How To Deal With Tandem Parking

Posted on: 3 January 2019


For whatever reason, some apartment complexes have decided that tandem parking is the best way to provide multiple spots for one apartment. Maybe the management thinks anyone sharing an apartment must be such good friends that they will have no problem sharing a spot, but even the best of friends will have different schedules and need different parking priorities. If you and your apartment mates find yourself in this situation, there are ways to prevent one car getting stuck behind another -- but you also need to be aware that towing may be necessary.

Try to Stick to a Schedule

The easiest strategy is to have a schedule of who parks where and when. Compare schedules (weekly, if necessary, for people who work jobs with changing shifts) and create a plan for who parks in the inner spot and who parks in the outer spot. Be very specific about times, and then stick to those times -- in other words, if you're scheduled to move your car out of the way so that your apartment mate can move her car when her overnight nursing shift begins, do that and don't get lazy. You wouldn't want someone blocking your car when you needed to leave.

Develop Secure Access to Keys

Of course, even the most well-intentioned car owners have days when they can't move the cars -- maybe they fell asleep by accident or have injured their leg and can't drive. In that case, developing a system for secure car key access is a possible solution. If you trust your apartment mate to drive your car for a few minutes and park it on the street -- and to leave a note for you about where it is -- then keeping a secure spare key stash is the way to go. If you don't trust them to do that, find a friend or neighbor you do trust and see if they can take on that role.

Be Wary of Stick Shifts

The stick shift, or manual transmission, is slowly going out of style in the U.S. for a number of reasons, including the fact that newer automatic transmissions tend to get comparatively excellent mileage now. In 2016, only 3 percent of cars sold in the U.S. were manual transmission, and many carmakers such as Audi have ceased making manual-transmission cars. This means that a lot of people now do not know how to drive a stick shift.

But that doesn't mean all stick shifts have gone away. If one of the apartment mates has a stick shift, then the other apartment mates need to know how to drive that in order to move the car if needed. If that's not possible, then the owner of the stick shift needs to talk to apartment management about finding another spot, or the car needs to be parked on the street if possible.

Tandem parking isn't that common, but it's a real feature that you might encounter. If none of the three solutions mentioned work, towing may be necessary. The apartment complex may have its own preferred company -- and many towing companies restrict when they can tow from a complex to avoid prank towing calls -- so confer with management about what to do if you need a car towed, then contact a tow truck service.