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7 Tips to Park Your Car in a Public Parking Garage

Updated on February 19, 2018
Park your car safely in a parking garage
Park your car safely in a parking garage

Park Your Car in a Public Parking Garage

These seven tips on how to park your car in a public parking garage will prevent your car from being dinged and scratched or even worse -- wrecked. You can use these seven tips whether you are parking in a mall, at an apartment building, or any parking facility where there are parking spaces that may have wide beams, blind corners, and narrow parking spaces. It will also help those of you who are tourists visiting such places as Dubrovnik, Croatia where public garage parking is encouraged due to sometimes congested streets.

1. Think "Safety First" When You Enter a Parking Garage

Before you worry that you may not be able to find a "good" parking space in a crowded parking garage, think "safety first." You want to find the ideal parking space, but more importantly you want to be safe. Be careful as you drive around the parking garage, being alert that at any moment a car may back out of a parking space unexpectedly. Travel at a safe speed and be ready to brake should this happen.

Also be alert when you turn blind corners in the parking garage as you may not be able to see if another car is coming in your direction. The approaching car should be a safe distance away from yours when you make the turn, but be cognizant that some drivers do not adhere to the markings in the garage. Their car could be straddling their lanes, especially if there are no solid lines they can use as a guide. Remember to drive slow, keep a watchful eye for others and do not be in a rush to find a parking space. As the saying goes, "Patience is a virtue."

Once you park your car, park in a lighted area, be aware of your surroundings and do not leave packages in clear view in your car. Place them out of sight in the trunk of your car.

Patience is a virture.

— William Langland

2. See Clearly When You Park in Parking Garages

If you have prescription glasses, wear them so you can see the directional and other signs in the parking garage. In regards to wearing sunglasses, I suggest you remove them while driving your car in a parking garage. The sunglasses serve no purpose while in a garage, and may blur your perception of how close your car is to the walls and beams of the garage. You also need to be alert for pedestrians in the parking garage who may inadvertently walk in the path of your car.

3. Be Aware of Beams in Parking Garages

Many parking garages have large beams situated throughout. These beams may be square, round or cylinder in shape. Regardless of the type beams in parking garages, you must be careful when you drive around them.

When making turns, be sure you leave enough room between the side of your car and the wall or beam to make the turn without scraping your car. You may notice marks on the parking beams and walls where people have scraped their cars when either making a turn or just parking. Don't follow their example. Use due diligent to make sure there is ample room near the wall, beam or another car before you park your car to ensure your car does not get dinged or scratched.

Be careful when you park near beams in  parking garages.
Be careful when you park near beams in parking garages.

4. Choose the Best Parking Space in Parking Garages

Depending on your preferences, the best parking space in a parking garage may be a space next to a wall. However, sometimes if the garage is crowded, you do not have a choice of where to park. Follow these steps to choose a good parking space.

  • Leave an empty parking space between your car and another car. Of course, depending on how crowded the parking area is, you may not have this luxury. In this case, you must carefully park beside another car. Remember, when that person returns and sees your car parked close beside his or her car, the first thing he or she will probably do is examine his or her car doors and fenders to make sure you have not already dented the car. Remember to be extra careful when you park next to another car.
  • Choose the best car to park next to. For instance, if you see two parked cars, one that is dinged and one that looks relatively new with no dings, which car would you park next to? More than likely you would park beside the newer car that has no dings. Just like you, the driver of the car without scratches may be concerned with not getting his or her car damaged and is careful opening car doors when entering or exiting their car.
  • Be careful when parking next to a car that has already been dinged or scratched. The advantage of parking beside a car that is already dented is the driver would probably care less how close you park to his or her car or the possibility the car may be accidently dinged. However, he or she also may not care if they dent your car. So if you can, make all efforts not to park beside a car that is already dented or damaged.
  • Find a better parking space instead of parking next to a dented or scratched car. You can risk parking beside the dented car; however, it is best to attempt to find a more desirable parking space. Check outside the garage, around the building, etc. or even drive around the parking garage until you find a better parking space. Remember, in parking garages, cars are arriving and leaving parking spaces sometimes constantly. Therefore, if you drive around and recheck for a more desirable parking space, one may become available to you after a short time.

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5. Park Your Car Near a Wall in a Parking Garage

Park your car where there are less odds your car will get dinged or scratched, such as beside a wall in the parking garage. If you prefer to back into a parking space, your driver's side is at risk of being dinged so park as close to the wall as possible without touching it, leaving plenty of space between your car and any car that may park next to yours.

What I do sometimes in tight parking spaces is park as close to the wall as I can -- and then scoot over to the passenger side to get out of the car -- since there is no room on the driver's side to exit the car. By parking close to the wall, there is a lot of room on your passenger side for the other car to park without the possibility of denting your car. Another option is to back into the parking space so the passenger door is against the wall and you can exit from the driver's side.

Avoid parking too close to other cars.
Avoid parking too close to other cars.

6. Gauge How far the Car's Door Beside Yours Will Open Before Parking

Before you park your car, take a look at the distance the other car's door can open and determine if there is enough room for the car door to be opened without hitting your car. Do this visual check before and even after parking your car. If the other car's door can possibly open wide and hit your car, do not park in that parking space. Do not think the other driver will take precautions when getting in or out of their car not to hit or scratch yours. Even if they do, accidents can happen, so it's best to avoid this situation in the first place. Remember that some two-door sports cars have doors that open more wider than other type cars so be careful parking beside them as well.

Some Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have large doors with a wide circumference, so avoid parking beside them, if possible, unless there is enough space for them to enter or exit without hitting your car. Cars tend to have a shorter door radius, so if you are driving a car, it will be better to park beside another car than to park beside an SUV or a truck. Additionally, when you park beside an SUV, your view is obstructed so from your parked position you can't tell when another car is approaching when leaving the parking space.

If you are parking an SUV or truck, you should be considerate and not park your vehicle close to either another car or even an SUV that would cause the person to make special maneuvers to enter or exit their car in order to prevent their car door from hitting yours.

7. Park Between the Solid Lines

Last but not least, do not park over the solid parking space lines. Also do not take up two parking spaces with your car. I've seen cars parked over the line, which may have been done intentionally, or accidentally. The end result is no one will park beside their car, but they may get a nasty note left on their windshield when they return or even worse -- they may return to a keyed car. To make sure your car do not get keyed or scratched by an angry driver, always park your car between the solid lines.

Parking Garage of the Future is Here Now


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    • ladyhowto4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Courtlney Davis 

      6 years ago


      Thanks for your comment!


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      6 years ago



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