Parking Mad – OSV reveal Brit’s most dreaded parts of driving

  • 15% of drivers avoid parallel parking completely
  • Three quarters of drivers get stage fright when trying to park in front of other drivers
  • One in five motorists go out of their way to avoid paying for parking


Every driver is different, and we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, but if there’s one point upon which most of us agree it’s that parking causes problems. Whether it’s a lack of spaces, the type of spaces available, or the impact the spaces are going to have on our pocket, we all have a pet parking hate. As diverse as our grumbles are however, new research conducted by OSV, the UK’s best independent vehicle supply professionals, has revealed that there’s one topic at the top of the parking pops – parallel parking.

Perhaps it stems from the trauma of driving lessons when we were all subjected to a gruelling regime where the parallel park followed reversing around a corner and preceded an emergency stop, but when questioned, almost half (47%) of the OSV focus group admitted to parking further away from their destination than necessary, just to avoid parallel parking. An additional 15 per cent confessed to avoiding parallel parking completely – surely there are times when they’d have been better off leaving their cars at home!

With the average motorist saying that they often take up to five attempts before successfully parallel parking however, it’s hardly surprising that many drivers are reluctant. It also seems that we don’t help each other out – although most of us understand about parking performance pressure, with three quarters (75%) of motorists saying that the pressure of having another driver waiting for them puts them off while attempting to parallel park, most of us will still sit and stare, rather than giving our peers the chance to practise their parking skills in private.

‘I think that everyone has experienced the panic of parking poorly in front of an audience,’ says OSV joint-company Director, Andrew Kirkley, ‘so it’s a shame that we’re not all a little more sympathetic. An inability to parallel park can be a real disadvantage though, especially if you regularly visit the suburbs. All it takes is a little confidence, so I’d advise nervous drivers to practise. Once you’ve properly mastered the art – without a driving instructor forcing you to do so! – it’s with you for life and can help to save time, money and stress.’

And money is an issue tied up with parallel parking. For the most part, if you want to avoid it, you’ll have to visit a ticketed parking facility, and as a fifth (21%) of drivers admit to circling around town to find on-street parking to avoid paying for parking tickets, and a further third (33%) say that they always forget to bring along change for the ticket machine so look for alternatives, the ability to parallel park could bring many blessings!

Rachel Richardson
  • 11th July 2016

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