If you’re finishing up some last-minute holiday shopping, as many of us are, you might be dreading the parking nightmare that sure awaits you at your favorite shopping center. Not only is finding a spot in a reasonable amount of time near to impossible but parking lots can get quite dangerous during the holidays. The National Safety Council actually reports a 34% increase in car accidents during the holidays, including those in parking lots!

To help you avoid a parking lot mishap, we rounded up these handy holiday parking tips from Car Rentals. With the help of a parking formula from a former mathematician, our ParkMobile app and some other unique parking tips, you’ll be on your way to a smooth holiday shopping trip to check off those last items off your list.

Find Parking Using Math

Former mathematician, Joseph Pagano, came up with this quick parking formula to help you find parking fast at a shopping center or plaza parking lot. Put it to the test during your next trip to the mall and see if you have better results than driving up and down each aisle.

Use math to park - ParkMobile

Parking Technology Brings Holiday Cheer

As you know, there’s no easier way to find parking than right at the tip of your fingers. Before you head out, reserve your spot, look up availability or even reload your meter as you shop to avoid getting a ticket as a Christmas gift.

Better parking technology - ParkMobile

Additional Parking Hacks

Here are some helpful hacks to keep in mind while you search for a spot.

parking hacks - ParkMobile

  1. Don’t honk. Honking when it’s not an emergency can actually get you a ticket and a few studies have shown that people take longer to pull out of spot after someone honks. Fight the urge and be patient or take your chances and find another spot.
  2. Look for boring stores. Think about the least busy stores near your favorite shopping center and head straight to those parking lots. Chances are, they will be less busy than more popular stores.
  3. Park facing east in snowy weather. If you want to head out fast after your shopping, park facing east to avoid too much frost buildup.
  4. Know your city’s rules. Many cities have free street parking during the holidays or allow you to park in loading zones during off-hours. Look up the parking policies around your shopping center or district to get additional parking options or backups.

Prepare for the Busiest Holiday Shopping Days

Now that you’re armed with some great parking hacks and tips, check out some of the busiest holiday shopping days below and try to plan your trips around these.