Here’s something I didn’t realise. The UK’s Institute of Advanced Motorists Limited is advocating reverse parking. The following are the benefits of reverse parking rather than entering your parking bay head-first:

  • Data shows it takes about 90 seconds for an average 5-year old car’s engine to warm up and reach its thermal efficiency. According to IAM, reversing out of a parking bay while the engine is cold takes up between 20-25 times more fuel than when it is warm. Apparently driving away forwards will help you save fuel. Could be related to the usually lower gear ratio of the reverse gear compared to the first gear.
  • The UK’s Highway Code actually encourages reverse parking. This is because reversing into a parking bay which remains static (just an empty piece of road/cement, nothing will suddenly fill it up) is safer than reversing out into a road/lane which may have constant traffic where you cannot see easily. Driving out forwards into the road makes it easier for you to look out for incoming traffic.
  • Reversing close to a wall may make it more difficult for thieves to break into your boot as there will not be enough space for them to work.
  • With the amount of crime these days, it is easier to get out of the parking bay as fast as possible driving forward as it is easier for you to see where you are going in case you have to leave as fast as you can for security reasons.