Do you back into a spot? Or pull in, then back out when leaving

Nov 29, 2021
So, there is this red Tesla at work. Pulls into THE spot closest to the door, usually at a high rate of speed, sometimes just medium, may or may not be sipping coffee... that's "her" spot, it seems. Your usual Holier Than Thou. "I'm a doctor, I can do that." (No proof she is a doctor, just a guess.) This isn’t the employee lot, either. They are just signs, they don't do anything. Just so happens to have a Tesla. Ok.

This is not the point of this thread.

So I got to thinking.. Ever since shortly after I got to driving and began my entire life and driving life on first my lowly Volkswagen and then my "old" lowly BMW that still impressed everyone... I figured out, that, if I spend the extra few seconds and backed into the spot, I could just take off forward and save time when leaving.

I notice that most just fly into their spot and call it a day.

Now the BMW.. ok. E30 stick shift. It was super maneuverable, and easy to do quickly. Maybe not every vehicle is so lucky.

But. Without further intro and adieu. Do you back in, or "reverse in".. or pull in forward?

Side note: Nissan beats Tesla here, in my humble opinion. lol

Last edited:
I always back into a spot, or pull through a spot so I can exit the parking spot moving forward. IMO it is much safer than backing out of a spot.
Yes - IMO, the idea is as you approach - one has situational awareness you won’t have right before backing up much later … sometimes that leads me to go around to clear some questionable circumstances …
I got a written warning once when I backed in in a parking lot. I can't believe it's an enforceable offense.... Probably came from some security or rent-a-cop firm.
Yeah some will on “directional” slots - our parking lot is not - but the spaces are wide and have double paint lines …
Yeah some will on “directional” slots - our parking lot is not - but the spaces are wide and have double paint lines …
It was regular perpendicular parking. I think I just ran into an overly-officious rent-a-cop.
Depends what I'm driving. When I've had trucks I usually preferred to back in. My wife's Forte I just pull straight in. The parking spots are a little tight at work so on the rare occasion that I have to be in the office I usually back the Trailblazer in.
Always back in. I usually park far where there's not many people so I'll just pull through the spots so I can leave without reversing.
Backing in is my preferred way. But if it’s a wide open lot with no curbs/sidewalks I’ll pull through so when I leave I can just pull right out.
As someone who drives a larger than common vehicle (crew cab, 6'4" bed), I prefer to back in because it's usually easier to back in, to me, than back out for whatever reason. Or I'll pull through.

I like to use the backup camera to back right up to the line as well since there's plenty of spots that I stick out of, even when all the back back to the line. Backing in also lets me put more of the overhang on the other side of the parking curb.
I always back in or pull through, which drives my wife nuts. I’ll also park farther away just to avoid other careless people.

The only exception is at work, as my car would face due West and the sun would bake my headlights and fade them more quickly. I do back in when I drive the Jeep since it has actual glass, rectangle headlights.

We don’t have a lot of people here, so it isn’t a safety issue.
In a garage, I park front in.

Outside, during the day, it depends on if the sun will be shining through my windshield or not. It gets really hot inside vehicles here.
Smith system training recommends pulling forward into a parking scenario with the objective to pull through forward on the way out. Stands to reason the driver can see most everything around when maneuvering forward. Of course military and law enforcement backs in so they can be dispatched quicker and be jumped off if there is a dead battery.