The festive season is synonymous with being one of the busiest times of the year – hordes of people dashing to do their last-minute shopping and don’t forget, the festive season specials! But along with all this excitement, comes the parking lot races – who can secure a parking spot first. When this happens, it often leads to tempers flaring and a few choice words being flung between motorists.

Car park etiquette for this festive season

But why not try to kick off the festive season on a calm note and avoid the carpark wars this year by following a few of these helpful tips:

1. If it isn’t a spot, don’t park there

Don’t be that person that parks at the end of aisles. It might look like there’s just enough space for passing traffic but it was designed that way for a reason. Not only does this create a potential obstruction for passing traffic but it also leaves your car vulnerable to collisions and scratches, which you definitely do not want. Park in designated spaces only!

2. Park straight and between the lines

It sounds simple but park accurately within the designated space. This makes it easier for those parked next to you, and allows them to get in and out of their vehicles and load their shopping items safely. If you park so close to someone that your door – or theirs – can’t easily open enough to get in or out, don’t be surprised if your door gets a ding.

3. Let drivers back out of their spots

If you see a fellow driver attempting to reverse out of a spot, be patient and give them enough room so they can safely reverse out of their space. A parking lot only works if people can come and go with ease.

4. Do not leave your shopping trolley untethered

Walk your shopping trolley back the bay. Leaving it untethered will create an obstruction for someone else, which will cause delays or worse still, an accident.

5. Drive slowly and defensively

Busy car parks are dangerous and accidents are just waiting to happen. Obviously don’t text and drive – looking down for even a split second can lead to tragedy. Drive very slowly, anticipate other people’s actions, and respect pedestrians and other road users.

6. Road rules apply in shopping centres

Follow the directional arrows and watch for pedestrian crossings in parking lots. You could be fined for speeding in shopping centre car parks so it’s best to be considerate of those around you by sticking to the speed limit and obeying the signs posted in a parking lot.

7. Indicate clearly and fairly

When you see a parking spot open up, put your indicator on to show which space you are about to take. If another vehicle is close to the same space and already has their indicator on, then that space has already been claimed. Don’t push in, accept the loss – another spot will be vacant soon.
On the rare occasion that two drivers will claim the same spot at exactly the same time, reason would suggest that the one furthest from the spot should give way. Generally speaking, if you have already driven passed a spot and it suddenly becomes available, it’s safer for you to drive on then try to claim it from another driver behind you.