How To Save Where You Parked Using Google Maps

Google Maps can help you avoid those embarrassing lost car moments

It happens to the best of us. You head to your local shopping mall, a crowded concert, or even just down the street to get your groceries. Everything is going according to plan until you head outside to leave and realize you have absolutely no idea where you left your car.

What if I told you that you could consistently escape all that using something you already have: your phone.

Google Maps has a built-in feature that allows you to save where you parked your car directly in the app. It’s something a number of different apps can do these days, but something Google has perfected in a way with the addition of one small feature: the ability to leave notes.

Why is a note important: If you’ve parked in a 14-story parking structure then being able to pinpoint the GPS location of your car isn’t going to do you a ton of good. Yes, you know your car is in this structure, but is it on floor five or floor twelve? Chances are good you don’t remember. Also, given its size, you may or may not be able to see your car from the elevator door, meaning you’ll probably have to wander around on a few floors before you’ll actually find the one you want. Not exactly ideal.

Here’s how to make it work:

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Save Your Spot

Once you’ve found that perfect parking space and turned your car off, tap the blue location dot on Google Maps (that dot that’s highlighting where you are) to save your location. A small menu will appear at the bottom of the page with “See places near you,” an opportunity to calibrate your blue dot compass, and an option for “Save your parking.” Tap on the parking saver. Now, when you look at Google Maps, there will be a huge letter P on your map where you parked your vehicle that you can navigate to just like any other destination within Maps. It doesn't get easier than that.

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Add More Info

If you’re parking somewhere a little more complicated, say a multi-level parking garage or the like, you’re also given the option with “Save your parking” to add some details.  Later when you get back to the deck, those details can be invaluable. For instance, you might right “4th floor” or “ground level by the stairs.” If you’re parking on the street rather than a deck, you can also use this feature to keep track of how long you have left in a spot through a special built-in meter counter. When time starts to run out, your phone can let you know so you don’t end up with a costly ticket.

Even if you don't think you'll need the details later, it's always a good idea to save a few noteworthy things just in case, especially those parking meter details.

One of Many

Google Maps isn't the only way to save where you parked. With iOS 10, Apple built a similar feature into the iPhone, and other apps like Waze and Google Now on Android can help get the job done. Of the options; however, Google Map's solution is perhaps the most robust and the one that's going to help you find your car no matter where you managed to leave it.
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