Updated March 5, 2022 . AmFam Team
Parallel park like a pro with just a few helpful hints, or teach your teen how to parallel park with step-by-step instructions.
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.
Learning how to parallel park doesn’t take long, and with a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. By following these easy steps, you’ll be able to confidently parallel park anywhere — even with an audience of passengers or pedestrians.
Once you find your parking spot, pull up next to the empty spot to ensure it’s big enough for your car. Easy so far, right?
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!
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.
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.
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.
Step 5: Trust in the middle
Once you see the car behind you in the middle of your back window, it’s time to stop.
Keep your foot on the brake and turn your wheels straight to position your car for the next step.
Back up until your car just clears the one in front of you.
Keeping your foot on the brake, turn the steering wheel to the left as far as you can.
You’re in the home stretch! Slowly back up, easing your car into the parking spot, keeping your hands on the wheel.
Now’s 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 can seem daunting, but follow these steps and keep practicing! The more you do it, the easier it will get. After a while, you’ll forget parallel parking was ever a challenge. Happy parking!
While you’re out practicing parallel parking, be sure to keep your car protected from the unexpected. Talk to an American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) today about the car insurance that’s best for you.
This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.