Home / Car Insurance / Articles / How to Park a Car Perfectly? Easy Guide to Parallel Parking
Team AckoMar 1, 2023
Emotions felt while driving a car can be subjective. For some, it is a liberating experience – people feel relaxed after a drive. On the other hand, some people look at driving as just a means to an end, a process to reach their destination. No matter how people perceive driving, they need to be good at one thing – car parking.
There are no half measures concerning car parking – you must get it right. Otherwise, there can be legal complications, chances of a mishap, and inconvenience. Besides, finding the right parking spot can be a daunting task – especially in the cities thanks to their space crunch. This makes car parking even more important. Read ahead to know how to park a car perfectly.
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.
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.
You must be extra cautious of the surroundings depending upon 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 with 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.
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.
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.
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.
Parallel Parking is one of the ways to park your car perfectly, and it can be a tough cookie to crack. It is one thing to park in an open parking lot and another to squeeze your beloved vehicle between two parked cars on one side of the road while other vehicles are zooming past you. That’s pressure! But don’t worry. It is not impossible.
Car Parallel Parking can also be just as simple as parking in an open area, provided you get the basics right and have the confidence to pull it off. Here is the stepwise process to succeed at Parallel Parking. Assume that you are going to park your car on the right side of the road and there is a car in front of the vacant spot and one behind it.
Position your car parallelly along with the car that is in front of the vacant spot. Maintain a three to four feet distance from that car.
Check all the mirrors to avoid bumping your car. Hit the reverse gear and accelerate after you are convinced that there is no one near the vacant spot.
Turn the steering wheel to the right and reverse your car as you approach the vacant spot.
Straighten the steering as you enter the parking area. Keep checking the mirrors while moving backwards.
After your car has entered the vacant spot and is close to the rear bumper of the vehicle in front, turn your car’s steering to the left and keep reversing.
You will have to move your vehicle a bit forward and a bit backward to get the right placement. Adjust your car accordingly.
Check for space between your car and the one in front and behind it. Make sure there is ample space for you and the other cars to move out of the Parallel Parking.
Also, read: Basic Car Maintenance Tips for Beginners
Throughout your driving experience, you will be required to park your car in different places and different positions. You might be required to park in a garage, in a parking lot, near a road or somewhere else. This means you will have to adjust to the area where you need to park your vehicle. All parking spots will not be the same and you will need to exhibit different types of parking skills to achieve the objective. Here are a few points about the different types of 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.
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.
Car Parallel Parking is usually seen on the roads – cars are parked parallel to the road. This type of parking requires a certain amount of skill as it usually requires the driver to park in between two cars – one ahead and one behind. Entering and exiting the Parallel Parking needs focus on the surroundings and control on your driving.
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.
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.
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 about them and park accordingly.
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 – dent on the adjoining car’s door while opening your door or a scratch leading to loss of paint.
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 be 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.
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.
Here’s a situation. You visit a shopping mall and park your car in a relatively vacant parking lot. When you are done shopping and having a meal at the food court, you exit the mall and enter the car park to find out that the parking lot is full. In some cases, it is overflowing with excess cars. You reach your car and it is surrounded by cars on three sides and there’s only one way out – reversing. This is just one example of a tight parking spot.
Tight parking spots can happen on the road, in your residential complex, etc. The way out of it is to be patient and think logically. You must stay calm and focus your energy on finding the way out instead of focussing on the negatives. Have a good look at the setting. Play out scenarios in your head and check out different angles that can work. Enter your vehicle and begin driving slowly – do not speed up to leave in a hurry. If you have company, you can ask the other person to assist from outside the vehicle. If you are alone, you can request someone else for help regarding the angles.
In any case, if you cannot get out of the tight parking space, do not let your ego go wild and try to burst out. Be practical. Seek assistance from the parking attendant or a supervisor if it is a supervised setting. If you are on the road, you will just have to wait it out till the other vehicle moves and gives you space to exit.
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.
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Here are some frequently asked questions related to car parking in India.
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 you keep renewing it before the expiry date.
Car parking is an integral part of driving a four-wheeler. Therefore, you might be asked to display those skills in your driving test.
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.
The key to parking on a street is to be aware of the surroundings, 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.
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.
Dedicated parking areas often have lines that act as a guide for drivers to park their car. 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.
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 space required for them to enter and exit. In general, follow the Car Parking Tips mentioned in this article.
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