Blog: Forgetful drivers losing it when parking!

More than 14 million Brits suffered ‘car amnesia’ in the past year and forgot where they parked thei

More than 14 million Brits suffered ‘car amnesia’ in the past year and forgot where they parked their car. - Credit: PA

If you've ever forgotten where you parked you're in good company with 14 millions Brits paying the price of 'car amnesia', writes motoring editor Andy Russell.

Ever lost your car and couldn't remember where you parked it? Don't worry you're not alone and we're paying the price of being forgetful.

'Car amnesia' has seen more than 14 million Brits forget where they parked their car in the past year, and accounts for £126m in parking fines.

I often come out of the supermarket pondering where I parked. I usually always try to park in the same row for that reason and am thrown if I don't.

I now understand why some motorists fix something on their car aerial – a ribbon or an antenna topper but the latter invariably seems to be a Mickey Mouse head which rather defeats the object.

My worst lost car experience was at an airport park when, not having made a note of the row I had left it in, I arrived back in the dark and was walking round pressing the remote locking control and looking for the telltale flash of indicators and lights. Only problem was that another half-dozen drivers were doing the same thing!

The funniest story I've heard about car amnesia was in the days when cars were not as secure as they are now, especially when the keys and locks were worn. Having parked their old Austin Metro almost opposite one entrance to a big supermarket, they came out of the other entrance and, by chance, there was a Metro of the same colour.

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What made matters worse was their key unlocked it and they were loading shopping in the boot when the actual owner returned. Fortunately everyone saw the funny side of what could have been an awkward situation.

Research from Direct Line Car Insurance (DLCI) shows that the average person in the UK spends 25 minutes a year searching for their car, after failing to take note of where they initially parked it.

Men were shown to spend more time than women searching for lost vehicles, taking an average of 32 minutes compared to 20.

Rob Miles, director of motor at DLCI, said: 'The fast pace and busy nature of everyday life often means that when it comes to driving, many drivers often park in a hurry and forget to take note of where they've left their car.'

In addition to the millions of pounds spent by Brits on extra parking charges resulting from them having lost their car, DLCI's research also showed that six per cent of forgetful drivers have had their vehicle towed or clamped.

Mr Miles added: 'Forgetting where you've left your vehicle is not only a recipe for increased stress levels but it could mean you have to pay out extra parking charges or, worse still, find the car has been clamped or towed away.'

Supermarkets, multi-storey car parks and out-of-town shopping centre car parks were shown to be the most common places where drivers suffer from 'car amnesia', and that the average Brit had lost their vehicle four times in the past year.

He suggests people use their mobile phone to photograph their vehicles after parking to help give them a better idea of its location, and save them any unnecessary parking fines.

Just don't forget where you left your phone!

Tell me about your absent-minded attempts to find your car – email