Tips for Parallel Parking

Learning how to parallel park is one of the hardest skills for new drivers to learn. From experience, I know that this is true. I hope this page will help. If you have any tips of your own, please send them in. --Ryan Buckholtz

Dave from the Freedom Driving School suggests the following:

The S method

1. Signal and pull up approx. 3 feet away from the car you want to

park behind, aligning your rear tires with the other car's rear bumper.

2. Put car into REVERSE, and turn wheels ALL THE WAY to the


3. Slowly back-up until you are at a 45 degree angle. STOP.

4. Turn the wheels ALL THE WAY to the LEFT. (Walter from a driver's school in Canada from recommends that you roll very slowly while you turn the wheels to avoid putting damaging stress on the tire sidewalls and steering components.)

5. Slowly back-up until you are parallel with the curb.

If done correctly you should be less then 12 inches from the curb.

Practice will improve your judgment.

The Drive Right book offers these tips:

1. Select a space that is at least six feet longer than your car.

2. Flash your brake lights and put on your turn signal before you pull in.

3. Always look back to check traffic.

4. Take it slow and ease into the spot.

Exiting a parallel parking space

1. Back-up straight as far as you can go without touching the car behind.

2. Turn your wheels all the way to the left (in the U.S.) Then make sure that you put your car in drive. (When I took the driver's test, the person before me parallel parked their car fine, but forgot this important step when pulling out of the space--and failed their test.)

3. Put on your turn signal.

4. Check traffic, including your blind spot.

5. Make sure your right fender has enough room to clear the car in front of you.

6. Turn wheels slowly to the right when you are half-way out of the parking space.