How to Parallel Park

Recently, a few different friends have mentioned that they do not know how to parallel park, or they sort of know, but aren’t good at it.

I learned to parallel park the day before my driver’s ed test.  My dad set up two trash cans in the street (to simulate cars) and taught me in about five minutes flat.  I turned it into an art form while living in the city, wherein wedging one’s car (a standard, to boot) into a tiny spot on a hill meant not paying for parking.  Anyway, the tutorial:

1. Pull up parallel to the car behind which you want to park.  You should be about an arm’s length (singular) away from it – enough to barely open the passenger-side door and squirm out.

2. Back up in a perfectly straight line until your face is in line with the back bumper of the aforementioned parked car.  If you were to put a laser pointer on the back bumper of that car, the little red dot would be on the side of your body. (This is the secret, right here.)

3. At that point, turn the wheel and back in.

4. Once the back of your car is about as far “in” as it will go (either the tire is on the curb, or you are close to the car behind you), turn the wheel in the other direction and pull forward.



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