Top Tips for Parallel Parking
At the best of times, parallel parking is challenging, but when you add heavy traffic and many parked vehicles, it becomes even more difficult and stressful. You can’t always depend on two empty spots to park your car easily, so knowing how to handle the situation can help immensely. Here are some parallel parking tips for parking well even when the gap isn’t as forgiving.
The Slower, the Better
You might have felt a catch in your breath whenever you try entering a difficult spot, feeling like you’re holding up traffic, and hearing other motorists honking at you. In this case, rushing will only make things worse. The best way to park faster is to take time through each step.
When you arrive at the parking space, drive your car right next to the parked vehicle. Turn your steering wheel toward the curb. Reverse partially into the empty space, look into your left-hand side mirror, turn the steering wheel in the other direction, check the blind spots, and continue reversing. Turn the steering wheel straight and move forward. This way, your car will be perfectly positioned in the parking spot, as if it has fallen from the sky.
Reverse into the Spot
When parking in a parallel parking spot, most people think going nose-first will make it easier. However, this will take more back-and-forth motions. You might struggle to get into the parking space appropriately. The vehicle will be too far from the curb, or someone passing too close might clip a mirror.
In such a situation, it is much more effective to drive beyond the parking space, turn the wheel, and reverse right back into the spot. Use the indicator and position your car next to the car in front of the parking space, turn the steering wheel and slide back in.
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings
Parallel parking can seem tricky, but you can orient yourself by looking at the cars around you. When you’ve found your parking spot, place your front wheels next to the back wheel of the vehicle in front. This gives you adequate room to make the turn. Remember to look for landmarks in your vehicle while you check your mirrors for reference.
Turn the steering wheel toward the curb and reverse until you can no longer see the car behind the parking space using the rear-view mirror. You should also ensure your vehicle’s nose is aligned with the back of the car in front of the parking spot. In this position, you can reverse further into the parking space by turning the steering wheel in the other direction.
Do not park too close to the curb on your first move into the parking space. You need to leave a little space between your car and the curb during your first manoeuvre. If you reverse closely to the curb before turning the wheel away from it, you’ll hit it once you’ve turned.
You’ll be a professional parallel parker if you keep these things in mind and practice in an empty parking lot.
We Can Help You Park Like A Pro
If you want to learn how to parallel park and do other challenging driving manoeuvres, contact LTrent Driving School today to book driving lessons in NSW or VIC. We will provide all of the instructions needed to drive safely. If you are an NSW Learner Driver, you can complete the Safer Drivers Course, accounting for 20 hours for your logbook.