Our overcrowded roads and tight parking spaces are a common sight throughout the country. A reason why we prefer hatchbacks is for their practicality on our roads over sedans and full sized SUVs. If you drive in the city, knowing how to ‘Parallel Park’ is a must for every driver. Contrary to popular belief, parallel parking is not as hard as you might think. With little effort and polishing of your skills, you can achieve doing so in the tightest of spaces.
Here is our quick step by step guide to Parallel Park easily –
Step 1- Look for a suitable space
When you are approaching a parking space, you need to make sure that the space will fit your car. Slowly drive by the space and see if there is adequate amount of room available to park your car with ease. You may choose to get down and see the space as well, but do that only if you’re not obstructing traffic. The parking space should provide a minimum of two feet clearance on either end of the car.
Step 2 – Engage in reverse
Once you have selected the space to park your car, drive up parallel and close to the car in front of the space. Have your turn indicator on, signalling the driver behind you that the parking space has been claimed. Put the gear in reverse and turn your steering wheel all the way into the kerb and slowly start backing up. Entering the parking rear first, keep backing up slowly until you have around 2 feet of space left from the kerb.
Step 3 – Steer in the opposite direction
When your rear passenger door is even with the rear bumper of the car in front, that’s when you turn the steering completely in the opposite direction. You will still be entering the parking space with your tail straightening up. Make sure that in the process the nose of your car does not scrape the car in front. Use the wing mirrors to check if the car is too close to the kerb.
Step 4 – Straighten your steering wheel
Once you have entered the parking space, you can straighten your car by moving it forward and backwards till it is parallel parked to the kerb. Your car should be parked in the centre, between the two cars. Leave a distance of at least two feet between both the cars. This will ensure that you have enough space to pull your car out of the parking space later.
Once you have parked your car, get down and check if it is parked right. Yes! It is exactly that easy to parallel park your car.
Things to remember –
- Entering the parking space from up front will make it a complicated process, a common mistake people tend to make.
- Look out for fire hydrants, zebra crossing, main gates and entrances. You are not permitted to park your car in these places.
- The key to park right is to do it slowly.
- Take the help of someone to guide you, if needed.
- If you cut it too soon, you will be parked way out of line and will have to start all over again
- Practice parallel parking in a secure area to get it right, it surely helps.