Parallel Parking Like A Pro

Some new cars come with automatic parallel parking, but for the rest of us, we need to parallel park the old-fashioned way, one turn of the wheel at a time.

The good news is parallel parking is a science, not an art. Once you’ve learned these easy steps, you can confidently do it anywhere—even with an audience of passengers or pedestrians.

Claiming Your Spot. Once you find your would-be parking spot, pull up to ensure it’s big enough for your car. Easy so far, right?

Pulling Ahead. Pull ahead to the car in front of your empty spot until your car’s back bumper is even with its back bumper. Again, easy!

Stop And Steady. Stop and shift your car into reverse with your foot on the brake. No need to rush to the next step; take all the time you need. If there's traffic behind you, they can wait or pull around you.

Wheels To The Right. Before you reverse, simply turn the wheel all the way to the right, so your car will turn toward the curb in the next step.

Reverse Wisdom. Looking out the back window, back in nice and slow, keeping your wheel position as is. This is the point where a lot of drivers prematurely turn their wheels the other way.

Trust In The Middle. Once you see the car behind you in the middle of your back window, it’s time to stop.

Straight Wheels. Keep your foot on the brake and turn your wheels straight to position your car for the next step.

Slow And Steady. Back up until your car just clears the one in front of you.

Wheels To The Left. Keeping your foot on the brake, turn the steering wheel to the left as far as you can.

The Home Stretch. Slowly back up, easing your car into the parking spot, keeping your hands on the wheel.

The Fun Part. Stop whenever your car is positioned where you want it to be and straighten the steering wheel. Pull ahead, if need be. And that’s it! You just parallel parked like a pro.

Parallel parking may be a science, but it’s also a thing of beauty when you do it smoothly and confidently. And you will get there. The more you do it, the easier it will get. After a while, you’ll forget parallel parking was ever a challenge. Happy parking!

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Related Topics: On The Road

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