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How to Park a Car Perfectly: Easy Guide to Parallel Parking

Team AckoAug 5, 2023

Parking a car perfectly may seem like a daunting task, especially for new drivers.

However, with practice and a few essential tips, anyone can become a parking expert.

In this guide, we will take you through step-by-step instructions on how to park a car perfectly in various scenarios.

Whether you are a beginner or looking to improve your parking skills, this article will throw light on the types of parking and the techniques needed to park like a pro.

How to Park a Car Perfectly



Step-by-Step Guide for Parallel Parking

Parallel parking can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can master it effortlessly. Follow these steps for a flawless parallel parking experience:

Step 1: Find a Spot

  • Identify a parking space that is at least 1.5 times the length of your car.

  • Ensure there is enough space in front and behind the spot.

Step 2: Signal and Position

  • Activate your indicator to signal your intention to park.

  • Position your car parallel to the vehicle in front of the empty spot, leaving about 2 feet of clearance.

Step 3: Reverse and Align

  • Shift your car into reverse gear.

  • Turn your steering wheel all the way to the right and slowly begin reversing.

  • When your front right wheel aligns with the rear bumper of the car in front, straighten the wheel.

Step 4: Complete the Manoeuvre

  • Continue reversing until your car is at a 45-degree angle to the curb.

  • Turn your steering wheel all the way to the left and reverse into the parking spot.

  • Adjust your position as needed, ensuring your car is within the lines and evenly spaced from the cars on either side.

Types of Parking

Parking comes in various forms, each tailored to specific needs and space requirements. Understanding the different types of parking can help drivers choose the most suitable option for their situation. Here are the main types of parking:

1) Angle Parking

In this type of parking, cars are parked at an angle. In most cases, the cars face one direction. It is easy to park in and move out of an angular parking setting, provided everyone follows the rules. Since it is easy to simply accelerate and zoom ahead from angle parking, you need to be alert while accelerating. Give the right signals and be on the lookout for signals from fellow drivers.

2) Perpendicular Parking

This type of parking is common in parking lots, where people park their cars for a longer duration. Such type of parking is like angle parking, but the angle here is perpendicular to the curb ahead. Cars will be parked in a 90-degree angle. You need to ensure that the tires of your car are pointing straight ahead and the car is positioned at the centre of the allocated parking spot in a perpendicular parking area.

3) Parallel Parking

This type of parking is usually seen on the roads, where cars are parked parallel to the road. Parallel Parking requires a certain amount of skill as it usually needs the driver to park in between two cars – one ahead and one behind. Entering and exiting Parallel Parking needs focus on the surroundings and control on your driving.

4) Illegal Parking

You need to park your vehicle only in designated areas. Parking your vehicle in spots where parking is prohibited will lead to monetary penalties. Parking cars in No Parking Zones and areas is an example of Illegal Parking.

5) Lot Parking

If you are parking your car in a parking lot, you need to follow the rules and regulations prescribed by that area. They might have different types of parking in different areas for efficient usage of space.

6) Bay Parking

Bay parking often involves reversing your car in an allocated area. There will be cars around you or space for cars around you. Therefore, you need to be considerate of them and park accordingly.

7) Parking Between Two Vehicles

Irrespective of the type of parking, you need to be alert and attentive while parking between two vehicles. One of the most common issues faced when a car is parked between two vehicles is – a dent on the adjoining car’s door while opening your door or a scratch leading to loss of paint.

Car Parking Tips

Some people are flawless at parking. To get there, you will need lots of car parking sessions and patience. Here are some tips to help you out.

1) Slow It Down

Keep the car’s speedometer in control. Let the car crawl – like a snail. The slower your car, the more you can control it. You can look around, be alert, and make the right decisions. This will not be possible (for amateurs) if your car is moving at a high speed.  

2) Watch It

You must be extra cautious of the surroundings depending on where you are parking the vehicle. If you are parking the car in a designated parking lot, you need to concentrate on keeping a safe distance from other vehicles.

If you are parking it in an open space like a building compound or beside the road, you need to watch out for stray dogs, children, older folks, auto-rickshaws, other vehicles, pedestrians, among others.

3) Mirrors

Getting used to the car’s rear-view mirrors and side-view mirrors can take time. However, continuous usage will be helpful. Some people install better mirrors to help them park well. Make sure you position the mirrors well so that you get a clear view while parking.

4) Parking Assistance Features

Modern cars come with cameras (Parking Assist Technology) that assist in parking. If your car does not have one, and you feel it will be helpful to you, you can get such cameras installed in your vehicle.

5) Practice

Like everything else, you will have to practice car parking to perfect it. That is how experienced car drivers ace the parking bit. It just happens organically for them – without much effort.

How to Find Good Parking Space?

This is a major concern in crowded cities – there is no space to park cars! Even in parking lots or parking areas in the basement of malls, there is unnecessary crowding on the weekends. Here are some tips to help you find a good parking spot.

  • Always be alert regarding No Parking Zones.

  • Park in a well-illuminated area.

  • Avoid parking in areas that are right opposite the shopping mall’s exit, as trolleys can damage your car.

