‘Parking anxiety’ might sound dramatic, but in our increasingly busy cities, it is something that many people experience. It’s not though, something that many people talk about. In fact, you may not even know that you’re experiencing it; so much of our daily lives consist of fairly stressful situations that we simply expect a level of stress as par for the course. But you can experience parking anxiety out of the blue, even if you’re a competent, experienced driver, and it can be confusing if you don’t suffer from anxiety at any other time (it shouldn’t be confused with generalised anxiety disorder). Add to that, Covid 19, a situation filled with uncertainty and unclear guidance on safety, and you have the perfect conditions for anxiety around parking.
The symptoms caused by anticipating a situation where you won’t find a parking space (or won’t be able to park when you do find one) vary from person to person. They can include sweaty palms, shaking, tension, palpitations, short breaths (or finding it difficult to breathe at all), and a sense of claustrophobia. You are essentially starting to feel the fight-or-flight response with adrenaline and cortisol pumping through your body, but you are stuck in the enclosed space of a car with the looming task of finding a parking space. This means your body’s desire to run (all that adrenaline is getting your muscles primed to flee or fight) is not being fulfilled and so the sensations cause psychological distress. This reaction may sound extreme to someone who has never experienced it but, a quick Google search confirms that parking anxiety can affect anyone. There are chats on forums among a diverse group, from new drivers on The Student Room and mums on Mumsnet to truck drivers on Reddit (1).
A survey by Nissan in 2018 (2) found that 39% of drivers felt scared, nervous, uneasy or uncertain behind the wheel in general (parking anxiety is closely related to driving anxiety also known as vehophobia). That’s a pretty high percentage and evidence that if driving in general makes you nervous, you’re not alone. However, the skill that most people felt they lacked most confidence in – surprise, surprise – was parking with 27% of respondents saying they had a fear of parking. This was closely followed by motorway driving at 21%.
And it’s not just finding a parking space when you’re out and about that gives people sweaty palms. In a survey carried out by the AA in 2016 (3), 1 in 10 people said there had been times they’d decided not to use their car out of fear they wouldn’t find another available space on their return. 19% said they “always worry” about being able to park as they get closer to home. It seems overcrowding in London and lack of residential parking means a whopping 36% of the capital’s drivers said they get anxious about parking. Almost a quarter said they postponed or abandoned journeys altogether because they panicked that they wouldn’t find an available space near where they live on returning.
The good news is, it doesn’t need to be that way. Bookable parking with JustPark is a great way to remove the anxiety of not knowing whether you’ll find a space or not. You can also select what kind of parking space you want: not a fan of multi-storeys? No problem. Parallel parking sends you into a panic? We can help with that. Need a reliable space near home or work? We got you.
If you often find yourself searching for “Parking near me”, JustPark could be your new best friend! We have the largest network of parking spaces across 45,000+ locations in the UK, so you never have to worry about parking anxiety ever again.
Don’t have a driveway and live in a neighbourhood where street parking is stressful? Why not find a reliable space near home? You can even book the space on a monthly basis with our Monthly Saver, giving you a discount of 43% on average*.