HDB season parking: Is it better to park in a multi-storey car park or an open-air car park?

The Straits Times file

Most drivers who live in HDB estates (or often visit their families living in these estates) cannot decide between multi-storey carparks (MSCP) or open-air carparks (OACP) when applying for HDB season parking. Both come with their own set of pros and cons.

To determine which carpark best suits your individual needs, we need to consider a few critical factors.

Car protection

Even with a bit of shade, OACP do not offer complete protection from harsh weather conditions, bird droppings and dead leaves from nearby trees.

Moreover, regular sun exposure compromises your car's paint job, causing it to bubble, crack, chip, or peel.

It will also lead to cloudy headlights, which affects your visibility at night. With frequent wet weather exposure, the high humidity in the air accelerates car rust growth in certain spots.

By parking in an MSCP, you can protect your car from turbulent natural elements and improve the longevity of its condition. This might help you eventually, especially if you are thinking of selling your vehicle soon.

Lot space

According to the Vehicle Parking Provision provided by LTA, the minimum dimensions of a car parking lot should be at least 2.4m wide and 4.8m long for vertical lots.

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Parallel lots should be at least 2.4m wide and 5.4m long.

However, most parking lots in MSCP are known for being too narrow or small. As certain lots are nearer to pillars and walls, drivers parking near these structures do not park in the middle of the lot.

This results in a domino effect as subsequent drivers follow suit, leaving more space on either side to avoid accidental dings.

As for OACP, the parking lots are a lot wider. Without any walls or pillars, drivers can park with ease and stay in the middle of the lot.

Convenience

OACPs offer more convenience for drivers as it is closer to the residential blocks. On the other hand, MSCPs are located further away and require the driver to walk a certain distance for some HDB estates.

With open-air carparks, drivers can check on their vehicles every few minutes as they have a full view of the carpark directly from the apartment.

Additionally, the shorter distance makes unloading heavy items easier and quicker than usual. However, it is harder for drivers to reach their cars without an umbrella in cases of bad weather.

Most MSCPs are conveniently connected to residential blocks with sheltered walkways. However, older MSCPs may not have lifts, which means that it will be challenging to bring bulky items home.

Cost

According to HDB, seasonal parking charges are cheaper for OACP as opposed to MSCP.

For the first car of the household (Tier one), a seasonal parking pass for an OACP costs $80, while a seasonal pass for a MCSP costs $110.

For subsequent vehicles and non-residents (Tier two), a seasonal parking pass for an OACP costs $90, while a seasonal pass for a MCSP costs $120.

So, which is better

It is hard to determine which carpark is better for HDB season parking as different drivers prioritise varied factors.

For those who prioritise convenience and do not mind exposing their vehicles to the weather, OACPs are more suitable.

For those who prefer to maintain the pristine condition of their cars, MCSPs are the way to go.

ALSO READ: A car parking guide for new drivers in Singapore

This article was first published in sgCarMart.