Ever have trouble finding your car?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Doctor Q, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    When I park at a shopping center or amusement park or somewhere else in town, I seem to know where my car is, and how to get back to it, without having to think about it. But I know so many people that complain that they couldn't find their car that I'm curious how often it happens to people, and what they do about it.

    Do you find your car by instinct, or by writing down where you parked, or by wandering around looking for your car?

    Do you put something on your car (e.g., a Mickey Mouse antenna ball or a giant Apple logo on the roof) to make your car stand out? Is your SUV so huge it can be seen from a mile away anyway? Did you buy a bright yellow car just so you could find it?
  2. WillJS macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2007
    Panic button helps. :eek:

    But seriously, I think I just find my way to the car without thinking about it..
  3. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    Rarely I have to think hard about where I parked, but it does happen. Occasionally at places where I go often, such as the grocery store, I start walking one way and realize I've parked elsewhere because usually I park in a certain area.

    My old car wasn't too hard to spot though. Being a Land Rover Discovery it was about 1 foot taller then everything else in the parking lot haha. It's not a very common car either.

    My dads commuter car, a beige 1998 Cutlass is the most nondescript car ever. I mean it doesn't look like any particular car, it doesn't stand out. My dad says a few times he's walked up to the wrong car.
  4. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I have a pretty distinctive car, so I never usually have much trouble. Problem is it's small, so it sometimes 'hides' between SUV's

    This discussion reminds me of Peter Kay's "Live at Bolton Albert Halls" stand-up routine.
  5. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    Back when I drove a lot, I did a pretty good job at remembering where I parked. It usually had a lot to do with how busy/stressed I was when I was parking. My education and job have a lot to do with looking at maps and aerial photos, so I think that helps as well. I'm always looking for landmarks and my brain converts my surroundings into a map. I can also study a map of someplace I've never been for a fairly short amount of time and I be able to navigate without looking at it again.

    But I also know people who never remember where they parked. Either it's not important to them, or they just aren't paying attention. Or both.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Never get a silver, white, or black car. They're the most popular car "colours" in Canada, and probably in America as well.

    In Australia, the popular colour is white, but I think it's because the weather gets quite hot at times.

    I'd go for a bright colour. It makes finding your car slightly easier, and after several years of ownership, a little does go a long way. :)
  7. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I usually don't have trouble finding my car because I'm usually able to remember the general location (row depth, distance from the entrance, etc) pretty well. But, I can understand why some people can have trouble finding theirs; it's a skill that some have and others don't (like picking fruit at a market).

    BTW, Abstract we've had nothing but white, black, and silver cars!:p
  8. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    I've had to push the "unlock button" on occasion just so my car would flash its lights, beep and identify itself in a crowd. :eek:

    But the worst was when I rented a car in Orlando and was so against the clock and distracted with schedule I didn't concentrate on make or color of the rented vehicle and had to pick up people at the airport. I parked it in a 5 level parking lot, rushed off, and had to walk up and down levels to finally guess and find it. double :eek:
  9. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I don't really have a problem finding mine...it's pretty distinctive. At work, I park on the street in various places, so I do think about where I've parked that day as I leave my desk so that I know which way to go. But it's not difficult to remember...apparently "car location" is stored in a distinct location within my brain that gets overwritten each day so that I don't confuse myself.
  10. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Since I spend about 40 weeks a year in rental cars, I'm amazed I don't lose them more. This week is a Hyundai something-or-other mini-vannish kinda thing, light colored (silver? Not really sure), and I don't even know what state it's registered in. Par for the course...
  11. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    I usually figure it out, but occasionally I will spectacularly lose my car. Best was in a parking garage after a rugby game in college. Everyone else was drunk, I couldn't remember where I'd left the rental car (my normal one was in the shop) and my friend wound up peeing behind a strange car. Best part: I called another friend who knew where my car was, but she didn't check her cell phone message often. About a month later I ran into her and she asked me if I'd ever found my car!

    Most recently I lost my car in a mall parking lot. It sucked. I was cold and cranky and wound up tracing my steps from when I entered the parking lot to where I probably ended up.
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I own a black car. :D My advice is true, but I'm not a smart man. I didn't want to wait the 3 weeks it took for a red model of my car to come in, so I just took the black one. I'm not that picky-choosey.

