UK drivers spend more than 26 hours a year circling car parks.

It sometimes feels like we spend our whole lives looking for somewhere to leave the car, but the numbers bear it out. In fact, the average British motorists will spend more than a day a year trying to find a parking space, according to new research.

A study by insurance firm 1st Central found that drivers spend 26 hours and 21 minutes circling car parks in search of spaces every year, with five percent of those questioned admitting that they give up and go home if they can’t find a suitable space.

The survey also discovered that drivers find parking troublesome, with 45 percent admitting to having been embarrassed while trying to park. One in five (19 percent) even said they found parking to be the most embarrassing aspect of driving.

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More than a quarter (26 percent) of respondents said that they had problems with parallel parking, while 17 percent cited reverse parking as the most worrisome aspect of manoeuvring the car.

And the problem is worse for motorists if they have an audience. The survey found the local high street to be the most embarrassing place to park, while 21 percent of respondents said they hated parking with their partner in the passenger seat.

Andy James, 1st Central’s UK CEO, said: ‘Parking can cause drivers to become flustered behind the wheel, especially on busy roads or at peak times in car parks – nobody enjoys seeing a queue of people form behind them whilst trying to manoeuvre into a tight spot.

‘However, it is important to remember not to rush your reverse or panic during your parallel. Take it slowly and don’t get distracted by those around you to avoid having an unnecessary accident.’