Is the BMW Parking Assistance Package Worth It?

BMW’s Parking Assistance package ranges in price from $700 to $1,250 and includes 2 - 4 features that aid with parking—but is it actually worth buying?
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Depending on the exact model—which determines the contents of the package—BMW’s Parking Assistance Package adds an additional $700 to $1,250 to the vehicle’s total cost.
Offered on most models, the BMW Parking Assistance Package adds a number of safety features—such as a rearview camera, active park distance control, and 3D surround view—that make parking your car that much easier, reducing the risk of low-speed collisions.
But is this package actually worth the added cost? To help answer that question, we’ve put together the following guide breaking down the features of BMW’s Parking Assistance package, what they do, and how they compare to BMW’s other safety-oriented optional packages.
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What is the BMW Parking Assistance package?

As you’ve probably already surmised, BMW’s Parking Assistance package is an optional set of add-ons that help make parking your vehicle easier and safer, especially when navigating crowded urban areas—so let’s take a look at what it includes.

What’s included

So just what is included in the BMW Parking Assistance package anyway? Ultimately, that depends on the exact model you purchase, as the package offers a mix of different features that varies depending on each model’s standard features.
Possible features of the BMW Parking Assistance package include:
  • Rear view camera
  • Drive Recorder
  • Active Park Distance Control
  • Parking Assistant Plus
  • Parking Assistant Professional
  • Surround View w/ 3D View
  • Illuminated kidney grille

What it does

It should come as no surprise that the BMW Parking Assistance package, well, assists with parking—but how does it actually do that? What do these features actually do? To start, let’s take a look at one of the most basic functions: active park distance control.
A sonar-based parking aid, active park distance control is engaged whenever the vehicle is switched to the “reverse” gear and uses sensors in the front and rear bumpers to create an audio-visual map of one’s immediate surroundings. If an object is detected, a beep—or a series of beeps—can be heard in the cabin to alert the driver of the object’s presence and distance from the vehicle.
This feature is then improved upon by the addition of a rear-view camera, which allows you to see—in real-time—what is behind your vehicle whenever the reverse gear is engaged. 
In keeping with the theme of being cognizant of one’s surroundings, surround view w/ 3D view uses a collection of cameras to provide the driver with external top-down, rear, and panorama views, which are then combined to create and display a virtual image of the vehicle and its surroundings on the central iDrive screen. This can be incredibly useful for backing into tight parking spots.
Of course, if you don’t want to do the parking yourself, you don’t have to: Parking Assistant Plus (PAP) can handle it. When activated, PAP uses ultrasonic sensors in the wing mirrors to scan for parking spaces big enough for your BMW to fit in—once it finds a spot, you can activate the indicator, press and hold the PAP button, take your hands off the steering wheel/foot off the brake, and let the vehicle maneuver itself into the parking space.
Parking Assistant Professional is similar, but can actually remember and store parking maneuvers—all you have to do is perform the maneuver once and the system will store the pathing for future use, a feature useful for those who have reserved spots in parking garages or other crowded areas.
Lastly, a drive recorder does exactly what you’d expect: records your driving. Upon manual or automatic activation, the BMW drive recorder will record your surroundings for up to 40 seconds, a feature that can come in handy for documenting dangerous driving situations.

How much is the 2023 BMW Parking Assistance package?

For the 2023 model year, BMW’s Parking Assistance package is priced between $700 - $1,250—the exact price depends on the features it includes, which vary from model to model.

2023 BMW model pricing

For a comprehensive breakdown of which 2023 BMW models can be equipped with the Parking Assistance package, the cost of the package, and which group of features it includes, check the table below:
Starting Price
Package Cost
Included Features
2 Series
  • Rear view camera
  • Active Park Distance Control
  • Parking Assistant Plus
  • Surround View w/ 3D view
3 Series
4 Series
  • Drive recorder
  • Active Park Distance Control
  • Parking Assistant Plus
  • Surround View w/ 3D view
  • Parking Assistant Professional
  • Surround View w/ 3D view
7 series
  • Parking Assistant Professional
  • Illuminated kidney grille
  • Surround View w/ 3D view & drive recorder
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Is the Parking Assist package worth it?

This is a tricky question, as the price and contents of BMW’s Parking Assistance package vary widely across models—ultimately, it comes down to what features come standard on the model you’re looking to purchase and whether you think the package’s additional features will actually be useful to you.
Of course, Parking Assistance isn’t the only optional package offered by BMW that focuses on safety, nor is it the only way to get additional parking aids.

Parking Assist vs. Driving Assistance Professional Package

If you’re confident in your parking abilities but still want some additional safety features, you might consider purchasing BMW’s Driving Assistance Professional package. Available for $1,700, the Driving Assistance Professional package adds Active Driving Assistant Pro and Traffic Jam Assistant.
Active Driving Assistant Pro is a partially-automated driving support system that includes Lane Change Assistant, Steering/Lane Keeping Assistant, Emergency Stop Assistant, and Evasion Aid assist. This set of features is especially useful during critical driving situations, such as the sudden appearance of a pedestrian.
As the name suggests, the Traffic Jam Assistant is capable of providing partially-automated steering input in certain conditions—it is only operable, however, when the vehicle is moving at speeds below 40 mph and on certain roads.

Parking Assist vs. adding individual features

If you don’t want to pay $700+ for BMW’s Parking Assistance package but still want one of the features it includes, you may be able to add it individually. Park distance control, for example, can be added to certain models for only $200, whereas a drive recorder can be added separately for just $100.

The bottom line

If you live in an extremely urban or suburban area where you’re routinely forced to navigate tight, crowded spaces or heavy traffic, BMW’s Parking Assistance package may prove an invaluable addition to your vehicle’s existing array of safety features—and it may even help you qualify for certain safe driver insurance discounts.
If you don’t think all of the package’s features will be useful, however, you might be better off skipping this package—or, if there’s a certain feature you do think will be useful, check whether it can be added separately at a lower cost.
“Insurance companies originally charged me $189 while driving my BMW 300 miles per year. Thanks to
, I only pay $56! I’m so happy.”  —Ray T.
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