If you know how to parallel park step by step, you don’t need to be the kind of person that circles the block for 40 minutes looking for a pull-in space.
There’s not always going to be a lot or a garage nearby, so the reality is you’ll need to parallel park your car. And it’s really, really simple — we swear (some cars even literally park themselves.)
Here’s an easy way to learn how to parallel park. You’ll be a master in no time.
- Make Sure the Space is Long Enough
First, find a spot that’s long enough. You should have at least 5 feet of extra room to play with. Otherwise, you may have trouble parking close enough to the curb or you may make it impossible for the car behind you to get out of their space without hitting your vehicle. Once you see a spot, slow down and turn on your blinker to let cars behind you know that you’re backing in. You may need to wave them ahead and allow them to go around you.
- Line Yourself Up With the Front Car
Alignment is everything! Pull up to the car parked in front of your intended spot (we’ll call this the “lead car”) and line up the back of your car with the back of theirs (your steering wheel should be even with theirs). This will put you in the ideal position to begin backing up. Next, slowly begin backing up while intently checking your surroundings (especially in the rearview and side mirrors)!
- Know When to Cut the Wheel
You’ll know it’s about time to cut your wheel (spinning it in the direction of the spot) when your steering wheel is even with the “lead car’s” rear bumper. This will straighten out your parking job and ease your car into the space smoothly. Again, slowly continue to reverse while keeping an eye in your rearview mirror.
Finally, assess your parking job. Ideally, you should be within 12 to 16 inches from the curb, though these laws can vary from one city or state to the next (be sure you know how to park legally!!!). If you’re satisfied with your parking job, go ahead and return the steering wheel to its center position and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve successfully parallel parked your car!
Isn’t that an easy way to learn how to parallel park?
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