Parallel Parking Illustrated

Here is an illustrated tutorial. The guy in the red car is parking on the left side, but the method and measurements are the same. Remember, it is OK to parallel park on the left side of a one-way road.

Step #1

Start with your car about 3 feet from the car you will park behind. You will start a little bit in front of that vehicle.

Step #2 First, signal toward the curb and sound your horn. Look behind and back up until your back bumper is about even with the other vehicle's back bumper.

Step #3 Turn your wheels all the way toward the curb (always turn your steering wheel in the direction you wish to go.) Then back up toward the curb until you see the entire front bumper of the car you are parking in front of in the side-view mirror. The orange arrow is the line of sight. You should see almost all of the front bumper (or the big tire) if you are driving a car. If you are driving a larger vehicle, you may need to adjust your angle. Trial and error.

Step #4

Back up SLOWLY until your front bumper is about even with the back bumper of the car in front. Your back wheel should be getting closer to the curb.

Step #5
Turn the steering wheel OPPOSITE the direction you turned it first. Turn it away from the curb. Remember to think about it; you do not want to drive into the curb. The idea is to make the front end follow the back end into the parking spot.

Back up until you are either too close to the car n back, or until you are about to touch the curb. At that point, you cannot back any more. Sometimes you are actually already parallel to the curb at
this point.

Step #6 When your car is parallel, make the wheels straight and put the car in the middle of the parking stall (It must be at least 24inches from both cars, front and back. Set the parking brake and put the car in park. (If it is standard transmission, it must be in first or reverse and engine off.)

Then you are finished.

On the road test, you are allowed three tries, but each time you start over, you get 5 demerits for a failed attempt. Try to go slow and do it once.

Remember to use your turn signal and look over your shoulder before pulling into traffic.

If you are too far from the curb, you can fix it if you know how.
Click here to learn how!

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