If you’ve ever driven in a city or large town, you’ll know how frustrating parking can be.
Whether it’s the limited and expensive parking spaces, or inconsiderate motorists making life more difficult, parking in built up areas can often be unnecessarily stressful.
We surveyed the nation to find out the most common complaints people have when parking in a city and have put together a guide of simple tips to help make it that little bit easier.
Make The Most of a Park and Ride
Whilst driving into the city centre may seem more convenient, the time, energy and money spent finding a parking space means it’s not always worthwhile.
Choosing a park and ride over city centre parking is often a lot easier, and not to mention a significantly cheaper alternative.
Half (50%) of UK drivers named expensive charges as the most annoying aspect of urban parking and choosing a park and ride can really help to cut the cost.
Do Your Research
Researching different options in advance can save time, and could be the difference between finding a space quickly or driving around aimlessly searching for a spot.
It’s a good idea to plan ahead and be aware of at least three different options for parking in the area. This will help to minimise the time spent driving around looking for a space, as well as minimising the stress.
Avoid The Most Popular Areas
When driving into a city centre, it might be worth avoiding parking in the most popular areas.
Over a third (34%) of drivers said that they were frustrated with how few parking spaces there are, and 33% said there was inadequate street parking in their area to cater for the number of cars.
Choosing to park in the less popular areas of a city can help to increase the chances of finding a spot away from the crowd. It might be cheaper too!
Invest In Technology Aids
There are various pieces of technology designed to minimise the stress of parking in a city centre.
Over 50% of people named tight spaces as one of their biggest pet peeves when parking in a city and aids such as reversing cameras and parking sensors can make parking in tight urban car parks a little bit easier.
Sat navs can also be of benefit. Whilst the spaces in bigger and more popular car parks will be taken quickly, smaller and less conspicuous car parks may take longer to fill up. A sat nav or Google Maps can help you to avoid the most popular areas and find a space off the beaten track.
There’s An App For That
There are several apps available on smartphones, all designed to help people park.
Apps such as AppyParking or Parkopedia offer a huge range of features, not only showing the different parking options in an area, but also displaying live bay availability, the locations of electric charging points and in some cases, you can even pay for parking on the app.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Finally, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when parking in a city.
Be on the lookout for road markings and signs detailing parking restrictions. It’s easy to miss a notice explaining the maximum stay for a parking space, or restrictions based on vehicle type. Equally, be mindful that you’re not blocking access entrances for businesses or private premises.
It sounds obvious, but it can often be easier than you’d think to park in an area where you’re not supposed to, and this can be the difference between paying hundreds for a parking fine or not!
So, whilst driving in a built up area will never be the greatest experience, following these tips will help to remove some of the stresses of driving in a city and help you get out unscathed.
Images: ©iStock.com/tzahiV, ©iStock.com/KenWiedemann