Cars parked uphill.

How to Park on a Hill

Updated March 4, 2024 . AmFam Team

Learning to park on a hill correctly can save lives should your brakes fail. It can also help you avoid unnecessary damage to your car and others' property.

This guide explains how to park uphill and downhill, with or without a curb, in a few easy-to-follow steps.

Cars parked on a hill.


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How to Park on a Hill with a Curb

Learning the right way to park on a hill may help you avoid an accident in the event of a brake failure. Use the following steps to master uphill or downhill parking at or near a curb.

Cars parked on an uphill slope.

Parking Uphill

  • Parallel park your vehicle.
  • Turn your front wheels away from the curb to the left.
  • Engage your emergency brake.

When you take your foot off the brake, your vehicle may roll back slightly and touch the curb. Ensure you don't park too close to other cars or objects.

Two cars parked on a downhill slope.

Parking Downhill

  • Parallel park your vehicle.
  • Turn your front wheels toward the curb to the right.
  • Engage your emergency brake.

Try not to park too close to other cars or objects in front of you. Your vehicle may roll forward slightly when you take your foot off the brake.

Cars parked on a downhill slope.

How to Park on a Hill Without a Curb

Parking drivers on a hill without a curb can seem tricky for new and experienced drivers. But the same three steps apply whether you're parking uphill or downhill.

Parking Uphill or Downhill

  • Parallel park your vehicle.
  • Turn your front wheels to the right. 
  • Engage your emergency brake.

When parking without a curb, your primary goal is to point your front wheels away from the road. Doing so ensures your vehicle doesn't roll into the road if your brakes fail.

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Car Insurance for New and Young Drivers

We offer experienced drivers several ways to save on car insurance premiums. We also have discounts and programs for qualifying new or teen drivers.

Here are a couple of examples: 

  • The Good Student discount may be able to help qualifying young drivers who are full-time students with a GPA of 3.0 or better save on their auto premiums.**
  • The DriveMyWay program helps experienced and newly licensed drivers learn safe driving habits. The safer you drive, the more you may be able to save.***

Visit our car insurance discount page to learn more.

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Accidents happen, but you can help protect yourself from unexpected losses with the right auto policy. Our car insurance is customizable to help you get the coverage you need. Reach out to an American Family Insurance agent for a quote today.

*Customers who bundle home and auto insurance policies may save up to 23% on both policies together (as of December 2023). Discounts may vary by state, property, policy form and company underwriting the home and/or auto policy. Discounts may not apply to all coverages on a home or auto policy.

**This information represents only a brief description of coverages, is not part of your policy, and is not a promise or guarantee of coverage. If there is any conflict between this information and your policy, the provisions of the policy will prevail. Insurance policy terms and conditions may apply. Exclusions may apply to policies, endorsements, or riders. Coverage may vary by state and may be subject to change. Some products are not available in every state. Please read your policy and contact your agent for assistance.

***Rate will vary based on driving behavior. Unsafe driving behaviors may increase your rate. Product eligibility will vary by state, vehicle type, policy form and company underwriting the auto policy. Some restrictions may apply. The DriveMyWay rate factor applies only to these coverages, which are typical for most auto policies: bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision and comprehensive, medical expense, and personal injury protection. Additionally, the rate factor does not apply to fixed fees that are part of the policy. To refresh your understanding of coverages, visit the Car Insurance Coverage page. Customer driving behaviors from the KnowYourDrive program were used to inform rate structure. Adding or removing drivers from a policy may impact the overall score. Households where not all eligible participants on the policy are enrolled will receive a 5% introductory discount. If you unenroll drivers after the 100-day trial period ends, we’ll still use their driving behavior at the time of unenrollment when calculating your rate.

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