How to parallel park
If your driving test examiner wants you to perform a parallel park, they will ask you to pull up on the left, behind another vehicle. Typically, you’ll be asked to pull up behind a car, not in between two, however this is not guaranteed.
Perfect reverse park (parallel park) tips
- Maintain a slow, steady speed. Something close to walking speed would be appropriate.
- Be mindful of the natural curve of the road. This is known as the ‘camber’. Roads with a particularly pronounced camber can slope quite steeply towards the kerb, causing the unwary learner driver to accidentally roll into the kerb, failing the manoeuvre.
- Make sure you maintain observations.
- Don’t rush. You’ve got roughly four minutes to pull off your reverse park. Also remember that you can readjust at any point; as long as you don’t hit the kerb or forget to look around you, you’re fine.
- Drive forwards and stop parallel to and around a metre ahead of the car you want to park behind.
- Leave around half a metre between your passenger door and the parked car.
- Select reverse gear to show other road users your intentions and then check your mirrors and blind spots to make sure it’s safe to move.
- Drive back very slowly and watch for the back corner of the parked car in the middle of your left rear window.
- Check to your right before steering one full turn to the left.
- When the car is at an angle of roughly 45 degrees (generally, when the kerb disappears from your rear window), turn the wheel one full rotation to the right.
- Reverse until the back of the parked car comes into line with the front of your car.
- Continue your checks as you steer full lock to the right.
- Continue to reverse until you come into line with the kerb and the car is straight.
- Once you are in line and a reasonable distance away from the kerb, your manoeuvre has been completed.