Parking Your Car In Malaysia
Parking your car can be quite a complex activity, especially here in Malaysia.
Your parking spot, lot, or bay is the start and end point of every drive, and there are many challenges that revolve around this little space that you can temporarily call your own. For starters, congestion and a lack of parking spaces are serious issues faced by most Malaysian drivers these days, especially in commercial areas like business parks, office buildings and shopping malls.
On top of that, the choices made when choosing where to park your car also has implications on its security and accessibility, as issues such as car thefts and break-ins are not unheard of, much like in any other country. The weather is also something to keep in mind when choosing a parking spot that is sheltered or not; the hot Malaysian climate will raise the temperature inside and make it uncomfortable when you come back to it, and heavy rains could make it impossible to access your car without getting drenched.
If you’re new to owning and driving a car here in Malaysia, or if you’d like to refresh your knowledge and learn a thing or two, this article will walk you through the basics to keep in mind when deciding where to park your beloved car.
Generally speaking, there are public and private parking options available to drivers.
Public parking spaces are those which are built on public land and are accessible to all. This includes the parking bays that can be seen on the sides of roads which are managed by the local municipality, i.e. the local town or city hall. In some cases, the same local government also builds, owns and operates multi-level parking lots in busy commercial areas to provide you with the convenience of parking your car within walking distance of your destination.
Private parking lots are managed by private companies specializing in the parking business and are usually located in shopping malls, office buildings, and sometimes on plots of land located in strategic areas. While these parking lots might be better managed, they usually do cost a bit more to use and might offer additional services such as monthly season passes (instead of charging by the hour) and even reserved parking spaces, if you’re willing to pay for it.
Are all parking bays created the same? Definitely not. For both public and private parking bays, some of them are only accessible only to people who fit certain requirements. A common example would be parking spots in front of businesses that are reserved strictly for their own customers.Office buildings tend to have a large amount of parking bays dedicated to season pass holders, as well as a smaller number of parking spots reserved for specific cars.
In this day and age, more consideration is given to those with special needs. Parking lots for disabled drivers or drivers with disabled passengers are getting much easier to find in both public and private parking lots. Also, parking for female drivers and parking for families with children can also be found more frequently in shopping malls. These parking spots are usually located closer to the entrances or elevators of the building so as to provide drivers with added convenience as well as safety.
Moreover, with the popularity of electric vehicles on the rise some locations even have parking bays specially equipped with charging stations so these cars can charge up while their owners are going about their business. While not widely available yet, more and more of these specialized parking spots are becoming a common sight primarily in city areas.
Parking bays are like mini pieces of real estate that you rent for your beloved vehicle for short periods of time. As such, using these spaces usually requires a small payment. In this modern day and age, payment methods for parking spaces are quite diverse, depending on where you are.
Seeing as how different municipalities can decide for themselves what payment method they use, it can be different from town to town. Some have set up parking ticket machines where you pay using coins and then display the receipt on your dashboard. Others still use traditional methods such as the use of a scratch-off coupon system, where you buy coupons from local businesses and scratch off whatever time frame you use up for parking.
Private parking spaces however tend to use a ticketing system, but in Malaysia the use of cards to pay for parking is becoming more and more common as well. Most people are already used to utilizing their Touch ‘n Go cards to pay for parking, but you will notice that some malls even allow you to use your credit card in the same manner!
Whichever method or location you choose when it comes to parking your car, it’s always important to make your decisions using a healthy balance of convenience, price consciousness as well as safety.