Parallel parking

Parallel parking is one of the  manoeuvres you may have to do if you want to park alongside the kerb, when you’ve passed. It’s also part of one of the manoeuvres  you may be asked to do on your driving test.

To carry out the manoeuvre pull up alongside another vehicle and reverse your car into a space behind a parked car. When looking for a space, it shouldn’t be any smaller than one and a half times the length of your own car.

There are a number of steps you need to perform, they are:

  1. Stop alongside the parked vehicle about a car doors width, and parallel to it; 
  2. Apply your handbrake and select reverse gear, and have a good look around for other road users;
  3. When safe, start backing up very very slowly, while turning the steering wheel 3/4 to 1 turn to the left (depending on your car);
  4. As your passenger door mirror is level with the parked vehicle, have another look around, and steer to the right, 3/4 to 1 turn to the right (depending on your car);
  5. Continue reversing until the outside passenger door handle appears to ‘touch’ the kerb, then steer left one full turn to the right. As your reversing have a glance through your back window for other road users;
  6. When your car is parallel to the kerb, steer quickly 1 full turn to the left;
  7. Apply handbrake, select neutral ( or park, if your driving an automatic).
Parallel parking steps