Driver Hub  Owning a car  Car technology   Using self-parking technology
VW parked on beach
We Are Marmalade profile

We Are Marmalade

April 12, 2018

Owning a car 3 min read

Lee has recently got his hands on a VW Golf, which comes with a nifty feature of having parking assistance, so we decided to put him to the test. Lee hadn’t yet used this feature in his car, so we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to let you all see first hand if this bit of tech is worth it – and find out how Lee felt when using it for the first time.

I was so nervous before using the self-parking tech in my car! I’ve never used it before, so it was alien to me. Aside from not knowing what to expect, I also had no idea how to use it, but a couple of YouTube videos before-hand made it seem pretty straightforward – so I went to try it!

Let’s give it a go

It took me a couple of tries to actually get the system to work. I was doing everything I thought I needed to, but on the first couple of attempts, it just wouldn’t do it. It’s possible that the reason for this is I was trying to park in a bay that was slightly slanted. I’m not sure if there is an error in the sensors on my car, or it wasn’t designed to park in a slanted space – but either way, it was a fail. I picked a new bay (that was straight) to try again. I also quickly realised, that the self-parking would not work if I was trying to perform the manoeuvre on the right! Again, I have no idea if this is a system fault, or if the car is just not designed to park on the right – but either way, my little Golf would not make the turn.

Second attempt

When I finally got the self-parking to work and realised it perform the manoeuvre to the left, I thought I was onto a winner. I selected the option to park in a bay, and then pulled past the space I intended to park in as instructed in the video tutorials I had watched a few minutes prior (I think this is so the car can determine all of the objects that are around it, meaning it should go into the space seamlessly). It was such a weird experience – the steering wheel just turned by itself! Although the process was a little slow, I thought it was going well. Unfortunately, even when it did make it into the bay, it just wasn’t straight! At this point I found myself getting a little frustrated because even though it was parked, there was no room for me to get out.

The third and final attempt

Honestly, I thought to myself if it doesn’t work this time – I’m giving it up as a bad job. I can park my car anyway, so this feature is more of an added bonus than an essential for me. I started again, by selecting the bay parking option, and pulling past the space I wanted to go into. I selected reverse and patiently waited for the car to do its thing. I couldn’t believe it, but it actually worked! I was parked perfectly between the cars and in the bay (although still slightly over to the right)!

Whilst this feature is cool, it’s definitely not something I would rely on. The feeling of not being in total control of what was happening was a very weird experience, and I can’t say I enjoyed it. I was too anxious about taking control of the car in time if I needed to, to be able to enjoy the feeling of not having to park! Maybe once I’ve mastered how to do it, I may give it another go, but until then I’ll stick with parking my car myself 😉

In a recent survey of 371 drivers, 51% of those aged between 17-24 wish they had parking assist in their cars. 

We Are Marmalade profile

By We Are Marmalade

'We champion young drivers with award-winning low cost insurance for learner and new drivers and a great young drivers' car scheme.'  See more posts by We Are

Share this article

Angry man in car pointing
Learning to drive News Young driver stories 6 min read

Victims of road rage - Learner driver stories

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

October 17, 2019

As many of you know, we’re petitioning for change on how learner drivers are treated when they’re on the roads. Astonishingly, 90% of learner drivers have been subject to tailgating and overtaking when in their…Read more

Young girl in car
Driving advice Owning a car Young driver stories 6 min read

Kimberley's MOT misery

Kimberley Dodge profile

Kimberley Dodge

September 27, 2019

Fear. Dread. Horror. No, I’m not talking about the rush of panic when you spot a spider in your bedroom. I’m talking about the stab of fright that pierces your heart when you hear the…Read more

Interior Audi A1 steering wheel
Owning a car 7 min read

Audi A1 - Chloe's review

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

March 7, 2020

As a young driver, whilst I like to think that reading reviews about cars from petrol heads will help me when it comes to choosing my car, it really doesn’t. I want to know what…Read more