It’s totally normal to feel intimidated by the prospect of parallel parking, especially in front of other people. But it’s worth persisting (and not circling the block three times to avoid that parallel bay waiting for you!) – once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to park like you were born for it. It’s all about finding the right angles to set your car up for a smooth approach.
Just break the parallel-parking process up into four easy moves:
- STOP ALONGSIDE THE VEHICLE you’re aiming to park behind. Your rear wheel should be in line with that car’s rear bumper. (Don’t forget to indicate towards the side you plan to move into.) Now reverse until just after your shoulder passes the other car’s rear bumper.
- STOP AND TURN YOUR STEERING WHEEL completely while checking all your mirrors and blind spots. Start backing up again. Your car should start moving into the desired spot – just be sure to keep that steering wheel turned fully.
- FOCUS ON THE CAR in your rear-view mirror and the car in front. When the right front corner (if parking on the left side of the road) of the car behind you is positioned in the middle of your rear-view mirror, brake.
- STRAIGHTEN UP. To get things just right, you might need to turn some more as you move your car back and forth. You should now be in the parking spot, in line with the other cars. Feel free to pat yourself on the back.