Tips to parallel park a car

Tips to parallel park a car

With a bit of practise and a few easy tools, you can learn to parallel park like a pro. Up your parking game with these simple tips.

Tips to parallel park a car
Tips to parallel park a car

Find the perfect spot

The secret to a great parallel parking job is in the parking space. In fact, many parallel parking disasters happen when a driver overestimates the amount of space available, which leads to failed parking attempts and embarrassment. Avoid becoming frustrated by finding a space you can easily fit into, especially if you’re newer to parallel parking. Look for a space that is several feet longer than your vehicle. If you don’t feel confident about the spot or feel pressured by oncoming traffic, there’s no shame in driving further to find a spot that will better suit your experience level and your car.

Use your signals

Other drivers can’t read your mind, so let them know you are planning on parallel parking by driving up to your desired space and using your blinker. Proper use of your turn signal is not only polite, it’s also the law.

Line it up

In order to successfully parallel park, line up your car with the vehicle that sits directly in front of the space you want to claim. It’s best to leave space between your vehicle and the other car. Never risk damaging another vehicle as you park. If the car is the same length as yours, line up your car exactly with the other vehicle. If it is longer, feel free to leave three or four feet at the front of the vehicle.

Crank your wheel

After checking for oncoming traffic, put your car in reverse and crank your steering wheel all the way to the right. Ease your car toward the curb slowly — this is no time for speed.

Crank again

Once you’re in the spot (or your wheel has hit the curb), crank your wheel to the left to straighten out the car. Be sure to keep your speed low to avoid hitting the car behind you.

Straighten out

Now that you’re in the spot, put your car in drive and slowly drive forward to straighten the car.

Don’t worry if this takes you several attempts; even the best drivers learned to parallel park by trying over and over again. Above all, move slowly and deliberately, use your mirrors, and don’t get stressed.


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