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Parallel Parking Tips

Parashar Joshi
Good parallel parking skills are a must-have for every car driver. Here are some useful tips which will teach you how to parallel park your car like an expert.
These days, parking a car on a busy city road is nothing short of a dreadful nightmare. With roads getting increasingly choked with vehicles of all shapes and sizes, and office-going pedestrians scurrying across every available inch of concrete, how does one park a car in such circumstances?
Well, in situations like these, you are sure to opine that driving a car is a task that is much simpler than parking it! And this point is accentuated even further in the case of parallel parking.
Many car drivers (both newbies as well as experienced ones) find parallel parking to be the toughest (and the most irritating) of parking methods. If you too share the same sentiment, there are ample tips to make the task easier.
Out of the three methods of parking, namely, perpendicular parking, diagonal parking, and parallel parking, it is the third type which is the cause of many a sleepless night to car drivers on the eve of a driving test. So if you too happen to be a little tense about how to parallel park properly, then here are some tips on parallel parking.
  • Before zeroing in on an empty parking space, first study the vacant area and analyze whether it is big enough to fit your carcomfortably.
  • For that to happen, you should first have a good idea of the dimensions of your own car and the amount of parking space that it usually requires. This is important, because let's face it―however hard you try, you will never be able to parallel park a limousine in a space big enough for a mini car.
  • Secondly, parking it comfortably means parking the car in such a way, that there is enough room to drive the car out of the parking space, without bumping into the car that is behind you, or in front of you.
  • Now when you find a parking space that is big enough for your car, drive alongside it such that your front bumper gets aligned with that of the car parked in front of your targeted parking space.
  • At this point, stop and turn the steering wheel sharply such that the front wheels turn towards the curb. Put the car in reverse and drive backwards into the parking space until your driver-side rear view mirror just about gets aligned with the rear bumper of the car alongside you.
  • At this point, straighten the steering wheel and drive a few feet backwards until you are halfway into the parking space. At this juncture you should be making an approximate angle of 45 degrees with the curb.
  • Now, turn the steering wheel all the way in the opposite direction as earlier, and ease your car backwards into the remaining few feet until it is parallel to the curb and is comfortably clear of the car in front of you.
  • Before you get out of the car, check the distances between your car and the ones in front of you as well as behind you, to ensure that your car will not cause inconvenience and that you will be able to drive it comfortably out of the parking space.
  • Once properly parked, the distance between the curb and your car should be around one to one and a half feet.
  • In case of parallel parking, unless the vacant parking slot is equivalent to two car lengths, it is always easier and more convenient to first drive ahead and then reverse into a parking slot, than to drive straight into it and then work your car backwards.
  • Before driving into or out of a parallel parking space, always look behind you and keep a track of oncoming traffic and pedestrians. It is an important element of road safety. You don't want an unnecessary car crash, do you?
  • Last but not the least, practice, practice, and practice. Practice alone can perfect the practice of parallel parking. (alliterations accidental).
These were a few parallel parking tips for your benefit. Drive safe! Adios!