How to Find Your Car in a Parking Lot

How to Find Your Car in a Parking Lot
Finding your car's location in a parking lot can be made easier by following a few tricks. (Photo: @VeraNovember via Twenty20)
Shopping malls, large event centers, airports, and sporting venues are all notoriously difficult for keeping track of your parking space. It can take a long time to pinpoint your car’s location in a sea of vehicles, particularly if your car is a common color or design. And taking note of your license plate number isn’t much help. One study from Utrecht University in the Netherlands observed shoppers at a home improvement store and found 14 percent made significant detours when looking for their car. Fortunately, there are a few tricks for keeping track of your car in a large parking lot. This article tells you how to find your car no matter where your parked location is.

Park Near a Light Pole or Landmark

When you are searching for a parking spot, don’t just make a beeline for the one closest to the entrance. Be deliberate about where you park, and choose a spot next to significant locations like a light pole or landmark for reference. It can also be helpful to create a note with walking directions to your parking spot on your phone.
Many larger parking lots have big, numbered poles scattered throughout, and parking next to one of them can offer you an easy point of reference.
Tip: If your car has keyless entry, and if that keyless entry engages the horn, makes a beep, or features a panic button, use it to your advantage - listen for your car. Can’t get a strong signal? Take Jeremy Clarkson’s advice and place the key fob at your head to increase the range.

Avoid the Crowds

Not only is it easier to find a parking location away from the most crowded areas, but it also often means that you will be able to leave the parking lot faster. Crowded areas are more congested when it is time to go home. You will thank yourself later if you avoid them from the start.

Use Your Phone to Plot Your Location

Most smartphones have some form of map technology, including the widely used Google Maps app. You can use these apps to “drop a pin” in your current location before your leave your car. You can save the location of the pin and use it to navigate back to your car later.
For example, certain iPhones (iPhone 6 and later) can remember where your car was parked using location services and Apple Maps, and if drop pins are available, that’s a useful tool as well. There are also free apps available for Android phones that serve the same purpose, but you’ll need to remember to engage with these apps before you close the door and walk away.

Make Your Car Stand Out Where Possible

You might have a car in a popular shade of gray or white, but that doesn’t have to be the only defining feature of your vehicle. One surefire way to never lose your car in a parking lot again is to make it truly unique. You don’t need to add a new feature like a roof rack or paint it an odd color. Keep a small, plastic window mounted flag with you in the trunk and mount it after you park. This will help you find your vehicle faster when you are scanning the rows of similar looking vehicles.

Employ New Technology

There are a ton of technological apps and devices with new features that can help you track the location of your car, even when it is parked. Consider purchasing a specific device that relies on Bluetooth technology and an app on your phone to monitor the location of your car. With car finding apps and related tech, you’ll never struggle to track it down again.
Being conscious of where you park in a large parking lot and employing tools like car finder AR helps you easily locate your vehicle hours or days later. The above tips for keeping track of where you left your car will be one less thing to stress about and make shopping, appointments, and traveling that much less of a hassle.