    Birds like to poo on blue cars, so my advice is to buy a blue car. If someone asks what your car looks like, you can just tell them, "Look for the blue car covered with white spots." With enough poo on your car, the pattern kind of stands out from the sea of silver and white cars.
  13. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    My stepmother, new to my city, drove to the local Fred Myer. An hour or so later my dad and I get a panic call from her as she couldn't find her car. She thought it was stolen (red 1989 Volvo of all things).

    Well, we arrive at the scene and promptly found her car parked at the other end of the store. :p
  14. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    IKEA..........everytime i go to Ikea i forget where i parked, might be excitement or just me wishing i had parked closer when buying something heavy :rolleyes: , either way, it always takes me a few minutes to find it at Ikea :confused:
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Mine always comes when I call. You have to train them when they are young.
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    If I am parking in a giant airport lot, I will right it down (though I rarely need that info). Otherwise, I am able to go right to my car.

    Though I wonder if spacial recognition comes into play? E.g., do people who always get lost, always loose their vehicle?

    I suspect they do, more often than not.
  17. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i've only ever had a problem in huge lots. ones where its confusing enough that you can get lost trying to find the place you're going too. and then you spend all day away... then yeah but other than a few rare occasions i never have a problem. i just naturally walk back to it.
  18. Gaelic1 macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2006
    Mountains of No. California
    First, I have to remember where my car keys are. Then, I have to remember where I put my glasses so I can see my car. Finding my car is a pretty well hit or miss affair with me. It seems I spend more time in the parking lot than I do in the store. Getting old is a bitch! You will all find this out in due time. Merry Christmas (I think)!:rolleyes:
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I never have a problem finding my car and I travel for business quite often. Good thing they write down the car's color on the rental keys. :D

    When in a mall, I just note the store name of where I enter. I do however tend to park in the same area in familiar places.

    Last week, back from business trip and my colleague drove. I paid no attention to where he parked at the airport and it took us 20 minutes to find his car. Good thing he's my new manager for my Denver office or I would have fired his ass. :p
  20. Mydel macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2006
    Sometimes here mostly there
    Yeah once...I left my car at the airport parking lot and after I came back after a week or so just forget where I park it...Took me like an hour to find it :rolleyes:
  21. jaydub macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    I wonder about this. Sometimes I think it's just related to how much you're paying attention to where you are. I always know where I park, whereas my girlfriend sometimes has to think about it. She's far from absent minded though, she's just usually got 10 other things going on at the same time heh
  22. someguy macrumors 68020


    Dec 4, 2005
    Still here.
    I usually find my car by remembering where I parked in relation to the entrance of wherever I am at.

    For example, if I park, get out and see that the entrance to the mall is 2 rows to my right when facing the building, I simply go 2 rows left when exiting the mall and wander around in that general area 'til I see my car.

    Remembering what entrance I used after wandering around the mall for a few hours is a whole 'nother story!
  23. Cloudane macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007
    Sweet Apple Acres
    Not unless it's some humongous shopping centre (say Bluewater) and even then I'd usually remember to make a mental note of the letter/number of the car park which is usually given in places of that size.

    What usually happens at a small/medium size place like the supermarket (or when I went to the Trafford Centre to pick up my iMac; that place has a disgustingly small car park for its popularity), is I'll remember the general area but take maybe an extra 15 seconds or so pinpointing its exact location by looking around, as I rarely remember it to the exact row or space.
  24. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I lost my car at what is now Downtown Disney at Disney World when I worked down there. That was probably the worst time. Took me about an hour to find it.

    When I was down there, someone told me the story (and that's probably all it is) of the parking lot guys at Magic Kingdom putting all the red cars in one lot on April Fool's day....

    I tend to loose my car a lot more then my wife does - she has handicap plates and doesn't need to look past the first few cars!!! My silver Saturn VUE doesn't stand out near as much as it did when I got it in 2002.
  25. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    On some very rare occasions I will forget where I parked my car, usually it's because I'm preoccupied with remembering what to buy or because it's raining and I can't wait to get inside so I don't notice what row I'm in.

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