by Joshua Thomas
Fitting a vehicle inside a garage and aligning it in the perfect spot can be very tricky, and this is more so if you have a small garage. But, with the best parking aids, things should be easier for you, and you can also avoid hitting the garage door or wall.
Parking aids are special devices in the form of mats, balls and lasers that will provide a visual and physical guide to help you determine the exact spot to park your vehicle in the garage.
That said, there are different types of parking aids available in the market, with the main difference being the design and technology that they use.
In this piece, we look at different garage parking aids and also show you the factors to consider when shopping to ensure you end up with the best.
1. Camco 44442 (Best Choice)
2. Maxsa Innovations 37358 (Best Parking Mat)
3. Maxsa Innovations 37312 (Best Parking Laser)
4. Genie 37336R (Best Parking Aid Brand)
5. Striker Concepts 00-246 (Best Garage Parking Sensor)
6. Ekarro EK-2777-002 (Simple Parking Stop Sign)
7. Prime-Line GD 52286 (Garage Stop Ball Parking Aid)
8. Tkach Enterprises 4333091698 (Easy-To-Use Garage Parking Aid)
9. Parking Target IPI-100 (Peel and Stick Parking Aid)
10. Kole Import OB-636 (Universal Parking Aid for Any Garage)
Camco's 44442 starts off the list, and it is the most affordable parking aid that you can get for your garage here. Given the quality and smaller price tag, it will give you the best value for money.
That said, the unit is basically a parking stopping point that should be placed at the exact point where you want the wheel to reach. Once installed, it will act as a small bump that you will feel as you drive through, thereby indicating the stopping point.
Made of durable polypropylene (thermal resin) material, the piece is very strong and also UV stabilized for durable outdoor use as well. Additionally, this structure has ribbing on the sides to prevent warping.
Other features include a long 18-3/8-inch design for accommodating single or dual tires and double coated foam adhesive strips for easy installation.
However, it only comes as a single piece, which means you may have to buy another aid for the other side, and it has no reflective strip for visibility in the dark. However, the smaller price tag means you should not have any issues ordering two and you can also make DIY reflective strip with tape
Made from a flexible plastic material, the Maxsa Innovations 37358 is a sturdy mat with a small bump at the back that lets you know the wheel is above the mat and a large 2-inch height front bump that lets you know it's time to stop.
With the larger size, the unit can accommodate all passenger vehicle wheel sizes and has a drip tray built-in to collect dirt, water or snow so that it does not reach your garage floor.
A reflective strip is included on the larger bump for better visibility so that you can mark and approach it accurately as you drive into the garage.
The unit is also very easy to install because it comes with heavy-duty double-sided tape for this. Alternatively, you can hard mount the mat using holes on the rear corner for permanent installation.
On the downside, the mat is not UV stabilized for outdoor use, and it may not be wide enough to accommodate two wheels. But, these are still not deal breakers as they do not take anything away from its usability.
The Maxsa Innovations 37312 is a high-tech parking aid that incorporates the use of dual lasers to help you navigate your car to the right spot in your garage.
However, the unit must be fitted on your garage's ceiling so that the lasers point down towards your car. It also needs to be AC powered, with the option of installing 3 AA batteries as backup power, but these are not included.
Once set up though, the two laser beams are adjustable so as to indicate the exact stopping point while a built-in motion detector senses movements up to 10-feet away to power up the lasers. This results in a lot of energy savings while also simplifying its use.
On the downside, this unit is quite costly, but it is worth the money and also very safe to use because it meets class IIIA Red Laser safety and performance requirements. This makes it one of the best garage parking sensors.
Genie is one of those brands you can always trust to have an effective solution for you when looking for a parking aid. And this has been so for quite some time as they are a leading brand in the niche.
This particular model is as simple as it can get for a parking aid, and it has been designed to work with all garage door openers.
The parking aid is quick and easy to mount on your garage ceiling, and it will come with the mounting hardware and easy-to-follow directions. Because it is made from a soft foam material, you can also be confident that it will not damage your windscreen.
While some users might find this parking aid a little too basic, it is meant to be a simple but effective solution, and so this should not be a big concern.
Striker Concepts 00-246 uses an ultra-sonic distance sensor to aid you when parking, and the sensing range is adjustable to any length between 6 inches and 6 feet for the red light.
The unit indicates a green light if it senses motion up to 7.5 feet away, then switches to yellow when your car gets 1.25 feet from the red light setting.
With the red-light setting being adjustable as shown above, yellow lighting will also depend on your adjustments and this makes the sensor very versatile because you can set the red stop light to power up at the most preferred spot with ease.
