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The 4-Step Process to Parallel Park

If you've ever passed up an open parking spot that requires you to parallel park to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with it, you're not alone. Some people simply never learned or practiced it, and others are just too afraid to. Parallelophobia (the fear of parallel parking) is more common than you think. Regardless of your feelings about parallel parking, we've broken it down into four easy steps!

Step 1: Find the parking spot.

The ideal spot for parallel parking should be roughly 1 1/2 times the length of your vehicle. As you approach the space, remember to do the following: check your mirrors, look over your shoulder, and turn on your signal. Afterward, pull up next to the vehicle you're going to parallel park behind and maintain a 2-3 feet distance between your car and your passenger's side.

Step 2: Turn the wheel and reverse.

Start by turning the wheel tightly to the right. However, it's important not to turn your wheel too far. While turning, slowly raise your foot off the brake pedal and let your vehicle enter the space. Stop the vehicle when your right rear bumper is halfway into the parking space at a 45-degree angle.

Step 3: Head toward the curb.

With your vehicle at a stop, straighten out your steering wheel. Then continue reversing. For most vehicles, when the passenger's side mirror is in line with the car's rear bumper in front of you, that's a good time to turn your wheels back the other way. It would be best to continue backing up until your vehicle is parallel to the curb or road edge.

Step 4: Make adjustments if needed.

Your car should be centered evenly between the other two vehicles to allow enough room for them to leave. Your car also needs to be within a foot of the curb. If not, you can continue readjusting until your vehicle meets these standards.


We hope these tips help, but some things are easier read (and said) than done. No matter how old you are, it doesn't hurt to practice parallel parking at home. If your vehicle needs any auto maintenance or repairs, please consider taking it to our experts at Carport Automotive.