Tandem Parking: What is it and Tips to Make it Work


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Tandem parking is something you usually expect to see in busy cities with large apartment buildings or apartment complexes looking for ways to save space. However, tandem parking may be more common than you think. Whether you’re renting an apartment in Hollywood, CA, or leasing a condo in San Francisco, CA, your new place may come with this parking style.

But what exactly is tandem parking, and what does that mean for you and who you’re parking with? Read on to find out what tandem parking is and tips with this parking style for a hassle-free experience.

larger apartment building

What is tandem parking? 

Tandem parking is when the parking spaces are stacked, one in front of the other. You typically share this spot with your roommate or whoever you live with. The challenge with tandem parking is when the first person parking in the front space wants to get out, the person parking in the second space behind would need to move their car. Tandem parking isn’t an issue for everyone, but if you’re feeling anxious about your new tandem parking situation or looking for ways to better your current parking experience, read on for some tips to make it work. 

Tips for navigating tandem parking

Tandem parking doesn’t need to be stressful. Try these tips if you’re moving to an apartment with tandem parking or already using one. 

Familiarize yourself with your roommate’s schedules and communicate often 

Becoming familiar with each other’s schedules can help create a more seamless tandem parking experience. Once you’ve established your schedule, you can develop a parking plan that works for both of you. For example, if your roommate leaves early in the morning for work, it would be best for them to park in the second space behind you so they can easily pull out in the morning. No one wants to get up early to back their car out or be blocked in when time is critical. Try using a calendar you can refer to throughout the week and update it often with changes and additions to your weekly schedule.  

Creating a schedule should help, but parking needs may change at a moment’s notice, so you should communicate often. Good communication skills can help make tandem parking less of an inconvenience. You don’t want your car stuck at the worst possible time, so don’t be afraid to communicate, assert, and work together on your parking needs.

Spare keys may be an option 

If you trust the person you’re sharing parking with, making spare keys for your vehicles that are left at home may be an option, so you’re never left without your car. And when things come up, you can quickly move cars around.

A rotation schedule can help things go more smoothly 

If you’re finding it challenging to keep up with plans, you can try a weekly parking rotation schedule – where one person can park elsewhere, like street parking. 

Alternatives to tandem parking 

If tandem parking doesn’t work for you and your housemate, there may be alternatives. If you’re comfortable with your parking mate, you can agree to interchangeably use each other’s cars when someone is blocked in. If that doesn’t work, sometimes you can find parking garages nearby that allow you to pay a monthly parking fee. You can always use street parking when it’s easier. Or, you can use public transportation, ride your bike, or carpool if you’re both going to the same place. 

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Marissa Crum

Marissa is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate trends and home improvement. Her dream home is a contemporary-style house with ample outdoor space.

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