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Being courteous can be as simple as folding your mirrors when you are parked in a lot or turning on your hazard lights when waiting for one. Here are eight parking habits you should practice as a courteous driver.

Category: Car Ownership Advice


Everyone needs to park. Unless you're in a weird place on Earth where parking doesn't exist, the idea of parking a car well is sort of an etiquette to driving. We see a properly parked car like a person of exquisite taste, one who is a professional at what he or she does.

After all, we are pushing a ton of expensive metal around, it doesn't hurt to park them right. Here are eight parking habits you should practice.

Check if your car is parked in the centre of the parking lot
1. Watch the lines

Really, it is as simple as that. Parking lots are clearly allocated, but some people just don't get it. It is frustrating when a lot cannot be used because one car has used two lots.

Remember to check that the front of the car isn't sticking out of the lot, too. Your car may obstruct a safe passage for pedestrians to walk alongside traffic to get to their cars.

Park it right. At HDB and URA managed carparks, parking your car beyond the boundaries of a parking lot will attract a $50 fine.

What's the rush? Be patient, everyone will get a lot soon
2. Be patient

Some people take time, some have mastered the art. But all of us may occasionally take a longer time to park, especially when it's a place that we're unfamiliar with, or an unfamiliar car.

When you come across someone taking a long time to park, all you have to do is to just wait patiently. Showing your frustration by honking and throwing out questionable hand signs won't help.

It might just make the whole process slower if the other driver is panicking, or if more aggressive types end up picking a fight with you.

It doesn't hurt to let others know of your intentions by using your hazard lights
3. Make your intentions clear

When you are waiting, or want to go for a parking lot, indicate so using your hazard lights. It is really that simple, and it makes a difference.

Yes, hazard lights are meant to be used as a warning, but it has become a good habit for many to use it when parking or waiting. This gives other drivers behind an understanding of what you're trying to do. Wait by the side and let others pass before continuing to park.

By using your hazard lights, you will unlikely have to deal with the hassle of confronting impatient people as mentioned above, too.

Generally, whoever is waiting nearest to the soon-to-be empty lot gets it
4. First come, first serve

It is common to see cars waiting for a lot with their hazard lights on. Sometimes, we acknowledge with nods and waves on who will get the lot first, or simply, who is nearest.

But we've also seen the bad side. Some who go against the flow of traffic (which is illegal) to get to the lot first or going head-in while another is preparing to reverse. That's just blatant disregard for those waiting.

A lot shouldn't be choped by a friend or family member, either. Lots are meant for cars, and cars only, not humans!

Some drivers park their cars closer to a pillar or wall to give others more space
5. Leave the wall-hugger alone!

Some people are nice. They hug the wall - meaning they park very close to an immovable object, such as a wall or pillar. Aside from minimising the chance of dings and dents from goondus who disregard cars beside them and open their door like a bat out of hell, it also gives the next lot ample space.

Some people do not recognise the noble efforts of the wall-hugger - they proceed to park even closer to them.

Assuming that you can only gauge a parking space with cars or objects, we highly suggest that you find an empty carpark and practice spotting the lines to park. Save wall-huggers.

You don't need a big space to open your car door, just open it enough to get out
6. Open it gently

You really don't have to open your car door to extreme angles to get in and out. Also, it doesn't need Hulk-like strength to open it normally.

Parking in the centre of the lot helps as most lots are adequately spaced for occupants to enter and exit the car with some discretion. Do note that hitting an object with your own door does cause damage, either a dent or chipped paint, or both.

You should advise your passengers to exercise caution when opening your car door, if they don't want to pay for a new coat of paint.


Folding your mirrors only takes a few seconds and some cars do come with auto-folding mirrors
7. Fold your side mirrors

Some cars do come with auto-folding side mirrors. Use them. It is common courtesy nowadays. Plus, you save the chance of your side mirrors from getting knocked by accident.

If your car does not come with them, at least folding the mirror on the driver's side manually will ease access for those parked beside you, and for yourself. It only takes a few seconds, too.

By doing so, you save yourself from looking silly trying to squeeze between cars. Remember about looking like someone with exquisite taste?

Having sufficient money in your CashCard saves you from the inconvenience of getting stuck at the gantry
8. Top up your CashCard before leaving the carpark

Most carparks have upgraded to use Electronic Parking Systems (EPS) to pay for parking. It is very convenient compared to coupons, and with per-minute charging for some, you only pay for the time you parked.

But you need to make sure that your CashCard has sufficient value to pay for parking, or you'll be stuck at the gantry when exiting. In some narrow carparks, you will inconvenience others greatly if you are unable to exit.

Also, it's good to have an older CashCard on standby, as some carparks still use older EPS systems.

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