Parking a Saab

If you love Saabs, you cannot just go and buy a new car when it starts to look scruffy. You need to nurse it with care and keep it out of harm’s way if you want it to stay in good shape.

There are many hazards for you and your Saab to get by when you are out driving. One of the worst may be public parking. Parking slots are quite narrow in Sweden. They have been optimized many years ago for small sized European cars. Cars keep growing in size and especially the SUVs fill up the parking spaces to the very limit. This means that you inevitably will get dents in your doors if you’re not very careful. And the car next to you may not be…

One way of keeping your Saab in good condition is to be anal about parking 😊. To illustrate this, I have created a number of scenarios. The examples are based on right-hand traffic. The mission is to park your Saab safely and get to the supermarket entrance. Where would you park?

Scenario #1

Scenario #1. Two slots are empty. Slot A is next to two other cars near the supermarket entrance. Slot B is far away in a delimited corner.

This is an obvious choice. Slot A is near the entrance so that’s where all the lazy people park. Lazy people tend to be sloppy. People in a hurry will also choose slot A. People in a hurry tend to be less careful. Both categories of drivers will slam their doors against your Saab and you will end up with dents. In space A you can get dented from both sides. Never park with a car next to you if you can avoid it. Space B is the place to choose! Why?

  • There is no way to get a dented door.
  • The car in front cannot back up and push a tow-bar in your front bumper.
  • You get extra exercise walking to the shop entrance.
  • You can feel relaxed inside the store, knowing your Saab is perfectly safe

Scenario #2

Scenario #2. Two slots are empty. Slot A is next to two other cars near the supermarket entrance. Slot C is far away in a corner with a car in front of the slot.

This one is easy too. A is out of the question for the same reasons as in scenario #1. C is also a good spot. Not as good as B, because the car in front of you can back into your car with a tow-bar. Bad drivers tend to forget that they have something sticking out at the end of the car. In this case, the place in front is already occupied and that car will just drive away. If you are away for a long time, the space may change car and someone may back up……..

Scenario #3

Scenario #3. Two slots are empty. Slot A and D are in opposite corners of a row. E is to the left of a car. D is to the right of a car.

Both D and E are corners spots which is a good thing. If you park as far out as you can in the spot, you may get far away enough from your neighbor to get out of reach. But which one is to prefer? I would choose spot D. It is quite common that there are no passengers. The driver next to you in slot D will exit the car on the left side keeping your Saab safe.

There are hazards in this space as well. The neighbor may have passengers. Someone may park the other way around in parallel with your Saab. And finally, If you park far out, the spot next to you will get very roomy of your neighbor leave before you. The next car may park very close to your side-line and you will end up getting quite close after all. You can never be too sure…..

Scenario #4

Scenario #4. The entire parking lot is empty. A and B are marked in the same places as in scenario #1.

What a beautiful sight! Not a car in an any spot. Surely it would be safe to park in slot A? Never! I have done this many times and I have always been amazed that the second car arriving at the parking lot will park next to me, even if there are hundreds of places to chose from. Don’t ask my why, I have not the slightest clue. Always go for the safest spot which is B.

Scenario #5

Scenario #5. Slot A is empty and all other slots are full. Slot A is next to two badly parked cars which intrude on the empty slot.

Oh, oh, the parking lot is almost entirely full. The cars next to slot A are badly parked. But I could still slip through, could I? Never!

This is the time to know a defeat. It’s not worth the risk. Find another shop or drive to a car park in the vicinity and walk a few extra steps. I would even consider parking between the trees in the corner if the ground is good enough. Never risk your Saab if the stakes are too high.

Things to look out for

  • Very narrow parking slots
  • Dented and scruffy cars
  • Family cars with small children (A responsible driver use child-locks on the back doors, but many don’t)
  • Two-door four seaters, they tend to have very long doors
  • Cars with tow-bars, especially parked in front of you, up-hill

Things to look for

  • Slots where no one can park next to you (preferably not in front or in the rear either)
  • Slots with pillars next to you, blocking the neighbors doors
  • Oversized slots
  • Slots very far away from everyone else
  • Slots in corners

If you don’t care much about parking I hope you still found this post amusing 😊. Do you have any advice, please put your thoughts in the comments!

Park safely!

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