The First Parking Spot You See May Be The Most Efficient Spot To Take

The First Parking Spot You See May Be The Most Efficient Spot To Take
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When you’re trying to find a parking spot, a common tactic is to spend a lot of time and energy to find the closest spot to the entrance. It’s more likely that taking the first spot you see is really the most efficient approach.

Photo by Nic Redhead

We’ve all done it. You’re taking laps in hopes that the perfect spot will be open the next time around. As Catey Hill at MarketWatch puts it, someone with this mindset is either a “vulture” or a “stalker”.

Vultures circle over and over looking for the the ideal spot, while stalkers look for people headed back to their vehicles and hope they can snag their spot. Time management expert Jamie Novak suggests instead that you take the first spot you see, no matter where it is. Yes, you might have to walk a little more, but you’ll probably beat the vultures and stalkers to the door. Additionally, you’ll save yourself the stress of looking for a spot and use less petrollot. Makes sense, right?

Of course, there are always exceptions. If you know you’ll be picking up something particularly heavy, or maybe something valuable late at night, a close spot is still beneficial. When you’re just doing some regular shopping, however, grab the first spot you see and get on with it. You might be surprised how much faster the whole process is and how nice a short walk will feel.

7 Secrets to Scoring a Plum Parking Spot [MarketWatch]


  • “You might be surprised how much faster the whole process is and how nice a short walk will feel.” and how many grossly overweight people sitting in idling 4WDs near the store entrance you’ll pass.

    • I have a fat friend who sits in their car driving around for half an hour just to find a car spot near the entrance. I’ve gone in and shopped and come out, and they’re still driving around looking for a space. wat.

  • One more tip – know your shopping centre car park. Most have an out of the way location that is hard to get to that always has a parking spot left over. If you know it you can still take the first you see but you know the odds of you getting one go up if they have that nook in the car park.

  • And when the missus complains that you always park in the furthest-away spot, just drop her off at the entrance first and enjoy your peaceful parking!

  • “We’ve all done it.”

    Really? I always try to park the furthest (farthest?) away. Even when the carpark is quiet. Limits (not eliminates unfortunately) the chance of car doors opening onto my car. I get a few extra steps in, and if I do get those “stalkers” who want my carspace, they usually find another one before I get to my car anyway, or figure they’ll just circle the opening coz they can’t be bothered to park where I do.
    If you’re able-bodied, I really don’t understand why you’d even bother circling around to get close to the entrance. Waste if fuel and time. Even with a full trolley, it’s easier to park where there are fewer cars and walk the distance.

    • Depending on the car park the farthest away parks can be less safe and you are more likely to get a smashed window or break in. I definitely get what you are saying though. Especially with kids it can be easier and less grumbly to get an “average” park and just walk for 1 minute than spend an extra 5 minutes driving.

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