‘Yule’ certainly be pleased that you saw these great tips from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, when you go to do your Christmas shopping this weekend!
Assuming that you haven’t already done so, of course…
Top 10 Christmas shopping parking tips | Less stress, more festive fun!
- Decide where to park before setting out as this can have a huge impact on cost – the last thing that you want is for the parking to end up costing you more than the presents! Some shopping areas have special parking offers around the festive season with reduced rates on certain days and also for late night shopping.
- Think about where you plan to leave your vehicle in a multi-story car park; always choose your space based on when you plan to return, as particularly if you are on your own, it is never nice to return to the only car left on the top floor of a now relatively empty car park.
- At any one time, 30% of drivers on UK roads are in city centres on the look-out for a parking space, meaning that it takes roughly 10-15 minutes to find somewhere to park – during busy periods, that time frame gets bigger! With this in mind, make sure you allow for this extra time to plan your day in a hassle-free way.
- Choose a car park with a certificate backed by the police for safety such as Park Mark. These car parks use clear directional signage and traffic flow techniques like one-way circulation to minimise driver confusion. Pedestrian access and exit routes are clearly indicated with signage and there are controlled routes such as painted paths that help keep you safe. A car park finder is available here.
- Try to avoid returning to your vehicle to leave presents while you continue with your mission, unfortunately thieves do watch out for this sort of thing – leaving valuables in a car is never a good idea.
- Some car parks are not as well-lit as others, so put your lights on and give your eyes time to adjust to the different light level. Keep a look out for pedestrians thinking more about their shopping list than their safety, especially excited children.
- Choose your parking space carefully; a car which is looked after and in good condition is less likely to have a door open into yours. Also, although not necessarily on purpose, a car with child seats in it might have children who are not quite as careful if they are in charge of the door.
- If you need to put your shopping in the boot when you return consider driving into the space, but be aware you need to exercise caution when reversing out.
- Unless it is a pay and display car park, avoid leaving your ticket in the car and put it somewhere safe – if you often find yourself losing tickets, take a quick photo of it so you have all the details just in case it happens again.
- If you have used a pay and display, set an alarm on your phone to remind you what time it is due to run out, allowing for enough time for your return to the car.
“As Christmas approaches it becomes more difficult to ‘pop’ into the town centre, parking spaces can be in short supply and a queue to get in or out takes away from the pleasure of choosing a gift.
“Park and ride is often a good option and some local authorities will set up a scheme especially for Christmas. If you are able avoid the weekend, it is often easier to find a space whilst most people are dealing with their daily commute.”
More about IAM RoadSmart
IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. Find out more about IAM RoadSmart by visiting their new website.