Parallel Parking-How to do it!


As part of your quality driving tuition with us here at Want Driving Lessons- you will learn to do something called ‘Parallel parking’. This driving technique is a must on the practical driving test syllabus, although it could be a case that your examiner may choose not to test you on this all important manoeuvre-it helps to be prepared.

What exactly is parallel parking? 

Most new drivers will find pulling into a larger driving space quite straight forward and will be able to do this successfully in the first few attempts. But what about parking in that tighter spot? It may not be possible to find another car parking space so knowing how to do this could be a real life saver!

Parallel parking is in simple terms a way of doing this: Reverse parking in a small or tight place while using other vehicles as a guide to doing so. It involves reversing back into the space rather than driving forwards into it. Once you have mastered this technique you will be able to use it almost anywhere but it is particularly helpful when parking in congested places. A very handy and essential driving technique to master.

How to do it:

Here is Want Driving Lessons quick online guide on how to parallel park (your qualified and experienced Want Driving Instructor will go through how to do this in much more detail):

First of all as you approach a car parking space on a side road you will need to judge if it is enough for you to park in. So pull up beside it, this will give you a good idea on whether the space is large enough, it not then move onto one that is.

Once you have found a space move your car forwards so that you are parallel to the car in front of the space. (This is why this manoeuvre is named ‘Parallel’ parking). Pull up to this car in front as close as possible obviously without causing damage. Once again your Driving Instructor will show you during a demonstration and practice how much space should be between the two cars to allow for movement.

You will need to flick on the indicator in the direction of the car parking space- this is to let oncoming traffic know of your intentions.

Remember that Observation at all times is key!

Once your back tyre is in line with the back tyre of the parked vehicle, your two cars will be completely parallel and ‘in line’ with one another (step 1. in the diagram above) this is your starting point! Turn your steering wheel quickly all the way round towards the kerbside while reversing slowly into the space (steps 2. and 3.) The front of your car will automatically turn outwards into the middle of the road, but do not panic this is meant to happen.

Once your rear passenger door is in line with the bumper of the parked car behind you-start turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction (step 4.) while still slowly reversing. The front of your car will now automatically straighten up and there you have it: An example of parallel parking!

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