How to Parallel Park a Car Tutorial

On your driving test, when performing a reverse parallel parking manoeuvre the examiner will expect you to:

The examiner will also be looking to see that you:

Reverse parallel parking, parking in the gap between two vehicles, is a vital driving manoeuvre. You may think it easier to drive forward into the gap however it is nearly impossible to park neatly this way. A car has greater manoeuvrability when driven in reverse hence reverse parallel parking.

With practice, you'll be able to reverse parallel park into a gap of 1.5 times your own car length. All reversing manoeuvres are potentially dangerous, reverse parallel parking is no exception. Good and precise observation is essential when performing a parallel park.

On your practical driving test, if asked to perform the reverse parallel parking manoeuvre, you will not necessarily be required to park between two vehicles. It may be that only one parked car, the lead car, is present. If so, you will still need to park within a space of about two-car length to pass.

Don't feel pressure to rush this manoeuvre, if you do you are more likely to make mistakes. The examiner will allow you plenty of time, around four minutes, to complete the parallel park.

Image Based Tutorial

Parallel Paring Start Position
Parallel Park Left Turn
Parallel Park Right Turn

Position A, on the image, starts the parallel park - the left-side mirror of your car should be level with the front of the lead car. Your front wheels should be set straight. Keep your foot on the brake and select reverse gear, the reversing light will then show traffic behind that you intend to reverse. Observe your surroundings and make sure it is safe to start the manoeuvre.

Reverse slowly while gently turning the steering wheel left (anti-clockwise) and looking back through the rear window until your vehicle is level with the beginning of the parking space, position B.

As you continue to reverse, steer briskly to the left (anti-clockwise). Once you reach position C, steer right (clockwise) to straighten the wheels up.

Move slowly into the space until you are clear of the lead vehicle. Now check you are reasonably close to the kerb and, if so, steer briskly to the right to bring the front of the car into the parking space. When your car is almost parallel with the kerb, steer left as this will bring the wheels parallel to the kerb.

Parallel Parking

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