How to Parallel Park on a Road Test

by Baptist Johnson

Learning how to parallel park can be the most difficult, and frustrating, part of a driving. For many young drivers, the skill of maneuvering a vehicle perfectly between two other vehicles can be daunting. Still, all hope is not lost. There is a right way to parallel park a car. Simply follow a few basic tips and you can be ready to show off your parallel parking skills on your driving test.

Find a parking space. Pull up directly beside the parking space to make sure your vehicle can fit into the parking space. This shouldn't be a problem unless you are driving a large sports utility vehicle or pick-up truck.

Pull your vehicle up so that it is evenly aligned with the vehicle in front of the parking space. There should be about two to three feet of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of the parking space. Signal with your right turn signal to alert other drivers of your intentions to pull into the parking space.

Check your mirrors to make sure there is nothing behind your vehicle or otherwise obstructing your vehicle from backing up. Put your vehicle into reverse and turn your steering wheel all the way to the right.

Slowly release the brake and apply a little gas if needed. Do not exceed more than a creeping speed. At this point, you should be looking behind your vehicle to make sure you are positioning your vehicle into the parking space. Continue to check your mirrors as you are backing up. Make sure your car does not scrape the vehicle in front of the parking space as you are backing up.

Stop your vehicle once it is at a 45 degree angle. Turn your steering wheel all the way to the left and release the break. Your vehicle should now reverse in the opposite direction aligning you parallel to the curb. Reverse until you are about six inches from the vehicle parked behind your parking space. Put your vehicle in drive and pull up if necessary to center your vehicle in the parking space.


  • check Parallel parking may require some practice before you can master the technique.

About the Author

Baptist Johnson was first published in 2000 when a poem he wrote won first prize in a local writing contest. He also writes and edits for Etched Press Society, a micro-publishing company based in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.

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