Top Tips for Parallel Parking
Parallel parking is a nightmare at the best of times, but throw in heavy traffic and many already parked cars, it turns into a nightmare pretty quickly. You can’t rely on two empty spaces to easily park your vehicle, but you still need to be quick about it. There are a few parallel parking tips to keep in mind to park perfectly in a pesky opening on the side of the road.
Slower Is Faster
We’ve all felt that catch in your breath when you’re trying to get into a difficult space, holding up the traffic, and everyone is honking. Rushing makes you make more mistakes, and slower will be faster in this case. Take your time and go through every step.
Position your car next to the parked car in front of the parking space. Turn your wheel all the way toward the curb. Reverse partly into the spot, look into your left-hand side mirror, turn your wheel all the way in the other direction, check your blind spots, and keep reversing. Then turn the steering wheel straight and go forward. You’re perfectly positioned in the space like your car has been dropped from the sky.
Reverse Into it
Most people think the quickest way to get into a parallel parking spot is to go in nose-first. However, it takes more back-and-forth motions, you’ll struggle to get into the parking properly, and you might be testing your car insurance. The car will be too far from the curb, or a mirror might get clipped by someone passing too close.
Driving beyond the parking space and reversing into it is far more effective. Use that indicator and take your time to position your car next to the vehicle in front of the parking spot, turn the wheel, and slide right back into it.
Use Your Surroundings
Parallel parking can feel like it needs a lot of guesswork, but you can use the parked cars around you to help orient yourself. Once you have an eye on your parking spot, position your front wheels next to the car in front of the parking spot’s back wheel. It gives you enough space to make the turn into place. Keep checking your mirrors and look for landmarks in your car to use as a reference.
Turn the wheel all the way toward the curb and reverse until the car behind the parking spot can’t be seen in the rear-view mirror, and the nose of your car is in line with the back of the vehicle in front of the parking space. Once you’re in this position, you can turn the wheel the other way and reverse further into the parking space.
This might seem counterintuitive, but you don’t want to be too close to the curb on your first move into the parking spot. If you reverse too close to the curb before turning your steering wheel away from it, you’ll hit the curb once you have. The key is to leave a little space between your car and the curb during the first manoeuvre.
Keep all of these things in mind and practice a few times in an empty car park, and you’ll be a professional parallel parker.
Become A Parallel Parking Pro
Want to master parallel parking and other hard driving manouvers? Contact LTrent Driving School today to schedule driving lessons in VIC or NSW, and get all the instructions you need to drive safely as a learner. For a more in depth and practical lesson, NSW Learner Drivers can also complete the Safer Drivers Course, which accounts for 20 of your logbook hours.