Parking skills are an important facet of modern motoring life.
Although there are self-parking cars, notably in a few luxury models, most drivers will have to rely on their wits and their skills (or lack thereof) in slotting their cars into a parking bay.
These days, cars are equipped with assist features such as reverse sensors and cameras but nothing beats the satisfaction of being able to park one's vehicle properly, unaided by helper technology.
Here are essential tips, courtesy of IAM Drive & Survive, that will be enlightening even to experienced drivers.
- In a car park, try and reverse into parking spaces as this is safer when driving out of a space, and more fuel efficient as you'll be manoeuvring with a warm engine.
- Check your mirrors and over your shoulder frequently - you still need to know what's going on around you. Don't just rely on parking sensors to guide you.
- Don't feel pressurised by other drivers waiting for you to park - it's important to take your time. Having said that, don't take too long; use common sense to judge whether you are starting to inconvenience other road users.
- When looking for a parking place, don't stop suddenly. Drive slowly past a potential parking space and size it up to see if your car will fit. And if you can't stop because you have traffic behind you, drive on.
- When visiting a supermarket or retail park, try and park away from trolley parks and corners to avoid your car being exposed to damage from trolleys.
- When parking, open your window in car parks and turn off your stereo. You can often hear something before you can see it.