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How to Park a Car

There is a knack to this, reversing a car into a parking space. Well, you might say, why not just drive the car into a parking space going forwards? The answer to this has to be seen in practice, and I have seen so many people make such a mess of parking a car into a gap. To understand why the reversing method works best, it's worth considering the fact that a car has the wheels that steer at the front, and the same situation is not repeated at the rear. It's not a shopping cart with four wheels that go all over the place.

When driving a car forwards, the front wheels go where you steer them, and the back wheels follow. This is just about what you need for driving along the road, but the opposite of what's needed for parking. With parking, the back end is to be posted into the space first, and then finally the flexible steering can tidy away the front end into the gap. This also makes it easier when leaving the gap, especially if other people have inconsiderately parked too close leaving you almost no room to manoeuvre.

The method:

1. Drive past your intended parking space making sure that it's big enough to fit your car in.

2. Pull up right alongside the car in front of the space.

3. Go into reverse and carefully steer the wheel so that the back end of your car goes into the space.

4. Then turn the steering the opposite way so the back end corrects in time to avoid hitting the kerb.

5. As the front end of your car clears the car in front, turn the steering so the front of your car is neatly tucked away into the gap.

6. If necessary, do some forward and backward adjustments to make it look tidy.

...And that's it. Easy really.

If you're still struggling, you could always get help from someone like The AA Driving School and other places who can help you to learn to drive.

This is a helpful page, and it has been written in such a way that it works equally well for places where the driving is on the left or on the right.