Driving might be a fun way to get about, but the nightmare that occurs once you have reached your destination might be enough to make you wish you’d caught the bus; that’s right, we’re talking about the horror of parking!
It seems to be getting harder and harder to park in our city centres, supermarkets and even on our own streets. Car parks are fraught with neglectful drivers, careless parking and spaces only a toy car could squeeze into; to ease your pain we’ve compiled our top ten parking nightmares so you can relieve some of the stress caused by parking frustrations and get on with your day…
1. Suffocating spaces
It is just us or are spaces in supermarkets and shopping centres getting smaller by the day? When even the best parking in the world leaves you barely enough room to manoeuvre yourself out of your car something is amiss; and some car parks feature pillars, low ceilings and a whole host of other obstacles just to make parking that little bit more daunting. You’re not alone in your frustration; Aviva have named and shamed the country’s worst car parks; check them out here!
2. No way out
Have you ever found yourself going around and round in circles when trying to find your way out of a car park thanks to misleading and contradictory exit signs? Why the signage can’t be made clear so that you can get on with your day, rather than touring the car park for the fifth or sixth time trying to track down the elusive way out, is beyond us!
3. Seeing double
Is there anything in this world more annoying than a selfish parker? We’ve all been there; you’re popping into Tesco to grab your dinner; it’s busy and you just want to shop and run. As you circle the heaving car park it dawns on you that this may take a while… Finally you see a spot, but what’s this? Some careless driver has parked across the last two available spaces. Seething with rage you drive off unable to complete your mission.
4. Trolley bash & dash
Returning to your parking space to find that some mindless fiend has bashed their trolley into your gleaming car is a thing of horror! A close cousin of the car door crash & dash, when a careless driver opens their door smack bang into yours; lack of attention can be highly infuriating. Why can’t people just take a little more care?!
5. Rogue ‘parking inspectors’
In at number 5 and becoming a regular feature in our towns; the rogue parking inspector! They work for private companies who own the land you have parked on; often at out of town industrial parks or supermarkets. Look out for unrealistic maximum stays and make sure you abide by the badly displayed rules, or you could land yourself a ticket from a threatening man who more often than not is lying in wait. These unscrupulous companies often use threatening tactics to get you to pay; for advice on and more information head to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
6. Daylight robbery
Parking keeps getting more and more expensive. Some short stays are so pricey you’d be tempted not to drive. £1.00 for 15 minutes is a ludicrous amount of money for a grubby, out of town car park with questionable security; but as the car parks who charge this kind of rate are still in existence, drivers must be shelling out. Vote with your feet and make a note of parking charges in your area; refuse to pay through the nose and go elsewhere if the price isn’t right.
7. Too close for comfort
You did it! Miraculously you found a space in a reasonably priced car park. You’ve had a lovely day in town and all is right with the world… until you return to your car and find yourself blocked in so tightly that you’re unable to get into your car, let alone out of the space. The inconsiderate driver who parked next to you is literally millimetres from your car. You fume and rant but can’t do anything until the idiot returns.
8. Magical mystery tour
Arriving in a new town you follow the signs for town centre parking; around the one way system you go, all the while studiously following the signage until suddenly you come across a junction and all the signs have magically disappeared! You stumble and frantically scan the scene to try and find your way; the chorus of beeps from impatient locals ringing in your ears. Finally you choose a direction, just in time to see a sign further down the road pointing the opposite way. ARGH!
9. Pay & dismay
From lack of change machines to varying times on ticket machines across the car park; pay and display parking is a corrupt system fraught with danger. Making a note of the time and returning a minute or two late, to find a parking officer rubbing his hands together with glee as he writes you a ticket is seriously frustrating. You plead your case but he claims as he’s started he cannot finish. All we can say about this is hooray for the nice ticket inspectors who give you a few minutes grace.
10. The long & winding road
The snaking queue that works its way up from the exit barrier to the ninth floor is our tenth most annoying car park nightmare. Sitting in dingy fluorescent half-light in a car park with an exit system designed by a monkey really is not how you want to spend your time. As half an hour ticks by and you’ve barely moved you begin to wonder if it was worth coming into town at all…