It doesn’t matter if you drive a Ford or a Ferrari, a Corsa or a Carrera, as car enthusiasts we all take pride in our vehicles. So much so that the thought of parking our treasured cars in a multi-storey car park turns our stomachs and breaks us out in a cold sweat. The careless swinging wide open of car doors… the waterfall of struggling children leaping out of people carriers… the thoughtless squeeze of handbags and shopping bags against the side of your doors… it can be a serious cause for anxiety and sometimes, anger.
Now, that’s not to say you should park 100 miles away, take the bus or park across two bays (more trouble than it’s worth!) In fact, there are some things you can do to try and avoid any tense, biting-your-fingernails moments – not necessarily a 100% guarantee of maintaining your car’s aesthetic integrity, but it might put you more at ease. Here are some vehicles to consider avoiding and some tips to lessen the stress of parking:
People Carriers & Large SUVs
Now, before offense is taken – of course there are many considerate and careful people carrier and SUV owners who value their car as much as you do yours. However, without over-generalising, there are some warning signs you may want to look out for.
One example is baby on board/child on board/little princess on board stickers. No matter which way you look at it, putting babies and children in cars requires extra room – it’s a fact. Lifting them in, buckling them in, or (hold your breath) letting them open the door themselves to get in. When there’s no family bays, this increases the risk or doors being opened into yours. Not to mention the cars themselves tend to be wider, only adding to the issue.
Overly Dented and Scratched Cars
It’s fairly simple. A car that is very poorly maintained on the outside usually indicates the owner holds little value and care for their car – for instance excessive key marks and scratches on the doors, small dents, missing hub caps etc. Therefore, they could be more likely to be careless when it comes to opening doors and manoeuvring bags and keys around their car – something else to keep an eye out for.
The Suzuki Wagon R+s and Vauxhall Agilas of the world
You know the ones, the small, tall cars that the ladies and gents of a certain age tend to favour due to their extra room and fuel efficiency. This means however, a bit like people carriers, that the passengers and drivers of this vehicle may need extra room to get out. Nothing wrong with that of course – you just don’t want your car to hold open their doors.
So… how do you lessen the stress of parking?
You may be tempted to park across multiple bays – that way, no one can park next to you right? True – however this will only anger other drivers, leaving you possibly even more open to deliberate damage and rage-induced photos on the internet… probably not worth it. Instead, parking further away in the car park may cost you an extra few minutes, but it means you’re probably less likely to be parked next to. Parking at the end of parking bays ensures one side of your car is free from the threat of handbags and doors, and finally, selecting a space next to a car that the owner clearly values and cares for is usually a good way to go.
How do feel about parking you car in busy places – does it make you tense or do you just accept it’s one of those things we have to deal with? Perhaps the thought of parking next to a Renault Espace or a Vauxhall Zafira sets your teeth on edge, or perhaps you’re just a little bit paranoid. Either way – let us know your car park experiences.