Carparks that P-plate drivers should avoid in Singapore
Not looking down on P-plate drivers, but these carparks are seriously a challenge to manoeuvre around and park even for seasoned drivers!
Ever been to a carpark and realise that it's much harder to manoeuvre around than your typical HDB MSCP? New drivers should take extra precautions when entering one of these infamous carparks, from ridiculously narrow slopes to smaller parking lots surrounded by massive pillars.
Here are 9 carparks you should avoid if you have no confidence in manoeuvring tight and narrow spaces.
1. One Raffles Place Carpark
Hidden in the middle of the business district, beware of the lack of lighting and tight corners in this carpark.
Located just above Raffles Place MRT, One Raffles Place used to be known as the Overseas Union Bank (OUB) Centre.
Infamous for its lack of sufficient lighting, this carpark is extremely difficult to manoeuvre around with its 90-degree turns at every ramp. P-plate drivers might find themselves kissing the front of a parked vehicle if they don't turn properly in time. Certain corners in each level might also have a bulky pillar jutting out, which would hinder the driver's ability to make a successful turn without scraping their vehicle.
Besides that, the tunnel slopes are narrow and tight, with little visibility of vehicles ahead. If you're not alert enough, you might find yourself bumping into a wall.
2. Holland Road Shopping Centre Carpark
Look out for the misleading arrows on the floor of this carpark! You might find yourself facing a wall instead of an open road.
Located just beside Holland Road MRT, this carpark is filled with many turns and short dead ends.
While the carpark is not the biggest, the misleading turn arrows often lead drivers to parking spots on dead ends instead of a different parking area. You might spend more time turning around in the facility and praying that you don't hit any of the parked cars than you would be driving around.
The icing on top might be that the carpark is not built in a circular area, so drivers would have to change direction at the end of the carpark to exit.
3. King's Arcade Carpark
If you're looking to park in the area, consider Coronation Plaza or the open-air carpark at Adam Food Centre instead.
If you ever find yourself looking for a place to park near Coronation Plaza, you might have come across King's Arcade before.
Located near Botanic Gardens MRT and Tan Kah Kee MRT, the basement carpark of this small complex is known for its low ceiling and tight spaces. Drivers who have never been to this facility might get confused when they find themselves facing a wall instead of an open area.
Even with empty lots, turning around in this carpark requires utmost precision (and lots of directional changes) to avoid any damage to your precious car in this tiny carpark.
4. NEX Shopping Centre Carpark
If you're driving in this carpark, ensure that you don't mistake the exit on the first floor for a ramp to the other levels.
With a reputation of being one of the worst mall carparks to deal with, the carpark at NEX Shopping Centre is an absolute nightmare for all drivers.
For those familiar with the traditional MSCP layout, you might want to pay extra attention while steering around. The slopes for going up are located more towards the centre of the level than at the end. P-platers who are not paying attention might find themselves accidentally exiting the carpark, which is incredibly annoying.
Aside from being confusing, you can often find security guards standing on different floors acting like traffic police to prevent cars from getting stuck or lost (it is more common than you think).
5. Tampines Mart Carpark
Be prepared to leave your car in the sun on busy days as there is only one level of sheltered parking lots in this carpark.
For those who frequently travel in the east, this is one carpark that you might want to reconsider visiting.
The main reason as to why this carpark is quite challenging is that the corners of the ramps between each level are tight and narrow. Drivers going up and down will have to decrease their speed and turn carefully to avoid scratching their paint jobs.
Additionally, this indoor carpark only has one level of indoor lots followed by two levels of rooftop parking. With a hidden speed bump on the ramp going to the first level of the rooftop parking, it is challenging to find a lot away from the hot sun on a busy day.
6. Eastpoint Mall Carpark
If you're not a fan of tight turns, avoid parking in the upper levels of this mall's carpark.
Located in Simei, this carpark features a surprising chicane, defined as a sharp double bend that forms an obstacle on the first ramp after the entrance.
Those driving longer vehicles might want to slow down once you have conquered the initial ramp as the tight blind turns between each level might lead to accidents with cars from the opposite direction. The carpark will require drivers to perform an array of turns to navigate around on the upper floors.
Please note that the floor markings on the fifth floor are inconsistent and might lead you to drive into a wall instead. Plus, the exits for all levels merge with little to no visibility, which means that leaving the complex will require a lot of patience and eye-power. Despite having mirrors to help you visualise when turning, inexperienced drivers should park at the lower levels instead.
7. Bukit Timah Shopping Centre Carpark
Do not try to squeeze your car when entering and leaving the carpark as the tight lanes barely fit two vehicles at one go.
Built in 1981, this iconic 22-storey pink building is located beside Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Plaza.
The carpark at this shopping centre is known to have a terrible design. It almost feels like one large spiral instead of a usual carpark with short decks and narrow turns. Due to the tight lanes within the complex, it is difficult for two or more vehicles to pass through at any given point in time. The slope at the entrance/exit is incredibly tight, which increases the difficulty of making it in and out of this carpark in one piece.
Drivers will have to be cautious when leaving the facility due to the poor visibility of the parked vehicles at the bottom of the ramp at each level. A moving car might look parked from the top of the ramp, a recipe for disaster.
8. Orchard Central Carpark
Prepare yourself to endure a drive up and down the spiralling slope at the entrance of the carpark.
Located beside Somerset MRT, this carpark has been a staple on every driver's list of horrible carparks in Singapore.
Before reaching the first deck with parking lots, drivers would have to travel five floors worth of spiralling slopes from the entrance. For most, the climb up (and down later) is enough to induce nausea and headaches.
Once you get to the first level, you might be surprised to find that each deck is short - with each floor having three sublevels (e.g. 5A, 5B, 5C) from Level 5 to Level 10. That's a whopping total of 18 levels! Searching for an empty lot on a busy day will be an extremely tedious process.
Drivers who wish to leave the carpark can only do so by going down a continuous and nauseating spiral slope. Be prepared to pack a couple of motion sickness pills if you intend to visit this carpark.
9. Hotel Miramar Carpark
Not only is visibility exceptionally bad at night, the ramps to go up or down are really tight as well.
Located in the heart of the central business district, Hotel Miramar houses one of Singapore's tightest carparks ever, along with its wide range of amenities and dining outlets.
Entering from Havelock Road, drivers must climb a long winding slope, which is barely long enough to fit two vehicles at one go. The carpark's visibility is lower than usual due to the inadequate lighting in the facility, and the low ceilings are enough to make any driver feel a little claustrophobic.
The worst part is that the ramps to each level are incredibly narrow, requiring drivers to perform perfectly timed sharp turns to fit their vehicle through. If you turn too early or late, it will result in a couple of dings and dents on your expensive paint job.
This article was first published in sgCarMart.