The easiest cars to park

Fed up fighting to fit your car into small spaces? Pick one of these compact, easy-to-park machines and that will be a thing of the past

John Evans
Mar 18, 2020

A car may be sporty, luxurious, economical or great value for money but if it’s difficult to park, it'll soon drive you mad. You'd think small cars should be easier to park than large ones and you'd be right, but the latter do tend to come with all sorts of parking aids such as parking sensors and reversing cameras. Some even have automatic parking systems that do the parking for you.

So you don't have to buy a small car if you want the easy life when it comes to parking, but it definitely helps. Fortunately, many of those convenience systems are trickling down to much smaller cars such as the 10 city cars reviewed here.

Equipped with that type of kit, these cars are doubly easy to park. Being small they can squeeze into spaces that larger cars simply can't, while having wheels at the far corners of the car mean it’s easier to judge where the car ends. Throw in kit to help you park and however small the space, you stand a good chance of fitting in with one of these models.

These cars have light steering and narrow tyres that take less effort to turn. Meanwhile, the best have narrow windscreen pillars for a better side and forward view and behind, narrow rear pillars and a large rear window. They also have an adjustable driver’s seat that can be raised to give you a good view out.

Easist cars to park

Not every car below can claim to have all of these features but they have enough of them to call themselves easy parkers. All you have to do is get in and go.

1. Fiat 500

Our pick Fiat 500 Lounge 0.9
Used deals from £5,498
Monthly finance from £111
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

Inspired by one of the greatest city cars of all time, the current Fiat 500 has probably done enough at this stage to stake its own claim for that title. It's at home ducking and diving around congested streets and then pouncing on a parking space the second one presents itself. Its wheel-at-each-corner design means you know exactly where it is in relation to the car in front or behind.

Unfortunately, you have to shell out for mid-spec Lounge trim before anything as high-tech as rear parking sensors hoves into view. Still, they just make an already parking-friendly car even easier to tuck away. Hit the City button on the standard-fit Dualdrive power steering for wheel-twirling super-light steering and you’ll be parked in no time.

FIAT 500 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Toyota Aygo

Our pick Toyota Aygo 1.0 x-Play
Used deals from £4,995
Monthly finance from £83
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

The Aygo is another city-friendly car whose compact proportions and short overhangs lend themselves to prompt parking. It doesn’t weigh much either which takes even more of the effort out of the already featherlight power steering.

It loses a couple of points for there being no parking sensors on any of the trims but then x-Play trim claws them back for having a reversing camera. This trim is only one above basic x trim, too, which deserves another point.

TOYOTA AYGO BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Honda Jazz

Our pick Honda Jazz 1.3i VTEC SE
Used deals from £7,795
Monthly finance from £123
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

City drivers love the Jazz for its reliability, comfort, practicality and ease of driving, and for something else, too: it’s a cinch to park. Good outward visibility and light steering see to that but there’s one other feature, too.

Mid-spec SE, the most popular trim, has parking sensors, front as well as rear, meaning you can make full use of the parking space without spoiling another driver’s day by bumping into their car. Not only parking sensors but move up to top-spec EX trim and you get a rearview parking camera, too.

HONDA JAZZ BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Ford Fiesta

Our pick Ford Fiesta 1.0T 125 Titanium
Used deals from £9,099
Monthly finance from £149
Parking sensors Optional
Reversing camera Optional

In all the excitement around parking sensors, cameras and wheels in the corners, we forgot to mention one other great parking aid: power folding mirrors. It’s all very well slotting into a tight space with ease but if you can’t get out of the car easily in a narrow space, it’s all for nothing.

Tick the City pack option – or find a used car with it fitted – and not only do you get rear parking sensors but power folding door mirrors, too. This is standard from Titanium models upwards, too. Feeling flush? The optional Driver Assistance pack with reversing camera, automatic parking and front parking sensors is useful too - so it's worth tracking down a used model with this fitted.

FORD FIESTA BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Renault Captur

Our pick Renault Captur TCe 130 GT Line
Used deals from £13,147
Monthly finance from £187
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

The Renault Captur is actually a compact SUV which means it’s a little taller and longer than the other cars covered here. However, before you start thinking you’d never park such a thing, consider that GT Line trim has not only front and rear parking sensors but it also has side sensors.

If that isn’t enough, it has a reversing camera, too, so every side should be covered. Just make sure you don't drive under anything very low, as the car can't help you there. There are plenty of used ones for sale but if you’d prefer to buy new, the 2020-on Captur S Edition has the same parking pack.

RENAULT CAPTUR BUYERS' GUIDE

6. VW Up

Our pick VW Up 1.0 High Up
Used deals from £5,695
Monthly finance from £114
Parking sensors Optional
Reversing camera Optional

Parking sensors are actually quite a rarity on city cars, partly because manufacturers don’t think they’re necessary and because not fitting them keeps prices down. However, car makers do occasionally offer them as options, so it’s worth checking a used car’s equipment list to see if they’re fitted or add them as options if you’re buying new.

One such model is the VW Up. With its good visibility and short overhangs it’s already a great little parker but from High Up trim it’s possible to specify it with optional rear parking sensors and a reversing camera for £570. Parking doesn't get much easier.

VW UP BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Seat Ibiza

Our pick Seat Ibiza 1.0 TSI 115 Xcellence Lux
Used deals Limited stock
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

The Ibiza is a thoroughly modern supermini that’s compact, easy to drive and easy see out of. Clearly, Seat believes these qualities are enough to make any parking aids unnecessary but then, at the top of the model list, it offers rear parking sensors from high-spec Excellence trim, and front and rear sensors plus a rearview camera on top-spec Excellence Lux.

Rear parking sensors are a £200 option on lesser trims and one that you might fancy adding if you're buying new, as that's a small price to pay if it takes the stress out of parking for you. Due to the low cost, you should be able to find many used Ibizas with this option fitted.

SEAT IBIZA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Citroen C1

Our pick Citroen C1 1.0 VTi 72 Flair
Used deals from £5,495
Monthly finance from £107
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

Not for nothing is the C1 popular with city dwellers. Slim pillars, wide front and rear screens and an uncanny ability to tuck itself tight into a space are its main virtues. The steering is light, too, and you really feel you’re sitting over the car to the extent you can not only see but sense where the four corners of the car are in relation to the others.

It’s no surprise, then, that parking sensors aren’t available at all but a little surprising that a reversing camera is standard from Flair trims upwards. This camera alone makes the C1 a doddle to park.

CITROEN C1 BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Kia Picanto

Our pick Kia Picanto 1.0 Titanium Edition
Used deals Limited stock
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

Like the Citroen C1, the Picanto is another city car that puts you firmly in control when parking. However, it goes further by making rear parking sensors available from mid-spec 3 trim.

Meanwhile, the relatively newly added Titanium Edition trim immediately below it introduces a reversing camera with dynamic guide lines showing you you where you're going.

KIA PICANTO BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Peugeot 108

Our pick Peugeot 108 1.0 Allure
Used deals from £7,390
Monthly finance from £121
Parking sensors
Reversing camera

Like its sister car the Citroen C1, the Peugeot 108 has an ability to tuck itself into the tightest parking space with few aids. It’s why, again, you’ll look in vain for parking sensors but just like the C1, there’s that reversing camera again, available from mid-spec Allure trim. It’s in colour, too, so even clearer and easier to use.

Better still, just like the C1, the 108 is super-cheap to buy or finance, so you should be able to get a relatively new car for your budget, even if you're on a shoestring.

PEUGEOT 108 BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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