A Beginner’s Guide on How to Parallel Park a Car
By Andrea Nicole
Posted on Sep 07, 2022
For beginners, or even those who have been driving for years already, parallel parking a car is one of the most challenging things to do. The primary reason behind this is that it requires a lot of practice with all of the technicalities that come with it. The driver should have the patience and skills to get the correct angles when parking in a particular spot.
What is parallel parking?
Parallel parking refers to a parking technique where your car has to be parked parallel to the road. This should be aligned with other vehicles that are facing the same direction as that of the traffic. To be able to squeeze in this small spot, you have to pull forward the parking space. Then, you have to slowly back up using the right angles to fully park in alignment.
Steps to Parallel Park
Parallel parking might seem complicated at first. However, by practicing the correct step-by-step process, you’ll eventually get the hang of it. Here’s a detailed guide on what you should do when doing parallel parking:
1. Align your car in parallel to the car in front of the empty slot. Make sure that there is approximately a 2 feet space between your vehicle and said car. Then, without moving, fully turn the steering wheel to the left if the parking slot is located to your left and the other way around if the space is on your right.
2. With the wheel fully turned, slowly drive in reverse until your vehicle is in a 45-degree angle position with the front bumper of the car behind the empty slot. In order to confirm if you were able to register the right angle, check if you can see from the side mirror the license plate of the car behind the said parking space.
3. After seeing that you were able to correctly position your car at a 45-degree angle, straighten your front wheels by turning the steering wheel back to its original position. Then, slowly back up again towards the parking space and stop when the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of the parking slot is already level with your front bumper corner.
4. Once the car has stopped, turn the steering wheel fully opposite the parking space. Meaning, that if you’re trying to park on the right side of the road, turn the steering wheel to the left, and vice versa. Doing this enables you to lock in the position of the car once you back up again.
5. Carefully drive backward and adjust the wheel accordingly depending on your car’s position. Be wary with backing to avoid bumps on the vehicles surrounding your car.
Practicing Your Parallel Parking with Cones
Just like what a driving school does, you may practice your parallel parking using cones. This way, you don’t have to do a trial and error with real cars. Listed below is a quick guide on how to go about this:
- Find an area with minimal cars. This may be a wide street where cars seldom pass by.
- Get two orange cones and place them in an empty space. Make sure that they are approximately fifteen feet apart so you’re really mirroring a real parking spot.
- Apply the steps into doing a parallel park over and over again while using the space between the cones as the main parking spot.
- Practice over and over again to exercise both your mind and body. Move to a real-life parallel parking situation so you can get used to the slight pressure of parking this way.
Admit it or not, seeing a parallel parking space gives you stress. The primary tendency is to search for more empty slots just so you won’t have to exert too much effort in doing this. However, if you’re confident enough to survive this challenging parking space, it will save you the time and effort into searching for another parking slot.
Just be confident and you’ll eventually get the hang of it. Goodluck!