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Smooth Parallel Parking: The Ultimate Guide for New Drivers

parallel parking

Welcome to our guide on the basics of parallel parking!


Whether you’re a new driver or simply looking to brush up on your skills, we’ve got you covered.

What is parallel parking?


Parallel parking is an essential driving technique that involves positioning your vehicle in a parking space parallel to the road, usually alongside other parked cars. The goal is to park your car smoothly and safely in a tight space, typically found in urban areas.

When will you need to parallel park?

You will likely need to perform this manoeuvre when a parking spot is too small to drive forward into. This is common in city centres, busy towns, or residential streets where space is limited.

Why do you need to know how to parallel park?

Not only is parallel parking a manoeuvre that may be tested in your driving exam, but it’s also a skill you’ll use frequently on the road. Knowing how to parallel park correctly can help you find parking spots in tight spaces and avoid accidents.

How to parallel park: step-by-step


Step 1: Stop alongside the parked car

Approach the empty parking space, checking your mirrors and blind spots for safety. Use your indicator, if necessary, to signal your intent to stop. Position your car parallel to the parked car ahead of the space you’re reversing into, leaving about a metre of space between the two vehicles.


Step 2: Check your positioning and make observations

Check your positioning and make sure you have a clear view of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for any oncoming traffic or vehicles approaching from the rear.


Step 3: Begin reversing

With your car in reverse gear, slowly start reversing into the parking space while straightening the wheel to align your car with the parked cars.


Step 4: Adjust as needed

As you’re reversing, keep an eye out for any obstacles or other cars. If needed, make small adjustments to your steering and speed to ensure you’re parking smoothly and safely.


Step 5: Finish the manoeuvre

Once you’ve backed into the parking space, straighten your wheels and bring your car to a complete stop. Remember to check your surroundings one more time before turning off your engine.

By following these steps and practicing regularly, you can master the art of parallel parking in no time. Don’t forget, if you’re not ready for parallel parking yet, check our other guides on how to adjust your car mirrors, gear shifts, and steering wheel for optimal visibility.


Happy driving!

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