How to Parallel Park a Car Tutorial
Parallel Parking Steering Video Lesson
On your driving test, when performing a reverse parallel parking manoeuvre the examiner will expect you to:
- Reverse into a space of about two car lengths
- Park your car at the curb safely, smoothly and under control.
The examiner will also be looking to see that you:
- Take effective all-round observation
- Co-ordinate your hand and foot controls in the correct manner so that your car moves smoothly
- Steer in a correct manner, keeping a reasonable distance from other vehicles
- Signal if necessary - if other road users are near
- Avoid becoming a danger to obstruction to other road users
- Do not get too close to the parked car
- Do not mount the curb and stop reasonably close to it.
Reverse parallel parking, parking in the gap between two vehicles, is a vital driving manoeuvre. You may think it easier to drive forward into the gap however it is nearly impossible to park neatly this way. A car has greater manoeuvrability when driven in reverse hence reverse parallel parking.
With practice you'll be able to reverse parallel park into a gap of 1.5 times your own car length. All reversing manoeuvres are potentially dangerous, reverse parallel parking is no exception. Good and precise observation is essential when performing a parallel park.
On your practical driving test, if asked to perform the reverse parallel parking manoeuvre, you will not necessarily be required to park between two vehicles. It may be that only one parked car, the lead car, is present. If so, you will still need to park within a space of about two-car length in order to pass.
Don't feel pressure to rush this manoeuvre, if you do you are more likely to make mistakes. The examiner will allow you plenty of time, around four minutes, to complete the parallel park.
Image Based Tutorial
Position A, on the image, starts the parallel park - the left-side mirror of your car should be level with the front of the lead car. Your front wheels should be set straight. Keep your foot on the brake and select reverse gear, the reversing light will then show traffic behind that you are intend to reverse. Observe your surroundings and make sure it is safe to start the manoeuvre.
Reverse slowly while gently turning the steering wheel left (anti clockwise) and looking back through the rear window until your vehicle is level with the beginning of the parking space, position B.
As you continue to reverse, steer briskly to the left (anti clockwise). Once you reach position C, steer right (clockwise) to straighten the wheels up.
Move slowly into the space until you are clear of the lead vehicle. Now check that you are reasonably close to the kerb and, if so, steer briskly to the right to bring the front of the car into the parking space. When your car is almost parallel with the kerb, steer left as this will bring the wheels parallel to the kerb.