It's official: women drivers are better than men at parking
Published 31/01/2012 | 05:00
Women are better at parking than men, according to new research, which contradicts popular belief.
Stereotyped views about women's spatial skills should be put into reverse gear and beat a swift retreat, it appears, following a study by car parks operator NCP giving women a higher average score at parking than men.
An analysis of drivers across the country looking at technique, accuracy and time taken parking gave women a score of 13.4 out of 20 compared to 12.3 for men.
Women are slower than men at parking, taking an average of 21 seconds compared to 16 for men, the study found.
But they scored better on finding a space, positioning the car, reversing into spaces and making sure the car was centrally placed once in a space.
The study found men often missed available spaces by driving too quickly through car parks.
Well over a third of women opted to reverse into spaces -- the method preferred by instructors -- compared to just over a quarter of men. Men were also happier with the position of their cars once in the space, with only 29pc choosing to start repositioning the car.
A majority of women found themselves shuffling forward and backwards to try to obtain a better final position, the study found, resulting in more than half of women parking centrally, compared to a quarter of men.
Researchers said the study found men also loved to "pose park" when accompanied by a female passenger by opting to squeeze into a small space when a bigger one was available.
The study was conducted by looking at CCTV footage of 453 drivers parking across the country, with further research carried out into the views of 2,000 drivers.
The scoring system was designed for NCP by driving instructor Neil Beeson of ITV's 'Last Chance Driving School' documentary.
He said: "I was quite surprised by the results, because in my experience men have always been the best learners and usually performed better in lessons.
"However, it's possible that women have retained the information better."