You drive around the block, looking for a parking spot, but you can only find parallel parking on the street. It’s not a big deal; you can handle it. Even if you’ve practiced parallel parking a few times, you can still feel anxious about doing it for the first time. That was the familiar feeling among drivers of all skill levels. That’s where our services come in! Please read our article to study for your driver’s exam or to brush up on parallel parking skills so you can quickly secure those hard-to-come-by parking spaces.
Things You Should Know
- As you approach the vehicle in front of the parking spot, switch on your turn signal to let the driver know you intend to park.
- Turn the wheel hard to the right and gently back up until you reach the parking area.
- Once your rear tire is 18 inches (46 centimeters) from the curb, straighten the wheel and continue backing in.
- Pull forward before putting the car in park to make any necessary adjustments.
Find a parking space a little bit longer than your car
Try to find a spot with enough area to turn around in reverse. If you’re new to parallel parking, practice in a location with at least 6 feet (2 meters) of clearance; as you get better, you can challenge yourself with tighter spots. The length of the available parking spot must be at least three feet (one meter) longer than your car.
- If you’ve never done so, practice parallel parking between plastic storage containers or traffic cones.
- Be sure it’s okay and legal to park there before you do so. Take note of any pay-to-park or time-limit signage so you are aware of the situation.
Pull up next to the car in front
To begin parking, get as close to the lead vehicle as possible. Slow down and signal your intention to park using the right turn signal. To pass the lead car, bring your vehicle to a stop when the back bumper of your vehicle is parallel to the rear bumper of the lead vehicle. Separate your vehicle by at least 2 feet (0.61 meters) from the one next to you.
It would help to utilize your right turn signal because you will almost always be doing a right-side parallel parking maneuver. Use your left turn signal if you need to pull over to the left side of the road.
Back up while turning your steering wheel to the right
Put the car in reverse and turn the steering wheel to back up. Check to see if the road behind you is empty. Check out the area behind you. To enter a parking space at a 45-degree angle, spin the steering wheel swiftly and evenly toward the spot until the back of your seat is parallel to the rear of the vehicle alongside you.
- If you want the back of the car to go in a specific direction, picture yourself moving the steering wheel in that direction.
- If you enter the space too early, the front of your vehicle could scrape or impact the car in front of you.
Straighten the wheel once you’re most of the way in
Once your rear tire is 18 inches (46 centimeters) from the curb, you should make the turn. Once your car’s rear is mainly within the designated area and you’re in reverse, turn the steering wheel so that it points toward the road. It would be best to do this when your front bumper is level with the back bumper of the car in front of you. This final adjustment straightens the vehicle and brings it into the designated area.
When the car’s license plate in front of your parking spot is in the middle of your windscreen, you should also start turning the wheel in the opposite direction.
Pull forward if you need to
Put your center of gravity in the gap between the cars. You’ll likely have to move around once inside the room to find the exact center. Move forward or backward so that the space in front and behind you is nearly equal.
- Keep in mind that you will still be moving backward. Drive first gear if you need to move forward.
- Keep adequate space between your vehicle and the vehicles in front of and behind it in case they need to exit quickly.
Start over if anything goes wrong
You can leave the parking lot and come back if you need to. It’s normal to have to try the spot more than once if you’re new to parallel parking. Turn on your turn signal, double-check that there’s no traffic behind you, and move back beside the lead vehicle. Before you pull out again, double-check that there are no oncoming vehicles by looking in the rearview mirror the side mirrors, and turning in your seat.