Snapshot – If you’re a newbie to driving a car or any four wheeler for that matter, parallel parking is something you may simply dread. True, getting the hang of parallel parking may take a bit of time since it involves plenty of judgment on the driver’s part. Apart from causing embarrassment when faced with a parallel parking slot, not knowing how to parallel park could mean that many prime parking spots may be inaccessible to you, in say shopping zones and office areas. Fret not though, as parallel parking can be simplified into five easy steps, and with some practice, you can parallel park like a pro, every single time. This parallel parking strategy we’re going to outline for you is more about technique than judgment. So, you’ve got to spend the next five minutes reading, and re-reading this post carefully.
Step 1: Find a suitable parallel parking slot.
Start driving alongside parallel-ly parked cars slowly so that you can scope out a parallel parking slot that you can squeeze your car into. Keep your turn indicator on so that people driving behind you know that you’re intention is to park. If you’re parallel parking on the left hand side of the road, you have to keep the left indicator on and vice versa. Once you have zeroed in on the parking slot (which should ideally be about 4 feet longer than your car’s length) where you think your car can fit in, you need to stop.
Step 2: But where exactly do you stop to make parallel parking easy?
Maintain around 3 feet distance from the cars parallel to you and slowly pull alongside the car that is already parked ahead of your parking slot. Come to a stop such that your car’s rear wheel coincides the rear bumper of the car ahead of you. If you have a hard time judging this, you can simply look out of your side window and make sure that your car’s C-Pillar is aligned to the rear corner of the car parallel to you. Now, you’re in the perfect place to start your parallel parking maneuver.
Step 3: Begin reversing into your parallel parking spot.
Once you’ve stopped alongside the car parked ahead of your parallel parking spot, time to get into the parallel parking action. Slot the gear into reverse. If the parallel parking slot is to your right, rotate the steering wheel completely to the right, and vice versa, until the steering wheel stops turning. Now, slowly start backing up and begin watching your left wing mirror. Once the entire car behind you appears in the left wing mirror, stop reversing.
Step 4: Aligning your car into the parallel parking spot.
Bring the steering back to a straight ahead position. Again start reversing slowly with your eye on your car’s right wing mirror. Once the wing mirror aligns/coincides with the left rear corner of the car parked next to you, turn the steering completely to the left and keep reversing until your car is parallel to the kerb.
Step 5: Positioning your car with enough gap between the cars ahead and behind you.
Now, once you are parked parallel to the cars ahead and behind you, ensure that you leave two feet distance at the front and two feet distance at the rear. This will allow you to make a smooth exit as and when you decide to drive away. Also, it will give the cars ahead and behind of you enough room to maneuver their cars away from their parking slots without bumping into your car.
Here’s a beautiful video that illustrates these steps,