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26.11.2014 - 04:21

Find A Parking Bay With Your Mobile

We've all had that feeling of dread when going out. Will I find parking? How far away will I be? It's usually a game of chance, but not any more; new apps and online resources make it easy for you to find a parking bay.

Driving is a little like falling off a very tall building. It isn’t the period during which the traveller is in transit which is the problem, indeed it can be quite pleasurable, it’s the bit that comes when you have to stop. Finding parking when you get to your destination is a game of chance at best, and an expensive one, at worst.


When you arrive, you are usually pretty pleased that you followed directions and found the place! If you are going out on the town, sometimes you’ll find street parking or a lot. If you are going somewhere to accommodate a larger amount of guests, such as a theatre or sporting stadium – you might find yourself driving around in circles looking for that primo spot.


When such parking facilities are not available, or are vast, this can be a long and frustrating process. Generally, looking on the city map for a good place can narrow it down, but it doesn’t tell you what is available or what the traffic is like.


Beat The Traffic

Of course one option is to get up really early and beat the traffic. But if that’s what you have to do for work during the week, doing it on one’s day off when a lie-in in the morning is really the first order of the day, can ruin the mood for the rest of the day. So, what to do? Well, there’s the public transport option but here it rarely comes to the front door or drops you where you want to be, you are constrained by the timetable and if you are likely to be coming back with lots of shopping, then it isn’t terribly practical either.


Can’t some technical genius help us with the age old dilemma of where to park? Well, actually they have already come to the party with smartphone parking apps and other online tools that can make your life a bit easier.


Use Technology!

First of all, as with anything you want to find out quickly, there is Google. A search on car parks for a particular area will bring up results for the area at hand. As stated with the maps, it won’t tell you what is available, but it can tell you about the state of the traffic and if there are roadworks nearby.


Google maps can then plan how to get you there, and the satellite view can give you a picture of the area and an idea of whether parking on-street is a possibility.


Looking at apps, there is the ‘Around Me’ app which can give you a selection of available car parks in the area and can then also plot a route for you through Google Maps (depending on your location). This app is a near twin for the Google Local app, although it can add some interesting dimensions to your search. However, there are apps which have been developed specifically to help users to find somewhere to park and, even more usefully, remember exactly where the car is in the car park.


One such is Wilson Parking's Park Mate which will find you the nearest car park, get you there and occasionally get you a discount in the parking fees. This is often especially useful when the car is likely to be parked all day, overnight, for a weekend or at an event.


Details of the car parks available will also give the user an idea of the rates being charged and surrounding attractions if you are visiting the place for the first time, and Park Mate covers all of the major cities of Australia and their surrounding areas. Pre-booking your parking spot has to be one of the best innovations to a parking app as it can guarantee a place in a lot so there are no circling nightmares once you get there.


Parking is still going to be an occasional nightmare, but at least technology is starting to ease the pain somewhat. Now all we need is an app that can teach people how to park better!


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