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Millions of hours lost finding parked cars

British motorists spend more than five-and-a-half million hours each year searching for their parked cars, claims new research.

The survey of 2,000 drivers by Skoda UK revealed that 52 per cent of all motorists were temporarily unable to find their parked car, ‘losing’ it at least once every year.

A further 25 per cent of Brits admitted to doing so twice in the last 12 months, with 14 per cent confessing they had suffered a similar fate three or more times during the year.

Men and women are very similar when it comes to ‘losing’ their car on multiple occasions. Just over one in 10 male drivers (12 per cent) stated they had ‘lost’ their car three or more times in the past year, compared to 16 per cent of females.

When it comes to finding their misplaced cars, male drivers took an average of 6.4 minutes as opposed to 5.6 minutes for female motorists.

Overall, drivers aged 18-25 admitted to ‘losing’ their cars 2.5 times per year, with 5 per cent of these drivers confessing to doing so more than 10 times in the last 12 months. In contrast, drivers aged over 66 ‘lost’ their car less than once (0.82 times each year).

The places where motorists most commonly ‘lost’ their cars were shopping centre car parks (58 per cent) and supermarkets (36 per cent). Closely followed by the airport (21 per cent) or after an event or festival (12 per cent).

Fortunately, this frustrating dilemma is not one experienced by Skoda drivers using the brand’s Connect App. The handy smartphone app contains a number of useful features to help owners locate their vehicle, even in the most crowded car park.

The ‘Parking Position’ feature transmits data after each trip so that drivers can use GPS to determine the exact position of their car. This information can be viewed through the smartphone app or through the owners’ smartwatch, if connected.

The ŠKODA Connect App also houses the ‘Honk & Flash’ feature. At the touch of a button, the car will activate the horn and/or hazard lights remotely as long as the driver is within 500 metres of their parked car.

Real-life ‘lost’ car experiences

  • “I had gone shopping and there were four multi storey car parks. I couldn’t even remember which one I was parked in, or which floor so spent ages just walking round every multi storey.”
  • “I was shopping for a dress for my hen night in a large shopping centre. I couldn’t find my car when I returned to the car park. I searched for half an hour for it. Then I asked a security guard to help. In total, six security guards were looking for my car. They couldn’t find it. I had to report it as stolen. I rang my brother to give me a lift home. Guess what? As we drove out of the car park, there was my car parked where I’d left it.”
  • “Many years ago some friends and I went to a football match and arrived late; we all got out of the car and ran to the ground. At the end of the game it took two hours to find the car which we had parked in a terraced street – the problem was all the local streets looked the same.”
  • “Going round and round in circles at an airport car park looking for my car for at least 30 minutes, getting near to tears when remembering I’d actually got a taxi to the airport in the first place. It had been a long flight!”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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