I used to drive the City bus and they had me parallel park that and do a 90 degree reverse into an Alley. When I parallel park my car, I always ensure that I am close to the other car because if I am too far away from the other car, my parallel park won’t be effective and I will have to try again. The trick is to balance moving the car reverse and turning your wheel at the same time. It is hard for me to describe exactly how I do it without actually being in a car to demonstrate but I can almost always get into tough spots on the first try. Make sure you leave yourself enough room both in front and rear of the car so no one scratches up your bumper when they are pulling out.
- If you are parking in an area with shops, take advantage of the eventual reflection of your car in shop windows.
- Be careful not to cut it too soon or too quickly, as this will result in being too far away from the curb. It is much harder to adjust your position in a space when you are too far away from the curb as opposed to being too close.
- When backing up and lining up the cars, look in the driver’s side mirror, and use the sides of the cars to know exactly how far your car has gone in towards the curb. I.e. how closely you’ve aligned them. That view of the sides of the cars (your car and the one behind you) offers a good easy view and check to know that you’ve positioned the car correctly. In particular, the side of your car above the rear wheels offers the best, most accurate view of where exactly your car is.
- When in doubt, play it safe. Don’t risk hitting the car behind you or in front of you. If traffic conditions permit, you might be able to put the car in park, get out and see how much space you have left. Often it’s more than it looks from the mirrors.
- If you have fancy wheels or hubcaps, particularly with narrow “low-profile” tires or not dished within a protective rim, avoid pulling very close to a curb against which you might scrape them.
- When you are turning the wheel, try to always be moving, even if you are just inching forward/backwards, to prevent stress on your steering components.
- Holding the wheel at an extreme of the turn range, which may produce noise, for more than a few seconds may be bad for a power steering system.