News & Media Centre

Searching for a parking space on the congested streets of a city centre may seem like it takes an eternity. 1ST CENTRAL has compiled some data that reveals the true time us Brits spend on this laborious task and it’s a lot more than you were thinking.

The research suggests that almost half of bashful Brits (45 per cent) have been left red-faced while trying to find a car parking space. One fifth (19 per cent) go so far as to admit they find parking the most embarrassing part of being behind the wheel.

The reason for this aversion to parking is clear, with the research revealing one fifth of people have either hit their own car, or even worse someone else’s car, whilst trying to manoeuvre into a space. Interestingly the data found that, contrary to popular belief, it is men who are worse at parking with 25 per cent more men admitting to parking related prangs.

To combat this, sheepish drivers up and down the UK are resorting to extreme measures to avoid having to park their car, including asking strangers to park their car for them, and giving up entirely and heading back home (5 per cent).

The data revealed that the average Brit will spend 26 hours and 21 minutes every year searching for the perfect spot, so it is no surprise to learn that over two thirds of flustered drivers (37 per cent) admit to circling endlessly around car parks looking for a suitable spot to leave their car.

Parallel parking remains the nemesis for British drivers (26 per cent), followed by busy roads (22 per cent) and the infamous reverse park (17 per cent). Drivers also admitted location can make all the difference with the local high street named the most troublesome place to back into a bay.

Top 10 most embarrassing places to park:

  1. Local high street
  2. Multi-story car park
  3. Local supermarket
  4. Local shopping centre
  5. Work car park
  6. Friend’s house
  7. Children’s school car park
  8. Outside their own house
  9. Local pub/restaurant
  10. In-law’s house
Squeezing a car into a tight space is even more cringe inducing for people if they have an audience. Having a partner in the car raises the stakes for self-conscious drivers, with one in five people (21 percent) admitting they hate parking with their other halves as passengers. 
Andy James, Chief Commercial Officer and UK CEO at 1ST CENTRAL said: “Parking can cause drivers to become flustered behind the wheel, especially on busy roads or at peak times in car parks – nobody enjoys seeing a queue of people form behind them whilst trying to manoeuvre into a tight spot. However, it is important to remember not to rush your reverse or panic during your parallel. Take it slowly and don’t get distracted by those around you to avoid having an unnecessary accident.”