The pains of bringing a car to work and not having reserved parking

Can you relate?
by Leandre Grecia | Aug 23, 2019
PHOTO: Paulo Rafael Subido

If you drive your own car to work, then there’s a possibility that your battle doesn’t end where your crawl through Metro Manila’s standstill traffic does. Like most of us, you might still have parking to worry about.

Parking truly is a luxury these days. Only a select few are lucky enough to have been provided with free slots in the comfort of their own office buildings. As for regular mortals like me, we just have to make do with what’s available.

It’s not always difficult depending on where you work, but it most likely is if you’re located in one of the central business districts in the metro. Here’s a list of some of the parking struggles I experience which you might be able to relate to yourself.

1) You’re likely to park in a building or parking lot away from your office.

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In which case, the mere act of getting your car in place in the morning will cost you time already. It could be just a quick five-minute walk away from your cubicle, but those are still precious minutes which you could’ve spent doing something else. This also means that leaving anything you need in your car is a big no-no, not only because your stuff might get stolen, but it’ll also be cumbersome to have to walk all the way back  just to get something. 

2) It’s gonna cost a bit of dough.

I know that it’s common sense at this point given the title of this article, but what I mean here is that the daily parking expenses. And whether the rates where you park are astronomical or not, the fees will surely add up in the long run. In fact, Top Gear PH editorial consultant Sharleen Banzon recalls that she spent at least 10% of her salary on parking fees between 2008 and 2013.

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3) You need to make the extra effort to save a bit of money.

In some parking facilities, fees for the first few hours are way cheaper than the hours past them. Here’s an example: The parking rates at Robinsons Forum are set at P30 for the first three hours and another P30 for each succeeding hour. What I do when I park here is that I exit the lot before the three-hour mark ticks and simply enter back in, and repeat the process every three hours until my workday ends. I do get to save hundreds of pesos every week just by doing so, but to be honest, it’s really a bit of a hassle.

Another way to save money is to look for cheaper and more practical alternatives—in the case of Top Gear PH managing editor Jason Tulio, he was able to rent an individual parking slot in a nearby building. This helped him save money overall, and was able to conserve a ton of time and energy in the process. He was able to secure the slot after two years of waiting, though. If you were hoping to do the same, the extra effort you might need to put in may include a bit of waiting as well.

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Can you relate to these struggles? What similar experiences do you go through on a daily basis?

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PHOTO: Paulo Rafael Subido
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