Parallel Parking Like a Pro

Some new cars come with automatic parallel parking, but for the rest of us, we need to parallel park the old-fashioned way — one turn of the wheel at a time.


How to Parallel Park

Learning how to parallel park doesn’t take long, and with a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. By following these easy steps, you’ll be able to confidently parallel park anywhere — even with an audience of passengers or pedestrians.

Step 1: Claim your spot

Once you find your parking spot, pull up next to the empty spot to ensure it’s big enough for your car. Easy so far, right?

Step 2: Pull ahead

Pull ahead to the car in front of your empty spot until your car’s back bumper is even with its back bumper. Again, easy!

Step 3: Wheels to the right

Before you reverse, simply turn the wheel all the way to the right, so your car will turn toward the curb in the next step.

Step 4: Stop and reverse

Stop and shift your car into reverse with your foot on the brake. No need to rush to the next step; take all the time you need. If there's traffic behind you, they can wait or pull around you.

Reverse Wisdom: Looking out the back window, back in nice and slow, keeping your wheel position as is. This is the point where a lot of drivers prematurely turn their wheels the other way.

Step 5: Trust in the middle

Once you see the car behind you in the middle of your back window, it’s time to stop.

Step 6: Straighten the wheels

Keep your foot on the brake and turn your wheels straight to position your car for the next step.

Step 7: Back up slow and steady

Back up until your car just clears the one in front of you.

Step 8: Wheels to the left

Keeping your foot on the brake, turn the steering wheel to the left as far as you can.

Step 9: Back up again

You’re in the home stretch! Slowly back up, easing your car into the parking spot, keeping your hands on the wheel.

Step 10: Final adjustments

Now’s the fun part. Stop whenever your car is positioned where you want it to be and straighten the steering wheel. Pull ahead, if need be.

And that’s it! You just parallel parked like a pro.

Parallel parking can seem daunting, but follow these steps and keep practicing! The more you do it, the easier it will get. After a while, you’ll forget parallel parking was ever a challenge. Happy parking!

While you’re out practicing parallel parking, be sure to keep your car protected from the unexpected. Talk to an American Family agent today about the car insurance that’s best for you.


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Related Topics: On The Road , Car Safety , Safe Driving