How to parallel park like a pro

When you’re first learning the art of the parallel park, things will generally go one of two ways: either you’ll over shoot, hit the curb, and be forced into an awkward see-saw motion in an attempt to inch your way into place, or you’ll go to the opposite extreme, and wind up a good metre from the curb and at the mercy of angry passing cyclists. One attitude to take in these scenarios is simple: if at first you don’t succeed, get the hell out of there and proceed to circle the block until you find a nice, G rated angle parking spot to call your own. The problem here however is that in order to secure your P plates, you have a 9/10 chance of being instructed to perform a parallel park in your driving test. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have this little skill set in your repertoire, if only for this once in a lifetime occasion.


  1. Claim your desired spot by throwing on your indicator, and stopping your car level with and close to the car you intend to park behind.
  2. Check your mirrors for oncoming cars and bicycles, and bide your time until you have a suitable amount of space to reverse without becoming a traffic hazard.
  3. Shift your car into reverse and look over your left shoulder as you begin to ease back. When you judge your rear wheel is getting close to the back of the car beside you, start steering so that the back of your car begins to swing into the car space.
  4. When your car is at a 45 degree angle, turn your steering wheel the other way to straighten up. Continue reversing slowly (keeping an eye on how much distance you have between your car and the car you are parking in front of) and adjust your steering so you are parallel with the curb.
  5. Shift back into drive and move forward so you are right between the two cars. Using your reflection in shop windows is a handy trick to help you judge distance, and see how far you are from the other cars.