Drivers ‘spend a year looking for spaces’

A UK survey released this week claims that drivers lose a year of their lives searching for a parking space – the equivalent of more than six days a year circling streets and car parks looking for a spot.

Based on a motorists’ driving ‘life’ of around 50 years, the lost time adds up to 7,600 hours, or more than 45 weeks, the poll of 9,000 drivers found.

According to an article on, the survey also showed that:

  • 42 per cent of people – and 51 per cent of women – admit they will not attempt to park in a space if another car is waiting behind them;
  • 23 per cent often get a passenger to do the parking for them;
  • 44 per cent of people, and 48 per cent of women, have “lost” their car as they could not remember where they parked, with Birmingham motorists the most forgetful;
  • 50 per cent have gone to the wrong floor or section of the car park to look for their vehicle, while 39 per cent of those have even attempted to get into someone else’s car, mistaking it for their own.

Whilst parking in the UK may be tricker given that roads are not as wide as those we enjoy in Australia, a greater demand for parking, and potentially smaller spaces, it’s still a sobering thought that the act of parking is such a stressful and difficult experience for so many. With demand for parking spaces only increasing, how can we as parking planners and professionals seek to make the experience more user-friendly?

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