Over half of Australians are terrified of parallel parking

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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You are driving around looking for a place to park your car when you are confronted with the big ‘P’. Parallel parking is known to make over half (59%) of Australians break out in a cold sweat to the point where they just opt to leave and find parking elsewhere.

Despite there being parking assist technology that has been introduced the fear of scraping against someone else’s car or hearing an expensive bump is real. You are not alone. We have five tips to help you overcome Parallel-o-phobia.

Breathe and take it slow

A survey conducted by Compare The Market found that 55% of respondents would rather park up to 10 minutes away to avoid parallel parking. While 38% drove past an empty space until an easier parking space came up. Next time you are confronted by the taunting space between two cars, breathe. Take your time and don’t succumb to the pressure from other drives who want you to speed it up. Rushing the process can cost you greatly.

Be conscious of how you get in

The parking space could be getting smaller making things a bit difficult. However, it’s not the getting in that could be your biggest nightmare, but more of the getting out. Take control of your fear by parking in reverse. Take it slow. Do a check on your mirrors and turn on your indicator. Now begin to reverse slowly. Even if you are moving at a pace of a glacier, that’s ok. Ensure that the middle of your vehicle is aligned with the bumper of the other car.


36% of drivers who were surveyed by Compare The Market said that they need at least two goes at a parking space before they got it right. It might sound strange to practice for a parking space, but it can help you especially when you go shopping during peak hours. You can take on an empty car park. To make it feel more realistic, you can add a few props that won’t damage your car. Practice for a good hour, and be for you know you have mastered parallel parking like a G.

Make use of Technology

If just the though of imagining yourself doing parallel parking makes you want to curl up in a corner and contemplate the meaning of life, have no fear. Parking assist technology was designed with you in mind. If your car has a self-parking mode, make use of it. If you not too confident in terms of using it then your dealer can assist you by giving you a demonstration.

Be considerate

Now that you have mustered the courage to do parallel parking like a pro, be considerate of other drivers who might share the same angst that you had. Leave enough parking space for other drivers, and make sure that you park in a manner that doesn’t let them want to swing a right hook at you.

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