Stop Dreading Parallel Parking

parallel parking

Parallel parking is viewed as one of the most difficult ways to park a vehicle, especially for new drivers. The following step-by-step guide will help you be able to properly and confidently park your car alongside curbs, even on the busiest of streets.


  1.  Select a parking space that’s roughly five feet longer than your vehicle. Once you’ve decided on a spot, put your directional signal on, signaling to the curb to notify vehicles in rear that you’ll be coming to a complete stop to park.
  2. Pull alongside the vehicle in front of the parking place, leaving approximately three feet between your vehicle and the parked car.
  3. Position your rear bumper so that it’s even with the rear bumper of the parked car.
  4. Change gears to reverse and check for traffic by looking back over your right shoulder. Then, back up slowly as you turn your wheel to the right, aiming toward the right rear of the parking space.
  5.  When the back of your seat is even with the other car’s rear bumper, begin turning your wheel to the left to straighten your vehicle. Continue backing up slowly while looking over your shoulder through the rear window.
  6.  When your vehicle is into the parking space, continue turning your wheel to the left to straighten out. Check that your front right bumper avoids the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead and stop before you touch the car that’s behind you.
  7. Lastly, slowly pull forward to center your vehicle in the space.

Still not feeling confident about parallel parking? Start by practicing parallel parking on a secluded street away from traffic. This will help you get your technique down and also develop reference points to know your distance from the curb. Remember, practice makes perfect!

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