Other than this, the unit is equipped with a courtesy walkway lighting that illuminates your path in the garage after you step out of your vehicle. Together with the red light, the two are timed to switch off after 45 seconds for battery conservation.
However, the aid is quite expensive and no batteries are included in the kit, which means you have to buy the required 4 AA batteries separately. However, it will be worth every buck.
Ekarro's EK-2777-002 is literally a stop sign that has LED lights built in, which flash as soon as your car's bumper makes contact with the supporting rod.
That said, the unit has an adjustable, flexible rod that extends up to 53 inches in length, and this helps to maintain a proper visual as you use it for parking short or big, tall cars.
A heavy, weighted base helps to keep the whole structure grounded, and this also means that no installation is required. You only need to find flat ground to place it on your garage floor. However, there is the option of ceiling mounting for fixed installation.
Another benefit you get with this assistant is that it comes with its own pair of AG 13 button cell batteries for immediate use straight out of the box.
On the downside, the unit is not adjustable, which means you have to rely on the manufacturer's parking distance settings. But, this should not be a big deal once you get used to the parking aid.
Prime-Line's GD 52286 takes the form of a yellow stop ball that is designed to make contact with your car's windscreen as you approach the right parking spot in your garage.
The ball is made of bright yellow Styrofoam that is highly visible, especially when lit up by your car's headlights as you drive into the garage at night.
This ball is then suspended using a long cable, which can actually be tied to the garage door so that it retracts out of the way as the door closes after parking or driving the vehicle out of the garage.
On the downside, this design has one small flaw. The lowering of the ball as you open the door might cause it to swing, which means you either have to let it settle down or get out of the car to hold it to settle. All in all, it is not as accurate as the other units, but it is quite affordable.
This parking assistant has a very simple design but is also very easy to use and precise. Basically, the kit has 3 red lines, one at the top, a middle sunken one and another one at the bottom. With these, you simply have to drive in, line up the lines and that's it.
Of course, you need to have found the best place to stick it on the wall beforehand but afterward, you will be amazed by how effective this unit is while being very simple. It is actually the top-rated parking aid in this review simply because of being a genius solution.
Additionally, no batteries or power cables are required, further simplifying the installation and use of this product, it works forward or backward, without any right or left alignment.
However, the piece can only be used for one parking spot because at a distance, the red lines won't be easily visible. But, this should not be a big concern given it does a fantastic job.
With a peel and stick installation system, this parking aid is very easy to install and all you need is to clean up the floor surface that you will stick it on.
Once properly fitted, the unit acts as an indicator bump, which lets you know you should stop as soon as you feel the wheel has stepped on it. This simple design requires no power to operate, which means practically no maintenance is required.
Mom, Dad and USA decals are included as accessories, and these are more or less decorative finishes that make this IPI-100 a great gift idea.
On the downside, the parking aid is not UV treated and does not have any reflective strips attached. Considering it is black in color, this makes it very difficult to spot in the dark, but the decals can be used to improve its visibility.
Kole Import's OB-636 is a universal garage parking aid that will work for any garage. It uses a stop sign with built-in flashing LEDs that activate when the pole is contacted by your car's bumper to ensure you can easily tell when to stop.
This pole is adjustable height wise up to 45 inches so as to accommodate different height vehicles, and hence allowing you to use it even if you have various vehicles types in your garage.
Also, there is a weighted base that keeps the entire structure from toppling over when contact is made by the bumper. And when you buy this parking aid you will get a pair of batteries to make it ready for immediate use.
Even though the parking distance is not adjustable, it is still more than enough for most garages, and you will hardly ever need to adjust it.
This is probably the biggest difference between most of these units. High tech parking aids basically consist of the laser and sensor types like the Maxsa Innovations 37312, which are highly accurate, very modern and very cool to have.
On the other hand, low tech parking aids like the Camco 44442 have the benefit of being more affordable because the technology used is very simple. They also have a basic design and will often not require to be powered to function.
High tech units are definitely better due to accuracy, but if you are on a tight budget, you can still go for a low-tech parking aid.
This refers to the garage size. If your garage holds two of your cars, then you need to buy a parking aid that can be used by both cars.
For instance, Maxsa Innovations 37312 is ideal for two cars, but you would have to buy two stop sign sensors if you go with that choice, which would consume more space.
That said, it is best to consider the parking aid that is most ideal for the number of car slots that you have in your garage while consuming the smallest amount of space.
This factor is mostly connected to the type of parking aid. If you want a high-tech unit, then be prepared to fork out a higher sum of money for it as compared to if you want a low-tech piece. Regardless, always ensure you get value for money.
