Study Finds Women Are Better at Parking

By Jennifer Geiger  on February 1, 2012
The verdict is in, at least in the United Kingdom: Women are better car parkers than men. A parking lot company in the U.K. called National Car Parks conducted a monthlong study in which it evaluated how men and women park. The group covertly studied 2,500 drivers in parking lots and built what it calls a "parking coefficient" to measure things like technique, accuracy and time taken to find a spot and park in it. 

Out of a maximum score of 20, the study found that women have a parking coefficient of 13.4; the men came in a bit lower at 12.3. The study found that men were beset by behavioral setbacks like missing parking spots due to driving too fast through the lot. Women scored better at following speed limits (92% of them did versus just 64% of men) and taking time to find the correct approach angle to a parking spot (77% women, 53% men).    

Men were, however, better in a few areas like being able to pull into a position and park after the first try: Only 29% of men in the group repositioned their car for another try, while 56% of the women needed multiple shots to get the final position.

This explains why men have problems parking in the center of the space. In the study, 53% of women parked centrally on their first attempt, but only 25% of men were able to do that.

"Parking is our business, so we carried out the research to see how well people park their cars. As an interesting by-product of the research, we've also found out that there's a difference in parking skills between the sexes, although perhaps not the way most people expected," Jo Cooper, NCP's female chief executive, said in a press release.

National Car Parks is the U.K.'s largest private parking lot company. It operates lots in more than 700 locations and has over 200,000 parking spots.

Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer