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Stay safe when parking alone

Stay safe and park safe advice from the AA

Have you ever felt nervous returning to your car in an enclosed car park when no one else is around? Most drivers would probably answer yes to this question. Underground or multi-storey car parks can be dimly lit with plenty of shadowy pillars and dark corners to hide behind so it’s natural for drivers to feel nervous when alone in a car park. Not all car parks are sinister or dangerous places, in fact far from it, however we do advise motorists to err on the side of caution when it comes to their personal safety.

Safe car parking tips to drivers:

  • Drivers should choose their car parks carefully - Opt for ones that are well lit, have plenty of traffic and are monitored by CCTV or security personnel.
  • Drivers shouldn’t leave anything on the back seat of the car while parked in a car park that might attract unwanted attention. Female motorists in particular, should inspect their car for tell tales signs that their car is driven by a woman. Any giveaway items should be placed in the car boot.  
  • During winter time, drivers should keep a can of de-icer and a scraper in their car to minimize time spent clearing the vehicle’s windows.
  • Drivers should consider parking their car as close as possible to the car park lift area as there’ll be more people circulating in this area of the car park.
  • Drivers should also where possible, choose a well lit car parking space.
  • Drivers should take note of where they park their vehicle to avoid needlessly wandering around the car park when they return.
  • Drivers returning to their car should keep both hands free amalgamating everything into a shoulder bag if possible before entering the car park. Drivers juggling bags are an easier target for attackers.
  • Drivers should always have their car keys to hand before entering the car park.
  • Drivers who feel unsafe should ask the car park security guard to walk them to their vehicle. 
  • Drivers should check around and under their car followed by the vehicle’s back seats before getting in.
  • If feeling intimidated drivers should get into their car as quickly as possible, lock the car doors and exit the car park without delay. 
  • If a transit van with side sliding door parked on the driver’s side of their vehicle, drivers should consider entering their car from the passenger side just in case.
  • Drivers should think twice before responding to another motorist who is looking for assistance in a car park. If you have any reservations refer them to the car park security guard.
  • Drivers who find you have a flat tyre or your vehicle won’t start in a car park shouldn’t hang around the car park. Go to a public place and call the AA for breakdown assistance or a local garage. Motorists wishing to join AA Membership to avail of our competitive break down services and great range AA Members’ benefits should click here.
  • Drivers who find their vehicle has been broken into should immediately go to the car park security guard for help, call the Gardaí and inform the car park management. Don’t hang around the car park alone waiting for them to arrive.

AA Ireland Limited trading as AA Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.