The car parking conundrum

Have you noticed where people choose to park in car parks?

Obviously we all like to park somewhere convenient and so it is not at all surprising that people will try to do just that but there is a phenomenon that is not explained by convenience… why, when there is an empty car park except for just a few cars, do people park next to the existing cars instead of in any of the empty areas?

It doesn’t happen all the time but I have noticed that it seems to happen more often than I might expect even if the more convenient spaces are empty!

I have noticed this over many years and nothing has changed. I have tried to look for practical reasons and I cannot find any reason for it.

When I park, like everyone else, I park somewhere convenient, but given the choice of a near empty car park I would not choose to park near the cars already there. Clearly I am the weird one here and I am certainly not criticising anyone for parking wherever they choose providing it is legal and safe. But nonetheless, the psychology of where people choose to park is fascinating…

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