Looking for a device to help me with parking issues

Okay, so this is pitiful but I have been parking in a home garage for years. Recently moved into a condo with only open-lot parking. I have an assigned space but just cannot seem to reliably park my car in the center of that space! I usually have to get out, look, and try 2 or 3 times not to have it too far to one side or the other and/or not to have it at an angle (it is NOT an angled spot, LOL). I have watched all kinds of videos for advice and tried various methods to increase my parking accuracy but I truly must have no spatial skills. I live on the second floor so am not parking directly in front of my condo. Is there some kind of alignment device or something that could help me park more reliably in an open-lot situation like this? I see plenty of devices for a home garage that involve lasers which would be great but I have nothing to attach those to. I mean, it is just frustrating (a bit embarrassing but I’m used to being embarrassed). Again, I have watched driving videos and tried all kinds of tips from those. I need some other type of help! Thanks if anyone has any suggestions for a device that might help me.

Practice, practice, practice, and you guessed it…………more practice.


Thanks, LOL. I am not a particularly skilled driver even though I have been driving for about 45 years and have lived all over the US. I DID have to parallel park in my mama’s 1971 Chevy Caprice when I took my driver’s test as a teenager. No idea how I managed it…I promise you I have never even TRIED to parallel park since then!

Back in the old days we had an ornament on the center of the hood and sometimes on the front fenders too that provided some reference. I don’t know what else if you can’t put a stake or something to mark the center of the stall. I suppose you could use a traffic cone but likely too short to see over the hood.

Ah yes…back in the good old days when cars had edges! I would definitely put some kind of marker up in the center of the parking space, but the HOA considers that unsightly. I have researched for some kind of assistive device that would work in my situation and have not found anything…just thought I’d ask in case I was missing something obvious that everybody else knows about, LOL. It is really just a frustration and I am sure, having dealt with many frustrations in my 60+ years, I will through this one. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply, though…very kind of you :slight_smile:

Much like a back-up camera, you can have a front view camera/display installed. Some late model vehicles come with front view parking cameras.



Oh my goodness…that may be just exactly what I need! I am going to Google this. I guess I could just buy a more modern car, but I dearly love my little car and they don’t make them anymore…I love it more than any vehicle I have ever owned…I am hoping it lasts me for the rest of my life :slight_smile:

Thank you for giving me some direction and some hope!

Yeah that camera is a good idea.

You don’t say what this little car is . Maybe you don’t need to be as exactly centered as you think. I think if you walk around you will see other vehicles that are not centered .

What process do you use at the grocery store, work, restaurant, etc? Surely that would work for your home parking lot as well?

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One would think, LOL. I don’t work and when I go shopping, I just park way out in the back forty away from all other vehicles and also almost all those parking places are slanted instead of straight in. Also, the parking lot of the condo is not cramped necessarily but there is not as much room to swing wide and come in straight as there is in a normal parking lot. I do appreciate you taking the time to respond :slight_smile:

Sorry. It is a 2016.5 Chevrolet 4-door hatchback. It has the best marriage of engine and transmission I have ever had (true, I never have bought high-end cars, LOL) but the features I love the most are thee HUGE speedometer display and the retro round headlights…that was the last model the mid-year 2016 that has the round headlights. Yeah, I know it sounds silly. And maybe I DON’T need to be as centered as I would like it, but I STILL want to be able to do it better and more reliably.

That still does not tell what the model is .

Oh lord…it is a Sonic. I was so enjoying this thread until now. Wow. I don’t really know what the model/make of the car has to do with anything.

OK , the Sonic is not that wide which goes back to what I said about not needing to be exactly centered in the parking spot.


It opens the discussion to criticism.

The parking spots where I work were painted very narrow to make room for 100 parking spaces. I drive a compact car and the off-center variance is only about 4 inches. After I stop, I open the door and look down at the stripe to determine if I have parked centered.

There are several Dash Cam’s that could be mounted high enough to give you a better view in front to see how lined up you are in the spot.

Have you tried sticking your head out the window to look at the lines as you pull in to the spot?

Do you have a rear view camera? If so, you could back into the spot. I had a rental on a long business trip similar to your Sonic. It was the first car I’d driven with the rear camera. At first it was awkward to use, but I quickly got used to it. Backing into a parking space at the hotel made getting out of the spot much easier in the morning.


I like the rear view camera idea. And it’s good for us to know what car the OP is driving, advice would be different for a Sonic vs a pickup.

Another suggestion: come up with a very specific parking routine, like ‘pull up to spot A, crank steering wheel all the way until spot B, then straighten it out an pull forward’. Kind of like a landing pattern for an airplane.