Most of us are no stranger to making mistakes when it comes to parking in Singapore, especially when it comes to attempting complicated parking manoeuvres as a newbie driver. But did you know that parking mistakes in Singapore can cost you more than just a bruised ego? Some mistakes come with fines of up to thousands of dollars.
Whether you are trying to squeeze into a parking space that is just too small, or handling the feared parallel park completely wrongly, we have prepared the most common parking mistakes for you and teach you how you can avoid making them once and for all.
(Related story: How To Park Your Car)
Displaying an expired parking coupon
Parking coupons are essential when parking in public car parks. However, mistakenly displaying an invalid coupon can cost you a fine of up to $30 and in trying to cut costs by reusing an old parking coupon can land you a fine of up to $1000 if you are caught with the intention to cheat.
Avoid this mistake by always carrying around enough valid coupons, double-checking your displayed coupon, or omit the need for physical parking coupons altogether with parking apps like Parking.sg that allow you to pay parking charges from your mobile device.
Parking where you should not
If you are new to driving and parking in Singapore, keeping track of all the road markings indicating where you should not park can be daunting, and you might be tempted to take a risk and park anyway if you are in a private residential area. However, the hefty fines and demerit points you will incur once caught should deter you from making that attempt.
As a rule of thumb, always avoid parking
- against oncoming traffic
- parallel to a single white line
- within 3 meters of a fire hydrant
- within 6 meters of a traffic junction, or
- within 9 meters of a bus stop
Relying on reverse sensors
Reverse sensors are great if your car has them, but they do not provide full protection from collisions. While they do allow you to be aware of how close you are to large objects behind you, most cars lack sensors on the sides, meaning that you are still at risk of collisions if you are not careful!
Avoid this mistake by practising reversing while making bends and remembering to check your side mirrors. You can even buy additional blind spot mirrors to increase your field of vision.
Parallel parking woes
You would be forgiven if you have made mistakes making the dreaded parallel park in the past, since it is arguably one of the most difficult parking to land. You can make your parallel parking experience a lot easier with these tips:
Before you start parking, make sure that you have ample space, about 1.5 times the size of your car to maneuver. Make sure you are about 1 meter away from the car adjacent to you with your rear bumpers aligned, and avoid dry steering (steering while you are not moving) while parking. Instead, creep your car in slowly while in reverse, and steer while you are in motion.
Not using your hazard lights
Have you ever been in this situation: you are driving through a car park and you are not sure if the car in front of you is waiting for a lot?
Avoid becoming one of these people yourself by using your hazard lights. If you are waiting for a lot, or planning to park, you can and should indicate so to the drivers behind you. This way, they are aware of your intentions, and you can let them pass while waiting to park instead of holding them up. Prevent drawing the ire of impatient drivers by using your hazard lights and we guarantee your parking experience will be a lot more stress-free.
Parking like a pro in Singapore
When in doubt, do not feel shy to approach more seasoned drivers, your friends and family, or even a stranger for help if you are having trouble parking or have parking related queries on the road. With all of the above tips combined, you will be parking like a pro in no time.