As a newbie driver, parking is one of the most challenging to learn, especially in the case of parallel parking. The latter can be quite intimidating at first. For sure, you will be nervous, thinking that you might hit the car next to you. The narrow space between two vehicles may make you jittery and in the end, you might just end up looking for another parking space!
If you want to learn how to parallel park, the rest of this post will help you. We will provide you with a detailed guide on how you can get your car into a space that you might have previously thought of impossible to park. By the time you are finished reading, you will realize that it is actually easier than what you have initially thought!
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Parallel Park
Before I provide you with detailed instructions on how to parallel park, here is a short video that will help you better understand the steps mentioned below:
1. Find a Spot
Obviously, the first thing that you have to do is to find the spot where you will park. If there are only a few cars, consider yourself lucky that you do not have to parallel park. On the other hand, when it is quite full, at least find a place where your car will fit. Are you driving a sedan, 4x4, or a pickup truck? Think about how big your vehicle is to find a spot where you will fit.
While finding a spot, make sure to turn on your blinker or signal light. You should be courteous enough to let someone know that you are slowing down or that you will be parking.
As you try to find a place where you will park, see to it that it is a legal space. You can be issued a ticket or your car will be towed if you park in a place where you are not allowed to. More than being legal, see to it as well that the parking space is safe. At all times, do not park next to a fire hydrant. Do not also park in places with a risk of falling objects.
2. Position your Car to Park
After finding the spot, position your car so that you will be ready to finally occupy the vacant space. Pull forward in line with the car that you can find in front of your parking spot. If your car is not the same length as the one that is parked in front, your seat should be directly across the seat of the car next to you.
3. Start Backing Up
Now that the two cars are aligned, begin to back up. Before doing so, the first thing you have to do is to roll down the windows, providing you with a better sight of the parking spot.
Begin backing up and continue doing so until your rear tires are even with the back of the bumper of the other car. By doing this, if you crank the wheel all the way to the curb, you won’t end up hitting the car. Back up slowly with your eyes checking the back to be sure that there won’t be any unwanted contact.
4. Center your Vehicle
Once you have finally pulled in, the next thing that you have to do is to fill in the space and center your car. Adjust the vehicle in such a way that it will be in the same line as the ones in your front and back. Again, you should do it slowly so that you can check everything. See to it that you are at least 12 inches away from the curb and that there is still enough space to move in your front and back.
Parking Tips and Tricks to Know
Parallel parking is not the only thing that you should learn. To master the art of parking, here are some of the most important things that you have to keep in mind:
- Take it slowly. Regardless of you are in a hurry, parking needs time. If there are cars behind you, do not give in to the pressure. You need to concentrate and to think of how you will occupy the vacant space. The slower you go, the more time you have to think about what to do.
- Do not just think of how to get in. Think as well of how you will go out. You need to be a forward-thinker. No one would want to be in a situation wherein it is almost impossible to get out of the parking spot.
- Invest in technologies that will make your life a lot easier. The initial cost can be high, but when you think of the long-term benefits, it will be worth your money. Parking sensors, for instance, will provide you with an immediate warning if you are about to collide with another car. It will make parking a lot easier to accomplish.
- If you do not have the technologies for parking, at least, ask for a helping hand from your passenger or from anyone. It will be good to have an eye on your back to give you hand signals on what you have to do to finally fit in a parking space.
- Be courteous. Think about the other people when you are parking your car. Leave enough space for other cars to move. See to it that they will still be able to open their door properly. Also, make sure that you are parking in a legal space. Take only the space that you need. Do not park in spaces that are reserved for handicapped if you are not one.
- At the end of the day, the most important thing is to practice. As they say, practice makes perfect, which holds true even when it comes to parking. Practice in an empty area and use markers to mimic cars parked. After hours of practice, you will be able to park your car without the need to sweat!
Knowing how to parallel park is a must for anyone who is learning to drive. You will find this skill useful when you are parking in open spaces, such as within the neighborhood. Doing it right will make parking seamless, and best of all, there is a less likelihood that you will be damaging the car in your front or back.
Do you learn anything from this guide? Is there any tip that you would like to add regarding parallel parking? Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment.