Be honest, do you get sweaty palms just thinking about parallel parking? Well you’re not alone as a new survey has found that the majority of Australian drivers suffer from “parallel-o-phobia”, a fear of parallel parking.
A survey of 1155 Australian drivers, found that over half (59%) of Aussies are terrified of parallel parking, with 38% embarrassed of holding up traffic and 36% most worried they’ll hit another car while trying to park.
When asked the lengths they have gone to to avoid parallel parking, 55% of respondents said they had parked up to 10 minutes walk from their destination, 38% said they had driven past an empty space and 22% said they had continued to circle the street until an easier park came up.
Over a third (36%) admitted to needing at least one or two goes to park before getting it right, and 6% said they had never even attempted to parallel park since their test!
Abigail Koch, spokesperson for comparethemarket.com.au says, “Parallel parking strikes fear in the heart of many motorists. However, practice makes perfect, which is why our older survey respondents indicated a much higher level of confidence when it comes to completing a successful parallel park.”
The results reveal that ability and confidence improve with age, as nearly two-thirds (63%) of Boomers (50 years +) said they had never shied away from parallel parking, and 61% said they usually nail it on their first attempt.
At the other end of the spectrum, a quarter (25%) of Gen Ys (18 – 34 year olds) said they would rather wait for someone to move their car to open up a bigger space than attempt a tricky park, and a further 16% said if worst came to worst they would ask someone else to park their car for them.
Younger drivers might have good reason to be nervous, with almost a quarter (22%) admitting to bumping into another vehicle while trying to park. Worryingly, one in five (18%), said if they could get away with it then they wouldn’t leave their contact details for the other driver.
“Car park scrapes have become more frequent as more cars are being squeezed into smaller spaces. If you do have a ‘ding’ – no matter how insignificant – we encourage you to leave contact details, as not only is it the right thing to do but you never know when it could be you on the receiving end.
“With latest figures showing that there are 14 million registered cars on Australia’s roads, accidents are inevitable. That’s why it’s so important for motorists to protect themselves and their vehicle by taking out comprehensive car insurance. Comparethemarket.com.au can help you compare a range of policies that suit your needs and won’t break the bank,” said Abigail.
Comparethemarket.com.au offers a crash course on how to conquer the parallel park:
- Choosing the right amount of space: While looking for a park, don’t attempt to squeeze into the first spot you see. Look for a car space that’s roughly one and a half times the length of your vehicle. It’s important to feel comfortable with the distance you have given yourself between other cars.
- Start reversing slowly: Before you begin moving into your park, remember to check your mirrors, turn on the indicator, look over your shoulder and begin reversing slowly. Make sure the middle of your car lines up with the other vehicle’s rear bumper.
- Move towards the curb: After making sure the road is clear, cut the steering wheel sharply towards the curb at a 45 degree angle. Continue reversing until you can see the headlights of the car behind you in the side mirror. Begin turning the opposite direction until your vehicle is aligned with the cars at either end and parallel to the curb.
- Now straighten up: Always make sure to centre your car between the two other vehicles and allow room for exiting. Make sure you are parallel to the road’s edge and your wheels aren’t touching the curb.
- Most importantly, try and try again: You’re allowed as many attempts as you like to perfect your park so don’t stress if you don’t master it on the first go. Remain calm and take it slow, if you aren’t happy with your parking job then try again.
Case study available:
- Abbie Simons (23) lives in Coomera, Gold Coast. Abbie’s most traumatic driving experience was when she reversed into a mailbox while trying to parallel park. She now has a “two attempt” rule – if she can’t nail it in two goes, then she gives up and will park further away and walk if necessary.
Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.
 An independent survey conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of comparethemarket.com.au. The 1155 respondents were individuals living in Australia with a valid driving licence. Respondents were an equal ratio of male to female, aged over 18 years old. Respondents were representative of the Australian population NSW (30%), VIC (26%), QLD (21%), WA (11%), SA (7%), TAS (2%), ACT (2%), and NT (1%).