Should I park the car in the garage or the driveway?

Background: we have a two-car garage and a short driveway that is slightly less than two car lengths long. Before moving here, we lived in a townhouse with parking spaces in front.

When we had a snowstorm, we’d have to clear off the cars and shovel enough to keep our space clear. When we moved to this house, we were excited that we wouldn’t have to clear off the cars and nobody would park their cars halfway into our spaces because they were too damn lazy to clear enough room in their own reserved spot.

Then we realized that the driveway involves a whole lot more shoveling than the parking space did. :smack:

So, we’re about to get royally hammered with snow. I have this idea that if I park one of my cars at the bottom of the driveway, it’s a whole lot easier to brush snow off the car, and just back it out onto the (hopefully plowed) street - resulting in a lot less effort if we need to get out in a hurry. It might even be better to back it into the driveway so we’d pull forward onto the street.

  1. What’s wrong with this logic? and
  2. Would you do it that way?

Not a bad idea, IMHO. Be sure to park far enough into the driveway that the plow pile won’t hit the car. 6-10 feet at least, if you’re going to be getting a foot or more of snow. Plows can get moving and throw icy snowballs quite a distance.

How much snow are you expecting? Clearing less than 10m of snow isn’t much effort if it’s only 10 cm or so, assuming you have appropriate tools. A depth of a metre is an entirely different matter.

Up to 24 inches (about 60 cm / .6 m).

Our tools include:
5 adults
a bunch of snow shovels
A low-end snowblower

Park in the garage. It’s much easier to clear a driveway than to clean off a car thoroughly. You end up driving away with snow on the roof, which then flies off and annoys (or worse) the rest of the folks on the road.

When you have that much snow, cleaning off the car is just as bad as clearing the driveway. The snow on the car will end up in the driveway, anyway, and having to work around the car makes shoveling more difficult.

You’re better off with the car in the garage.

  1. You’re going to have to shovel around your car, which is a pain in the ass. It’s much easier to shovel an open area than it is to shovel around crap. When the road is plowed, all the snow that was in the street is going to be in a densely-packed pile at the end of your driveway, and/or on your car if you park it too close, and you’re going to have to shovel that (which, incidentally, is also a pain in the ass). Debris and rocks from the plow could hit your car. The plow could hit your car.

  2. No, I would not, because of the above.

Why aren’t using your snowblower?

If you leave the car out and the wind is blowing the wrong way you might have a much deeper drift against your car than you would have otherwise had to deal with.

Good observations on the reasons NOT to put the car in the driveway.

The big pile of snow at the bottom of the driveway (from plowing) will happen regardless of where we park the car.

I was thinking it would be a whole lot easier to knock snow off the car, than to lift it with a shovel - we haven’t had the snowblower all that long and often don’t bother with it for lesser snowfalls, so I’m not used to factoring that in.

Even with the snowblower, if we needed to get that car out in a hurry I’m thinking it would be faster to knock the snow off with a broom or whatever - being careful to push it to the grassy side. That’s the main reason we were thinking of doing this: quick egress for one vehicle, rather than avoiding the shoveling altogether.

My son has to go to work at 10 in the morning tomorrow, and needing to spend an hour snowblowing / shoveling would make that a hassle. Of course if our street hasn’t been plowed at that point it might be moot, as I don’t think my CR/V would do that well in a foot of snow.

As far as clearing the roof of the car: oh yeah. I nearly lost my windshield when some dumbass person didn’t bother, and the sheet of compacted snow / ice went sailing off her car and smashed into mine a couple years ago.

Well if your son has to leave for work at ten, then he should be out there at seven with a shovel! :wink:

I take it you are from an area that isn’t used to snow. Good luck!

Cars in the garage and shovel/snowblow each time 4 to 6 inches builds up.

We’re in the Washington DC metro area, so we’re used to snow - but this particular storm is in a class by itself.

The poor kid may wind up walking to work if the roads are bad enough (or calling in as snowed in). He works at a grocery store as a bagger and I don’t think the store will be terribly busy tomorrow for some reason. It’s only a mile and a half, but in that snow it might be dangerous to attempt.

Definitely park in the garage. As others have said easier to not have to clear around obstacles, won’t need to double clean (clear around the car, then brush the snow off & clear that from the ground.)

Especially with a small snowblower, & the fact it will get wetter/heavier as it goes (when snowblower don’t work well) I suggest you use the snowblower like voting - early & often! If you wait, it’ll be too much for the blower.

If you absolutely must get out early then parking near the end of the driveway can save you some time for that. But in general, it’s easier to clear a driveway without cars, and cleaning of a car with 20" of snow on it isn’t all that easy. You still have to shovel it all off the driveway at some point.

Before I left NJ we had 30 inches in one storm. I parked our cars at the end of the driveway and was glad I did. You don’t have to shovel the rest of the driveway then, which in any case is a hell of a lot more work than pushing snow off the car. (Unless you drive a bus, I suppose.) And who cares if it drifts - push enough snow out of the way to open the door and you’re good to go.
We didn’t have a garage, so that wasn’t an option.

Walking is probably going to be both safer and faster than shoveling + driving.

Some years back, we parked in the driveway instead of the garage to avoid some shoveling. It was not a smart idea. We had to dig out the cars so they could go back in the garage to give us space to shovel. Did I mention we had about 24" of snow??

Our car is in the garage. So are the shovels. When this mess stops, we’ll get out there and start on the driveway - all 100’ of it. ugh.

I’m dealing with this decision as well, we’re up to 12-14" on the patio…

Would you HAVE to clear the driveway to get to the street safely? IE, downhill driveway; low spot in which to get stuck; ice? In that case it’s probably better to be on the street or near the street heading out. Clearing your car is way easier than getting unstuck on the way to the street. Especially in an emergency.

If your driveway is level it’s nice to start with an un-frozen car and clear windows, preferably facing outdoors. If you had to get out quickly you could always rock back and forth to clear a trail if you have a clean, dry garage floor to exit from.

My primary vehicle is now on the street in the snow; our drive has a low spot and an uphill curve to negotiate.

Are you required to shovel your driveway?

Our “driveway” is gravel and includes a parking area and then a lane about a tenth of a mile long. We do not shovel snow. We park in the garage. I put my jeep in 4WD and drive slowly out to the road. My gf follows in her Subaru. If there is a big snowfall I drive back and forth a few times to compress things.

For a huge snowfall I drive out and back every hour or so.

For the massive snowfall in 2010(?) we got together with our two neighbor’s and hired a guy with a plow.