Car features Self-parking systems

Self-parking systems

The self-parking car is already here

Some cars can self-park

Too lazy to park (or just not very good at it)? Then let an automatic parking system remove the effort and stress. Examples include Lexus’s Advanced Parking Guidance System (APGS) and Volkswagen’s Park Assist.

Using a self-parking system is relatively simple. Find a suitable space, select reverse and activate the system – it will use sensors on the side of the car to ‘measure’ the space. 

If the gap’s large enough, the car will automatically steer itself into the slot. 

You must accelerate or brake gently, and if you touch the steering wheel or press the brake firmly at any point it will cancel the process. 

These systems can also reverse into perpendicular parking spaces in a similar fashion.

To see Park Assist in action on a VW Group model, watch our Skoda Superb video review.

Volkswagen has recently created a fully automated system that doesn’t need the driver to be in the car. Called Park Assist Vision (PAV), it could be the perfect solution for narrow garages. 

Sensors will stop the car automatically, but to avoid tricky insurance or personal liability issues, the driver can still brake via a button on a remote key fob. 

Pros of self-parking cameras

  • No more reversing back and forth – the system knows if a space is large enough for the car. 
  • Comes combined with acoustic sensors for general reversing use.

Cons of self-parking systems

  • Pricey (£510 on VW Golf but ‘free’ on a £61,000 Lexus LS). 
  • Like any electronic system, it’s liable to go wrong at some point.

Other sections in this guide

  1. Overview
  2. Parking sensors
  3. Self-parking systems
  4. Reversing cameras

Trial Which? today

Latest Which? Car magazine cover

Try Which? magazine for just £1 and gain instant access to which.co.uk

About Which? magazine

Which? Car podcast

Listen to our latest FREE 10-minute digest of all the most important car news and reviews.

Listen to a podcast now

Which? car news

Sign up for the latest car news and reviews, and money-saving hot car deals, in your newsletter every Friday.

Sign up to Which? Car news