12:01 24 September 2009
If you've ever parked in a space only to be blocked in by someone else or, worse still, been in a space so narrow you can't even open the door, you wouldn't be alone.
According to a new survey by the UK's largest insurer Aviva, millions of us suffer bumps and scrapes thanks to carelessly laid out and hazardous parking spaces, with Aviva alone receiving a whopping 25,000 parking related claims annually at an average cost of £1,400.
In a separate study, is the news that will make men shout to women "I told you so". Even more surprisingly, females are the ones who've admitted it women make the worst parkers!
Motor insurer elephant.co.uk found that three quarters of women find it too difficult to park their vehicle, even when there is plenty of room. A further one in five admit that they are hopeless parkers in any situation, compared to 9% of men, and females are twice as likely as men to ask someone else to park for them.
Thankfully, for them and the rest of the UK's exasperated drivers, Aviva have created a list of Britain's top 10 worst parking spaces, as voted by the public.
Earning the dubious accolade of being the worst parking space in Britain is Alton Business Centre, Hampshire.
This tricky spot was nominated by budding entrepreneur Jamie Dickinson, who said: "This truly is a nightmarish space," admits Jamie.
Cornered in at Alton Busines Centre, Hampshire
It's easy to see why, as motorists parking here will be sandwiched between two walls and cars on either side.
It's not just the spaces that are getting a bad name for themselves either; airport and hospital car parks are just as guilty, Gatwicks short stay got two votes, Stansted one vote, and three hospitals - University Hospital Llandough, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Western Park Hospital, Sheffield were nominated.
David Tyers, director of insurance marketing at Aviva, said: "Some of us are better parkers than others, but sometimes the spaces we try and shoe-horn our cars into are so awkward that even the most experienced driver in the world would struggle.
"We thought wed ask the pubic for their worst experiences and they've certainly come up with some priceless examples. People appear genuinely frustrated by some spaces that are on offer throughout the UK - not only are the bumps and scratches taking their toll on their paintwork, but the whole process appears more exhausting than ever!"
The most farcical space to be nominated can be found in Putney, next to the rowing club if you park your car there, come high tide it will be washed away!
To help guide you into the most difficult spots, Aviva has teamed up with Guinness world record-breaking expert driver, Terry Grant, to compile these top tips to help negotiate the "perfect park":
1. Stay calm and take your time. Dont be rushed by any one queuing behind you, they will have to wait!
2. If the parking space is tight and you have passengers in the car, let them all out first. This means that you only need to worry about how you can get out of your door and not about all the passengers getting out as well.
3. Try and find a space that you can drive straight into. Its the easy option!
4. If you have someone with you who can get out of the car, ask them to get out and help you into the space.
5. If you have to reverse, look over your shoulder rather than using the mirror. This means when you look right/left you will naturally turn the wheel in the direction you want to be going.
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