How To Parallel Park

A Simple Guide To Getting It Right

parallel-parking-smallI've been driving in the big smoke for a few years now and would consider myself a somewhat reasonable driver or so i'd like to believe anyway. I can navigate my way around the random city surburbs and have developed a somewhat working knowledge of when is the best time to drive on certain routes and where there might be some parking spots available. Although I may know where there might be parking spaces this doesn't always mean that I can manage to get parked there and this is mainly due to the fact that my parallel parking is not very good.

That is perhaps an understatement, my parallel parking is actually non existent.I put the question out to some others in the office and their response was the same, if I can't drive into a parking spot then I usually move on to a better spot. But recently I have begun to take a stand and I have decided to set myself the challenge of not moving onto another spot but try and parallel park my car.

To learn what are the best techiques when reversing into a parking spot I went straight to the source meaning I searched YouTube and Google. There are plenty of articles and videos on the topic but to help you get the most condensed version available we've created a 10 point guide on how to parallel park.

10 Point Guide To Parallel Parking

  1. When you find the spot you want to park in pull up as close to the front of the car ahead of the space until you are parallel with it. (No need to be exactly in line)
  2. Once stopped turn your steering wheel all the way to the left. Check your side and rear view mirrors before moving and when safe to do so start reversing.
  3. If it is safe to, begin to reverse. Your car should begin to turn into the parking spot. Stop reversing once the front right hand corner of the car behind you is in the middle of the rear windscreen.
  4. Return your steering wheel to the middle position. Begin reversing once again until your car has passed the car in front.
  5. Once your car has passed the car in front stop and turn your steering wheel fully to the right or left. This will depend on the parking spot in question.
  6. Continuing reversing towards the car behind.
  7. You should now be parallel with the footpath or what ever you are parking alongside.
  8. If necessary correct your position by driving forward slightly (if possible) and reversing until satisfied.
  9. Turn your steering wheel back to the centre position and switch off the engine.
  10. Do a celebratory fist pump, high 5 or whatever congratulatory method you are a fan of because you have just successfully parallel parked.

If you follow the above 10 point how to guide you should be a parallel parking master with a little bit of practice. To help you succeed we have a 3 rules to follow.

  • Be Patient
  • Practice
  • Don't Panic

If you are still nervous about parallel parking just follow our suggestions above and make sure you take your time. Parking is always tough to start with but once you are ready to practice you will find that you will soon be able to get into that parking spot that you would have normally drove past.