How to parallel park

Parallel parking has always been one of the most difficult things to learn when learning to drive. It takes a lot of focus and attention to detail and it can be tricky to assess the space in relation to the size of the car. Many people have theories about parallel parking, but there is only one right way to get it right.

Steps to Parallel Parking

Practice is always perfect, and the only way to practice parallel parking is to actually do it over and over.

  • Locate a space that you believe will be able to accommodate your car. The space must be at least three feet longer than your car. This extra space will give you enough room to drive out of the parking space later.
  • parallel-parkingEnsure the space you have chosen is free from a fire hydrant, parking meter, or blocking an entrance to a building reserved for deliveries. This will defeat the purpose of your exercise and will be fined for parking illegally.
  • The car in front of your chosen parking space might be a bit longer than your car, but this is not a problem. The size of the vehicles in front or behind your car is not the issue; the issue is whether you can park between them.
  • So, you have located a good spot to practice parallel parking. Drive your car beside the car in front of your chosen space. Position the bumper of your car with the bumper of the car you are now beside. With both cars’ bumpers aligned, STOP!
  • With the car perfectly stopped, you then turn the steering all the way right, full right without moving the car at all.
  • With the steering wheel turned as far to the right as possible, put the car in reverse and slowly release the brakes and start backing up into the space– the steering wheel is still cranked to the right. Do this slowly. You need to feel comfortable doing this exercise.
  • While looking in your rear-view mirror, continue backing up until you see the right front fender of the car behind you in the centre of your windshield. Just imagine a straight line from the centre of your windshield to the right front fender of the car behind. Again, STOP the car!
  • In this stationary position, turn the steering wheel from the far right to the centre position.
  • Back up slowly at a comfortable pace until the front of your car is clear of the rear of the front car you first used as your marker. Again, STOP the car!
  • In the stationary position, turn the steering wheel fully to the left, all the way without moving the car.
  • Holding the steering wheel totally to the left, release the break and slowly ease the car back until it is fully into the space.
  • When you have accomplished this, your car should be parked with the front of your car in line with and facing the rear of the car in front; and the rear of your car parked and lined up with the front of the car behind.
  • Reposition the steering wheel to the centre position, and you have accomplished your goal.

Viola! You have successfully Parallel Parked. Just continue practicing and it will become easier the more you practice.