Is It Better To Park Uphill or Downhill? (Do This Instead)

Is It Better To Park Uphill or Downhill

Do you know if it is better to park uphill or downhill? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

In an ideal world, you should be parking on a completely level surface. However, let’s be honest, we don’t live in an ideal world.

Some of us have no choice but to park on a hill. So, is it better to park uphill or downhill? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Is It Better To Park Uphill or Downhill?

Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter whether you park uphill or downhill. As we said, it is always best to park on a completely level surface, but cars should be 100% fine being parked on a hill, and it doesn’t matter whether you are facing up or down, although you may need to park your vehicle in a certain way.

That being said, we do encourage you to park facing downhill, wherever possible. Although, it is completely fine if you do not.

On most vehicles, parking brakes work a lot better when they are facing forward. This means that there is less of a chance of the brakes giving way if you are parked on a hill. Although, at the end of the day, it probably won’t matter too much.

You would probably need to have something seriously wrong with your brakes if they were not stopping you from rolling when your vehicle is parked.

Read also >> BMW Parking Lamp Malfunction (Here Is How To Fix)

Your biggest concern may actually be whether your vehicle can be jump-started when you are on a hill. Obviously, if you are on a hill, jump-starting is going to be difficult enough. However, you may find it a little bit easier if you are facing downhill. This is because your vehicle has a little bit of a roll on it, which should kick it into action.

We think most people’s concern about whether to park uphill or downhill comes from the idea that the fluids in the vehicle will pool in such a way that it would be difficult for the vehicle to operate when you start it again.

We can assure you that you have absolutely nothing to worry about here. Vehicles are designed to ensure that even if your vehicle was at an angle, there would be fluids in all of the right places. If this wasn’t the case, your vehicle would struggle to drive uphill anyway.

The only time that you would need to be concerned about the even distribution of fluid in your vehicle (particularly oil) is if the supply of oil in your vehicle is dwindling anyway and, at that point, whether you should be parking facing uphill or downhill is the least of your concerns anyway.

As we said, if you really are concerned, then the best way to position your vehicle is facing downhill, because it has advantages that facing uphill doesn’t have. However, these advantages are really only going to be a thing in a limited number of situations.

 A seriously limited number of situations so don’t worry about taking your time to park. If parking facing uphill is going to be easier, then do that.

How Should You Park Your Vehicle On a Hill?

How you park your vehicle should always be your biggest concern.

When you park your vehicle on a hill, you should always ensure that you have your tires angled toward the kerb. This is because in the unlikely event that your vehicle’s brakes do fail when your vehicle is parked, your vehicle shouldn’t be rolling down the hill. We say shouldn’t, but there is always going to be the risk.

Obviously, the risk of this happening is always going to be minimal anyway but, minimizing the risk of anything happening with your vehicle is always going to be a good thing, right?

You should try to ensure that the vehicle’s tires are pressed up against the kerb, if possible. This way, they are going to act as a wheel chock should the worst happen.

Although, to be honest with you, the only way the worst is going to happen is if you do not engage the parking brake properly, and we know that you will do that. 

Your main concern when you park on a hill is ensuring that your parking brake is applied properly. If it isn’t, then your vehicle is just going to roll away. Yes, we know that this may seem like a completely obvious thing to do, but you will be surprised at the number of people who forget to do this.

We have heard countless horror stories of people’s vehicles just rolling down the hill, causing some rather serious accidents.

As we also mentioned before, you should constantly check to ensure that you have the right levels of fluid in your vehicle e.g. transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, etc. This is because the only real issue that you will deal with should you park on a hill is the fluids not being level.

So, if you have a leak, or you haven’t changed the fluid in a while, then it may be high time to get everything checked over. It will ensure that you do not run into any issues should you decide to leave your vehicle parked on a hill.

What You Should Do 

If you have a garage or a driveway on a hill, then we recommend that you build a flat pad where your vehicle can be parked on.

While there shouldn’t be any issue parking on a hill, your vehicle’s manual will likely say that parking on a flat surface should be your priority. 


It doesn’t really matter whether you park uphill or downhill, at least with a modern vehicle. Yes, parking with your vehicle facing downhill is going to have some advantages.

However, these advantages are minimal, and they are not really going to be a concern for most people.

As long as your vehicle’s tires are pointed toward the kerb, and you engage the parking brake correctly, it really doesn’t matter how you have positioned your vehicle. 


Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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