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While I was off on maternity leave, I spent a lot of time visiting malls and stores (much to my husband's dismay), to keep myself occupied and my son in air conditioning on those hot, humid days. This meant I spent a great deal of time in large parking lots, and I noticed certain trends over the many months.

Parking failed
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre

You can tell a lot about a car owner by how and where they park. Let's take a closer look at the most common parkers:

The New Mom:
I, obviously, fell into this category. We scramble for parking as close to the entrance as possible in the colder months and curse those who park in our “Mommy Only” spots because it's not illegal to do so without a child in the back. We also favour spots close to carriage stands for easy and fast insertion of said offspring into the cart for grocery outings and such. We also favour the driver's side when parking to leave more room on the passenger side in order to extract our children from the back.

The New Car/Modified Car Owner:
These drivers park as far away from any and all cars as they can. Whether it's a new Nissan Versa, an M5 or a modified Civic, these drivers want nothing to do with door dings, potential bumper scratches and other such parking-lot hazards. They are most easily spotted early in the day, before the lots fill up, scattered across parking spots like confetti.

The Luxury Car Owner: These are the easiest to spot, if only for the make and model of the car. These owners have no respect for parking lot rules and regulations. They park where they want to, when they want to because they feel they are privileged like that. Yellow lines? Whatever. Handicap spot? Bah. Anything goes when you've paid upwards of $80k for your ride.

The New Driver/Elderly Driver: These are harder to spot, and take some practice to identify. They can easily be mistaken for Corolla Owners (which I'll get to in a moment) or even Luxury Car Owners. These drivers are still learning their car's dimensions and limitations. It's not uncommon to see a New Driver vehicle's rear end sticking out into the aisle, or their nose stretching out over the cement barrier. If you ever watch a New Driver park, they usually take a good 10-15 minutes to perfect the park, as well.

The Douchebag: Occasionally, my coworker Matt St-Pierre will display characteristics of this type of parker. The Douchebag will park his car (no matter what the make or model) angled across more than one spot, either to keep other cars away or to “display” his vehicle for the world to see (even if the world really doesn't want or need to see his car).

The Corolla Owner: These cars need to be avoided in parking lots at all costs. Never park beside a Corolla Owner if you wish to spare your car of door dings and potential scratches. Corolla Owners are often known to offset entire parking rows with one fouled park job (it just takes one bad angle to throw off an entire section). Don't fall victim to a Corolla park job.

Of course, there are others but these are the most easily recognizable and the most common. Some are funny, some annoying and others downright obnoxious. So, which parking space do you fit into?