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Parallel Park

Here are some reference points and advice to help you master the parallel park exercise. 

Parallel Park
Set up the left door mirror so that you can see all of the front door handle and it is slightly above the bottom of the mirror..
Parallel Park

Pull alongside and slightly ahead of the car to be parked behind.

You need to be about 1 metre from the car.

Check all around to make sure it is safe and reverse until your door mirror is level with the front of the target car (as in this diagram).

At this point steer one half turn to the left (the steering wheel will be upside down) so that the car moves in a gentle arc towards the kerb.

Steer half a turn to the left

Parallel Park

When you get to the "turn in point", stop the car.

The "turn in point" is shown in the next picture

Parallel Park Parallel Park

This is the "turn in" point.

Note that the BOTTOM edge of the kerb is aligned with the centre of the front door handle.

Every car is slightly different, and you will need to adjust how much of the front door handle is on the kerb depending on your own driving position. 

Steer full lock to the right and reverse in slowly

Steer right full lock

Parallel Park

Continue reversing slowly with right full lock, and when the car is parallel with the kerb, straighten your wheels.

Ask yourself if you would be happy to leave the car parked in this position. If the answer is yes, then the manoeuvre is complete!


Parallel Parking - When you're too close to the kerb!

Parallel Park

If you leave the "turn in" too late, or steer to full lock slowly while reversing quickly, you will hit the kerb.

To resolve this, put full lock on to the left, check all around for other road users and pull forward slowly to straighten the car up.

Put full lock on to the left

Parallel Park

As soon as the car is parallel with the kerb, straighten the wheels. In moving forward, the rear wheels will pull away from the kerb.

Straighten the wheels


Parallel Parking -  When You Finish Too Wide From The Kerb

Parallel Park - Too Wide
Sometimes you may finish wide of the kerb.
Parallel Park - Too Wide

Pull forward to the target car. Remain parallel to the kerb; DO NOT try to steer closer to the kerb at this point !

Select reverse and steer one full turn to the left.

Steer left

Parallel Park - Too Wide

Give the car time to come closer to the kerb, and then steer two full turns to the right (the first full turn will straighten the wheels, and the second will turn the wheels to steer the front of the car towards the kerb).

Steer right



Parallel Park - Too Wide

Don't forget to straighten your wheels when you are parallel to the kerb.


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