Parking in Australia

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June 1, 2021

Parking a car is often a pain point for motorists. Where, when, how much and is it safe? takes a look at parking in Australia

Secure parking
Safe parking
Legal parking
Secure parking

This means keeping your vehicle secure and avoiding becoming a victim of crime. Unfortunately in Australia, around 154 cars are stolen every day. More often than not, thieves act upon opportunity, ie; they find a car in an unsecured location.

Security tips:
  • Never leave anything valuable or ‘interesting’ visible through the windows. Even if you leave a gym bag on the front seat, thieves may be interested to find out what’s inside
  • Don’t park on the street, especially at night. If you have to, try to park under a street light.
  • If street parking, angle your wheels toward the curb to prevent your car from being rolled/pushed.
  • Make sure your keys and spare keys are out of sight or secured at home and at work.
  • Use aftermarket anti-theft devices like alarms, GPS trackers and kill switches.
Amazingly, the second most-common way cars are stolen is from keys left in the car.

The most common is keys stolen in a home burglary. Find out more about car security.

bag in car

Safe parking

This means avoiding damage to your vehicle. Damaging a vehicle when parking is very common. According to the insurance provider, AAMI, 22% of claims involve dings in car parks and 10.8% are due to collisions while reversing.

Common damage when parking

Gutter rash – when maneuvering too close to a curb, rims (wheels) scrape the concrete gutter causing scratches

Gutter Rash(Gutter rash can be expensive to fix and reduce a car’s value and appeal)

Front / rear bumper damage – caused by scraping the underside of the car that protrudes past the front wheels and behind the back wheels. More common on a low-slung sedan.

Door damage – occurs when opening a car door into terrain (often a curb).

Collisions – low-speed dings with other cars or objects when parking.

Most damage happens in tight, busy car parks. If you’re concerned, try to park a little further away from the main entrance of a supermarket for example. These parking spaces are less visited meaning less chance of a bump or tight spot between other vehicles.

Other safe parking tips
  • If you’re worried about a gutter rash or parking correctly in the lines, temporarily angle your wing mirrors down to see the ground and line yourself up.
  • Ask for help from passengers or even other people. It’s much better to bite the bullet and get help than pay hundreds of dollars in repairs.
  • Check for potential hazards. This includes upon returning to your vehicle as other cars may have parked nearby while you were away.
  • Rely on your reverse camera and parking sensors
  • Take it slowly
  • Practice
Legal parking

Another valid and major concern for motorists is the dreaded parking fine. Most reports find that 20-25% of all drivers in Australia have received a parking fine over the last two years. All that adds up to $600 million in parking fines per year in Australia.

Returning to your car to find an expensive orange envelope attached to the wiper can really ruin a day out. Avoid it by;

  • Double-checking parking signs, purchasing a ticket and displaying it correctly.
  • Don’t assume it’s too hot, rainy or cold for parking inspectors to be on the prowl.
  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when the paid ticket time expires.

If you get a fine, you might be able to plead your case to a council, so be sure to;

  • Check the offence regulation code matches its title on the paperwork.
  • Check the paperwork matches your registration number and vehicle.
  • Take a photo of any parking signs hidden by trees or other objects.
  • Get any evidence that you parked for a medical emergency, accident or breakdown if that was the case.

parking signs

…it looks like a drone is flying around or above the car.

Parking a car is getting easier thanks to amazing new technology helping drivers. Manufacturers are well aware that buyers consider how easy or difficult a new car might be to park.

Here are a few features from past to present.

– Guide rods
Cars like the 1991 Mercedes S-Class had an analogue solution for tight spaces. Popping out of the rear sides of the vehicle when put in reverse were small guide rods that could help a driver know where the rearmost part of the vehicle is.
– Parking sensors
Not new to motorists, parking sensors are proximity sensors that sound an alarm when a vehicle is too close to an object. Both ultrasonic and electromagnetic systems are available. 

The 1982 Toyota Corona was one of the first cars to offer the technology which Toyota called ‘Back Sonar’.

– Reverse cameras
These are common in almost all new cars. Reverse cameras became mandatory in the US in 2018. The first production car offered to the public to feature a reverse camera was the 1991 Toyota Soarer.
– Self-parking
This autonomous car-maneuvering system uses the car’s parking sensors and driving controls to park the car. The 2003 Toyota Prius was one of the first cars to offer the technology. That makes it the third Toyota on this list of parking ‘firsts’.
– 360-degree cameras
If you’re not familiar, this parking party trick is pretty amazing. It works by ‘stitching’ various camera views together to display a full 360-degree around the vehicle. In other words, it looks like a drone is flying around or above the car.
– App control
Some new cars offer a feature that allows drivers to maneuver their vehicles with a phone, albeit very slowly. The idea is to allow a driver and passengers to stop and exit the car, then park it while standing nearby.

Most commonly, a driver would line the car up with a parking space between two other vehicles, exit the car, then use an app to ‘drive’ the car into the parking space. The benefit is that the owner can see outside the car from a distance while also using the car’s sensors and reverse camera.

– ‘Summon’ mode

Teslas are known for their amazing technology. Often described as the ‘iPhone of cars’, some models are taking app control to the next level. ‘Summon mode’ enables the vehicle to maneuver out of a parking space autonomously and drive over to a waiting owner. Perfect if you have heavy shopping bags.

Tesla summon(A screenshot of Tesla’s phone app allowing owners to instruct the vehicle to come to them. Source:

tes summon2

Is your car getting difficult to park?

Keep up with today’s parking technology and all the other safety and driving assist features that modern cars offer. offers fast and simple car loans to help Australians get into newer, safer and more equipped vehicles. Starting with a quick quote, you’ll have access to multiple lender options, the ability to select rates and terms suited to your circumstances and the support of a professional and experienced team.

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