Tips for Parking in A Small Garage Space

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner who has only used covered parking or you have a new teen driver in your household, you want to ensure that parking in your garage is as easy as possible. Because many garages are used to house bikes, seasonal decorations, and gardening tools in addition to a car, the actual parking space can become fairly small.

Preparing the Garage
The average garage has plenty of space for most personal vehicles. However, because many garages are also used as storage, you may not have access to all of the potential parking spaces in your garage. Before you start using your garage for parking on a daily basis, complete these two steps.

1. Check the Sensors
If you have anything stored along the back wall of your garage, there’s a chance that your car won’t actually be able to pull inside completely. As you plan to switch from parking on the street or in the driveway to parking in the garage, evaluate the placement of your garage door sensors.

Measure the length of your vehicle and compare it to the available space. To test if your door closes, place an item where the rear bumper of your car would be. If the door won’t close, you may have to shift your storage.

2. Establish a Mark
You may struggle with knowing how far to pull into the garage. To guide your car into the space, come up with an easy mark on where you can park your car. One of the most common garage marks is a ball hanging from a string attached to the ceiling. When the ball touches the windshield, the car is pulled in enough.

You may also want to consider a parking aid like wall guides along the sides of the space or a durable bumper guard against your inside wall to help you hit your mark. These aids ensure that if your parking job is a little off the first few times, you don’t end up damaging your garage.

3. Examine Your Garage
If you notice any issues with how the door operates as you prepare your garage, handle the garage door repairs as soon as possible. This preparatory step ensures that you don’t have to worry about parking and managing an unpredictable garage door at the same time. Checking your garage door’s functionality also reduces the risk that your vehicle will be damaged if you don’t get it pulled all the way into the garage.

Parking Your Vehicle
The hardest part of learning to park in a garage is getting good at estimating how much space you have on any given side. While you can give yourself tools to make parking more comfortable, adjusting to the space just takes time and practice.

Take these three steps to teach yourself how to park in a garage more easily.

1. Consider Your Mirrors
For many drivers, fitting into a narrow space that doesn’t have walls seems much easier than parking in a garage. This difference in perception mainly comes from the fact that you don’t have to worry about accounting for your side mirrors when you park in a parking lot, but you do in an enclosed space.

If your side mirrors tilt or fold inwards, you may feel more comfortable parking in your garage. Once you have more practice, you may feel confident enough to park with your mirrors out.

2. Do Trial Runs in an Open Space
Before you make the switch from outdoor to indoor parking, do some trial runs in an outdoor area. You can use a space in a parking lot with cars parked on either side or measure the clearance in your garage and mark out your own mock parking space.

Be sure to give yourself enough space as you turn into your mock garage, and pay attention to where your car is in relation to your target spot as you turn. This can help you grow more familiar with how to approach your garage and move into it.

3. Watch Someone Else Park
If you’re having difficulty wrapping your head around exactly how to slide your car into such a narrow space, watch someone else park in a similar area. Observe your neighbors coming home from work or ask someone you know to demonstrate parking in your own garage.

Pay attention to how much adjusting the driver has to do throughout the process so you can better anticipate what you’ll need to do to pull in completely.

Additional tips...

Install a Backup Camera
A backup camera can give you a better view of your surroundings and help you park safely and efficiently. Consider installing a backup camera if your car doesn’t already have one.

Remove Clutter
Removing clutter from your garage can give you more space to maneuver and park your car. If you have a lot of items in your garage, consider organizing them into plastic bins or shelving units to free up space.

Consider a Smaller Car
If you’re really struggling to park in a small garage space, consider downsizing to a smaller car. A smaller car can give you more room to maneuver and park safely.

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