First, find a space that you can fit your vehicle into. Signal your intention to park to other drivers as you approach. If you are not sure, stop your vehicle beside the space and check that you have at least 2 m more than the length of your vehicle. Shift to reverse as soon as possible to activate the back-up lights.
This is only one suggested method of parallel parking. There are others that work just as well.
- Position your vehicle parallel to the front vehicle about .5 m out from it, with your back bumper lined up with the front vehicle's back bumper. Shift to reverse, check that the way is clear and get ready to steer.
- Back slowly. Immediately start turning your wheel toward the curb until you reach about a 45 degree angle. (Pay attention to your vehicle's front end swing into traffic. Make sure you are clear of oncoming vehicles.)
- Continue to back slowly and straighten your wheels.
- When your front bumper clears the bumper of the front vehicle, continue to move slowly and turn your wheels away from the curb.
- If necessary, shift to first or drive, and slowly move forward while you straighten your vehicle.
Where a parking space is at 90 degrees (a right angle) to the road, as it is in most parking lots, it is recommended that you back into the space, unless it is prohibited. You have the advantage of being able to back in accurately because your windows are clear and you are warmed up for driving. In addition, the front end swing occurs in the aisle, not between two parked cars and you are backing into a space you know is free of obstacles instead of backing into traffic. More importantly, when you drive out you will have an excellent view.
Some parking spaces are at about a 60 degree angle to the road. These spaces are usually located in small urban centres and on one-way streets. You are meant to drive into and back out of them.
Parking on a hill
The trick to parking on a hill is to turn your front wheels so that if the vehicle rolls away, it will roll into the curb and stop. If there is no curb, the vehicle should roll off the road, not into the path of other vehicles. This will prevent the vehicle from building momentum and will stop it from entering the street. The emergency brake should be applied whenever parking on a slope.
Downhill with curb
Uphill with curb
Downhill no curb
Uphill no curb