That said, garage parking aids will retails for anything between $5 and $50. But, if you are shopping on a tight budget simple and more affordable options like Genie 37336R and Camco 44442 will be perfect options for you.
Another important thing to check is visibility. As you drive into the garage, you want to easily spot the aid so that you drive towards it at the right angle.
Because of this, ensure it has a reflective surface, especially if it is a low-tech piece. The high-tech varieties usually have lights or lasers built in so visibility is not an issue with them.
Even as you install parking aids for safe driving into your garage, it is recommended that you make it easier and safer to use the same garage. Here's how to do it.
Most people start off by owning a small car and thus, build a small garage at home. The problem arises when you get to the point of buying a bigger car because fitting this size into a small garage won't be easy.
Expanding the space will definitely make parking easier and you should also keep your tools organized so that they don't occupy the extra space that you build.
Good lighting is also important so that you see where everything else is placed to avoid hitting them. Most people assume that car headlights are enough, but they only point in one direction.
The whole garage should be lit up so that you can clearly see all the available space, as well as the installed parking aid(s).
Just like how regular driving improves how you handle your car on the road, practicing parking will help you line up your car much easier at the best spot continuously. This is especially important when you have a new car.
It is possible to develop your own parking aids by using tools such as wood blocks to act as bumps or hanging tennis balls from the ceiling over the exact spot that your car should reach.
These will give you a good percentage of accuracy and might end up eliminating the need of buying a professionally made unit from the shop.
IPI-100: Parking Target - Parking Aid Protects Car and Garage Walls - Easy to Install - - Walmart Link
Maxsa 37358 Park Right 21" x 11" x 2" Parking Mat, Black - Walmart Link
Cobra Tuning LED Stop Sign Parking Assistant for Garage with Flashing Signal - Walmart Link
Measurement Limited Park Zone PZ-1900 Platinum Dual Power Garage Parking Aid - Walmart Link
Maxsa 37310 Park Right Single Laser Parking Guide, Silver - Walmart Link
Park-Daddy PDY-50-AA Single-Vehicle Precision Garage Parking Aid System, Maximize The - Walmart Link
PARKING TARGET HD18: Heavy Duty ParkingTarget - Parking Aid Protects Car and Garage Walls - Walmart Link
Champion Olympic Grip Plate (5-pound) - Walmart Link
Cellet Universal 12V Output AC Wall to DC Car Cigarette Lighter Port Power Converter - Walmart Link
Prime-Line Products Prime-Line GD 52286 Right Stop Cord - Contact Windshield for Safe - Walmart Link
Tkach Enterprises Park Ranger Amazingly Simple Garage Parking Aid/Assistant - Walmart Link
AMPULLA GWP01 Ultra Thick Waterproof Garage Wall Protector, Designed in Germany - Pack of - Walmart Link
the Maxsa Innovations 37312 - Walmart Link
the Striker Concepts 00-246 - Walmart Link
IPI-100: Parking Target - Parking Aid Protects Car and Garage Walls - Easy to Install - - eBay Link
Maxsa 37358 Park Right 21" x 11" x 2" Parking Mat, Black - eBay Link
Cobra Tuning LED Stop Sign Parking Assistant for Garage with Flashing Signal - eBay Link
Measurement Limited Park Zone PZ-1900 Platinum Dual Power Garage Parking Aid - eBay Link
Maxsa 37310 Park Right Single Laser Parking Guide, Silver - eBay Link
Park-Daddy PDY-50-AA Single-Vehicle Precision Garage Parking Aid System, Maximize The - eBay Link
PARKING TARGET HD18: Heavy Duty ParkingTarget - Parking Aid Protects Car and Garage Walls - eBay Link
Champion Olympic Grip Plate (5-pound) - eBay Link
Cellet Universal 12V Output AC Wall to DC Car Cigarette Lighter Port Power Converter - eBay Link
Prime-Line Products Prime-Line GD 52286 Right Stop Cord - Contact Windshield for Safe - eBay Link
Tkach Enterprises Park Ranger Amazingly Simple Garage Parking Aid/Assistant - eBay Link
AMPULLA GWP01 Ultra Thick Waterproof Garage Wall Protector, Designed in Germany - Pack of - eBay Link
the Maxsa Innovations 37312 - eBay Link
the Striker Concepts 00-246 - eBay Link
There is no doubt that parking aids make it easier for you to park your car, while also improving your garage's safety. As you can see though, there is a very wide variety of parking aids to choose from and there is something for everyone.
That said, the Camco 44442 will give you the best value for your money as it is highly affordable but still functional enough.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.