Parallel parking is often regarded as one of the most challenging manoeuvres for new drivers. The idea of squeezing a car into a tight space between two others can be intimidating. However, with the right approach and practice, mastering parallel parking is well within reach. In this step-by-step guide, we will break down the parallel parking process and offer valuable tips to help you conquer this essential driving skill.

Step 1: Find the Right Parking Space

The first step to successful parallel parking is finding an appropriate spot. Look for a space that is at least one and a half times the length of your vehicle and has enough room in front and behind the space. Ensure there are no obstructions and activate your turn signal to indicate your intention to park.

Step 2: Position Your Vehicle

Once you’ve identified a suitable spot, pull up beside the car in front of the space. Align your rear bumper with the rear bumper of the parked car. Leave a safe distance of about two to three feet between the two vehicles.

Step 3: Reverse and Angle Your Car

Shift your car into reverse gear and begin to turn the steering wheel to the right. Check your mirrors and look over your right shoulder to observe the rear of your car. Slowly back up while keeping the car at a 45-degree angle to the curb. Aim to position your vehicle parallel to the parked car in front.

Step 4: Straighten the Wheels

Once your front door aligns with the rear bumper of the parked car, straighten your wheels by turning the steering wheel to the left. Continue backing up slowly until your car is parallel to the pavement, leaving a reasonable distance between your vehicle and the one behind.

Step 5: Final Adjustments

At this point, you should be parallel to the curb with your car appropriately positioned within the designated space. If you’re not aligned correctly, you can make slight adjustments by pulling forward and repeating the process.

Helpful Tips for Parallel Parking Success:

  1. Practice Makes Perfect: Parallel parking requires practice to build confidence. Find an empty car park or wide road with little traffic and practice frequently.
  2. Use Reference Points: Identify reference points in your car to help you gauge distances accurately. For example, use the rear window or side mirror to determine when to start turning.
  3. Take It Slow: Don’t rush the process. Go at a pace that allows you to maintain control and observe your surroundings effectively.
  4. Check Your Blind Spots: Always check your mirrors and blind spots for pedestrians and other vehicles before and during the manoeuvre.
  5. Stay Calm: Don’t panic if it takes a few attempts to get it right. Stay calm, and remember that practice will improve your skills.


Mastering parallel parking is a vital skill for any driver. With practice and patience, you can overcome the initial anxiety and execute this manoeuvre with ease. Remember to position your car correctly, make gradual movements, and use reference points to ensure accuracy.

As with any driving skill, safety is paramount during parallel parking. Always be aware of pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles around you. If you’re unsure about your abilities, consider seeking guidance from a professional driving instructor who can provide valuable feedback and tips tailored to your specific needs.

By following the step-by-step guide and practicing regularly, you’ll soon find yourself parallel parking with confidence and finesse, making parking in tight spaces a stress-free part of your driving experience.