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.
How to Parallel Park
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.
Step 1: Claim your spot
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?
Step 2: Pull 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!
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Stop and reverse
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.
Step 6: Straighten the wheels
Keep your foot on the brake and turn your wheels straight to position your car for the next step.
Step 7: Back up slow and steady
Back up until your car just clears the one in front of you.
Step 8: Wheels to the left
Keeping your foot on the brake, turn the steering wheel to the left as far as you can.
Step 9: Back up again
You’re in the home stretch! Slowly back up, easing your car into the parking spot, keeping your hands on the wheel.
Step 10: Final adjustments
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!