to use in a parking meter.

Those are our ten favourite parking tips, but what are yours? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

For more driving tips and hints, visit our motoring section.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.