  • Wait near one row instead of roaming around in your car for a vacant spot in a parking lot.

  • Speak to fellow drivers regarding a vacant spot.

  • Keep an eye on people who are dangling their keys – they might be headed towards their car, leaving a spot for you.

  • Be patient and respectful towards the parking attendant and request for help if required. 

  • Do not park in dingy places.

  • Avoid parking near garbage bins and grassy areas.

Issues while Parking Car Closer to the Curb

The major issue with parking too close to the curb, or any barrier in front, is that you will have no space to move (turn or create an angle) your car. This can also lead to paint scraping or cause damage to the car’s tires if the car accidentally moves ahead even a bit while starting the engine.

How to Get Out of Extremely Tight Parking Spaces

Getting out of an extremely tight parking space can be challenging, but with the right approach and techniques, it is possible to manoeuvre your way out safely. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to navigate out of tight parking spaces:

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

  • Take a deep breath and remain calm. Panicking may lead to hasty decisions and potential accidents.

  • Assess the available space around your vehicle and identify potential obstacles.

Check Your Surroundings

  • Use your mirrors and check blind spots to ensure there are no pedestrians, vehicles, or obstacles behind or around your car. Look for any clearance between your vehicle and nearby obstacles, such as walls or other parked cars.

Adjust the Seat and Mirrors

  • Ensure your seat position allows you to have a clear view of the surroundings.

  • Adjust your side mirrors to expand your field of vision, making it easier to see any potential hazards.

Use Slow and Precise Movements

  • Avoid sudden or jerky movements, as they can exacerbate the situation.

  • Use gentle steering inputs and smooth acceleration or deceleration.

Three-Point Turn (K-Turn)

  • If the space is too tight to drive forward or backwards in one go, consider performing a three-point turn (also known as a K-turn) if it's allowed and safe.

  • Start by turning the steering wheel fully to the left or right, depending on the available space, and slowly reverse until the front of your car is clear of parked vehicles or obstacles.

  • Next, turn the steering wheel fully in the opposite direction and slowly move forward until your car is oriented in the desired direction.

Rock the Car

  • If there is minimal space to turn your car around, you can try rocking it back and forth to gain some extra clearance.

  • Shift between reverse and forward gears, applying gentle acceleration and braking as needed to create enough space to manoeuvre.

Seek Assistance

  • If you find it challenging to navigate out of the tight parking space on your own, don't hesitate to ask for assistance.

  • Look for a passerby who can guide you safely out of the space or ask a friend or family member to assist you.

Avoid Hitting Obstacles

  • Be cautious of nearby walls, curbs, or other vehicles when manoeuvring.

  • If you have a car with proximity sensors or a rearview camera, use them to help you gauge the distance to obstacles.

Patience is Key

  • Take your time and be patient while attempting to get out of a tight parking space.

  • Avoid feeling rushed or pressured by other drivers waiting for you to vacate the spot.

Ways to Reverse Car in a Parking Spot

There are two ways in which you can reverse your car in and out of a parking spot. 

  • First, do it straight, and the other is to do it at an angle. 

  • You will have to choose between these two ways depending upon the kind of parking available and the position of your car. 

  • You can also adjust your rear-view mirror to get the right view while parking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my car insurance company cover me if I damage my car while reversing?


Yes, your car insurance company will cover the damages to your car if you have a Comprehensive plan. Note that the plan needs to be active. You can buy or renew car insurance online easily. Therefore, make sure that you have a wide-ranging cover and that you keep renewing it before the expiry date.

Will I be asked to park my car in a particular manner in my driving test?


Car parking is an integral part of driving a four-wheeler. Therefore, you might be asked to display those skills in your driving test.

How can I get better at car parking?


Practising parking a car will help you to get better at it. You can practice it in and around your residential complex with an experienced driver. 

How to park a car on a street?


The key to parking on the street is to be aware of the surroundings and make sure you are not in a no-parking zone. Confirm that it is safe to park your car there and that there is ample space for you to park and move your car away from the spot without any obstructions.

Is it illegal to street park in front of someone's house?


The answer depends upon the rules and regulations of that area. Be on the lookout for any signs related to parking on the street. Also, think logically. Do not park a car in front of someone’s house if it is going to block the entryway. If you are unsure, consider asking around if it is okay to park in that area.

How do you park a car between two lines?


Dedicated parking areas often have lines that act as a guide for drivers to park their cars. Make sure to park your car within those lines. Park at the centre of those lines so that there is ample space for your car and other cars when it comes to entering and exiting the car and moving out of the parking area.

How to park a car between two cars?


Parking between two cars is challenging. Depending upon the position of the cars around you and the available parking spot, you will either have to Parallel Park or park as if parking between lines in a parking lot or in a bay area. Refer to the ‘Step-by-Step Guide for Parallel Parking’ section in this article for the parallel parking process. 

In the case of side-by-side parking, make sure to be attentive, focused, and logical. Leave ample space for entering and exiting. Think about other cars and the space required for them to enter and exit. In general, follow the Car Parking Tips mentioned in this article.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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