Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Why do Singaporeans park the car in reverse?

My Swedish friend visited Singapore and I took him out for lunch. He observed that most people in Singapore parked their cars by reversing into the parking lot. In Sweden, nearly all drivers park by driving forward. He wondered why.
I asked if the parking space is bigger in Sweden, which make it easy for forward parking. He said that they are about the same. 
I said that it by parking backwards, it is easier to drive out, but he was not convinced. 
I also observed from the movies that American drivers also park their cars by driving forward.
What is the reason for our practice in Singapore?


Keith Low said...

The main reason for parking backwards is because the width of the driveway(before the 90 degree turn) leading to the car lot is insufficient.

Keith Low said...

If I may add, when you reverse park, the maneuverable wheel, which is the front wheels only, is on the driveway and this allows you to make further extreme corrections to steer your car into the lot.
However, if you forward park, your ability to correct/adjust is severely limited as now your front wheels have moved into the tight lot, severely restricting further use of the front steerable wheels but your car(body length) is only barely one third into the lot. In this situation, if you continue to move, your car will intrude into adjacent lot space as your back wheels can only travel in a straight path(due to the back wheel being not steerable).
In short, there is a loss of maneuverability if you forward park as compared to reverse park. Thus, you need a wider driveway if you choose the former way.

Tom Wills said...

American expat reader here. I don't drive in Singapore, but having experienced both methods, I think reversing into the parking spot makes a lot more sense. First, you have to reverse once anyway, so why not get the inconvenient part out of the way (a better approach to all tasks). Second, when reversing your vision and control of the vehicle is less than when driving forward. So better to risk bumping into something stationary on the way in, than bumping into moving traffic on the way out. Vastly prefer the Singaporean custom. By the way, I think Japanese also back into the parking spot.

*star* said...

Easier to see if you displayed your parking coupons

Gary Wong said...

I was told by Malaysian friend that it is more difficult to steal the car if it is park forward. When I am in Malaysia I also lean to park forward. When in Singapore, I park reverse so that I can drive off easily.
The reason I park in reverse is also what I was thought in SAF. In SAF, all SAF vehicles are park in forward position because of operational requirement.

Bai Hu said...

This is a mystery question i have been asking myself and my friends for so many years. I also observe that a lot of Malaysians also drive forward to park their cars, whereas most Singaporeans reverse their cars backwards to the parking lot. My Malaysian friends told me that there are so many cars eyeing on a few parking lot in prime areas. By driving forward, they can chiong into the parking lot ASAP. Seems legit.

rex said...

why do sg. park their cars in reverse?
Go to Maju Avenue (serangoon gdn) and observe the parking just outside the long row of shops.
This is the best designed parking space in sg which optimise land use. The road is narrow yet it has been proven possible to park on two thirds of the road width over the entire length of the road. Left and right side parallel parking is practiced. This roadside parking is not for the faint hearted especially ladies....
If the carpark were to practice angle parking where drivers just drive into an angled slot (like usa movies) then only one third the road space can be used.
So the answer ti the question is just that parallel parking optimises land space use.

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