11 Basic Tips for Parking Etiquette

When learning how to drive, parking is one of the hardest tasks to complete, at least for me. You must be able to parallel park, maneuver your way out of the spot carefully, and ultimately, you must learn the etiquette in parking.

Etiquette, according to most dictionaries means:

the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.

Sadly, not everyone went to school for this.

Just like traffic, parking is now a part of life for motorists anywhere you go: the mall, office, hotels, condominiums, etc., parking spots will always be there. If there are road rage incidents, there are also parking occurrences that if not dealt accordingly could lead to worse scenarios like death.

If there are road rage incidents, there are also parking occurrences that if not dealt accordingly could lead to worse scenarios like death.

Earlier this week, there was a viral post (now deleted by the original poster) about a guy who stood in an open parking spot and claimed it’s his just by standing there. According to the post, the guy was “arrogant” and allegedly “keyed” his car. He was furious and hoped it won’t happen again.

parking etiquette

Perhaps, my initial reaction if that happens to me.

Why do these parking incidents happen? Simply because common etiquette is forgotten or seldom applied. Let’s start reading these 11 basic parking etiquette, shall we?

11. Avoid blowing your horn

Unfortunately, drivers in the Philippines love to blow their horns, check out Hella, Bosch, and Fiamm horns installed in our vehicles.

Source: Me.me

Source: Me.me

Try to avoid blowing your horn unless the other vehicle is about to hit your car. To some, blowing the horns is a sign of impatience or may give the impression that you are telling the other driver to hurry. Unnecessary blowing horns often lead to arguments and fist fights.

10. Park where your vehicle will fit

Don’t force your vehicle into a parking space.

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If you drive a big SUV do not force to park in a space meant for compact cars. 9 feet is the standard length of a parking space but in countries with more compact cars, it is 7 feet. You don’t want to be trapped inside your SUV or have the paint scratched by the drivers of the other vehicles your SUV blocked. Simple: if it’s too tight, move on!

Speaking of “blocking,” that’s our number 9.

9. Do not block other vehicles

Don’t block other vehicles that are ready to pull out of the parking space, you may be blocking the driveway and may cause traffic.

double parking etiquette 5

Go around and don’t be greedy for that parking space. Do not also block vehicles that are already parked, this is double parking and not applying the hand or park brakes will not help. A lot of cars have been damaged because of double parking.

8. Park within the lines of the parking space

The reason some parking space have lines is so that the driver can park accurately between the lines. This means that the vehicle has enough space from the other vehicle for the passengers to open the doors and open the doors without hitting another vehicle.

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There have been reports of accidents of people trying to squeeze between vehicles and were seriously hurt.

7. Park all the way in

Most parking lots have a stopper on their parking spaces this means that you have to park the vehicle all the way in until you reach that stump.

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6. Park only in designated places

I know this is pretty simple and self-explanatory, but sadly, there are people who don’t know this or choose not to follow. So, please, DON’T park on the pedestrian lane (yes parking lots have them);

Source: The Telegraph

Source: The Telegraph

parking for the PWD designated areas, along with the curb, loading and unloading areas.

5. Observe Parking lot rules and regulations

Most parking lots are “paid parking” so always follow their rules and regulations such as:

  • Don’t leave your ticket in the vehicle.
  • Follow speed limits (yes they have that too) you are not in Tokyo drifting in an empty parking lot.
  • Follow directions, one-way signs, this way signs, exit only signs, stop and yield signs etc.

4. Use your signal or hazard light as parking indicator

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Use your signal light or “hazard” light while waiting for a parking space. This way other motorists will know that you are waiting for the parking space to be vacant. However, if it’s more than 5 minutes or so, it’s best to ask the driver if s/he leaving or not.

TIP: In Australia and the US, we inform drivers if we’re already leaving so they can get the parking spot. This saves both of our time, plus it feels good to help.

3. Practice driveway or parking lot safety

Remember a parking lot has also people or pedestrians and they may not see you back out of the parking space.

parking etiquette9

Source: autobody-review.com

Always back out or move forward slowly. Be alert! Watch out for blind spots. If you have someone with you ask them to guide you. In the same manner when you are a pedestrian in the parking lot, guide drivers who are having a difficult time leaving the parking space.

2. Practice patience at all times

Commonly used advice but hardly practiced.


Waiting for a parking space can be very frustrating at times and with everyone fighting for space it is no wonder tempers flare. Be patient and learn to control your temper. Count to ten or even a hundred before losing it (temper) and letting go. Zip your lips and clutch the steering wheel to avoid using the “dirty finger.”

It’s not that serious. Don’t get killed for a parking spot.

1. Show courtesy and respect


In looking for that priced parking space, let us not forget to show courtesy to other motorists and treat everyone with respect.

Being courteous and staying calm is hard to do, especially, if the person is arrogant. But, let the karma do it for you because it works for me all the time.

One thing is for sure, we are not all saints. But, we try to pick the lesser of two evils. There’s no easy way to go about it.

Everything will change if everyone has the right attitude and discipline.  In time, driving would be more fun in the Philippines.

Did I miss anything? Share your thoughts below!

Featured image from Reddit.com