Parallel parking is often seen as one of the more difficult manoeuvres you can do in a car, but there is nothing to fear.
When you know how to do it, parallel parking will allow you to get into those spaces that can only be found when in reverse gear.
In busy cities, towns or side streets, it can be an essential skill and will give you the confidence to know that you can park anywhere, at any time.
Before attempting the manoeuvre, you should make sure it’s safe to do so by observing the traffic around you.
Also, make sure the gap you’re trying to fit into is large enough for your vehicle, as you’ll need about one and a half car lengths so that it is safe and doesn’t obstruct any other vehicles.
To start the manoeuvre, simply pull up alongside the vehicle that you intend to park behind.
You should stop your car reasonably close to the vehicle and make sure that you’re parallel to it, hence where the term comes from.
This will give you the perfect starting position.
At this point, you should apply your parking brake if needed, as you don’t want your car to start rolling if you’re not on flat ground.
Select your reverse gear as quickly as possible so that other cars are constantly made aware of what you are doing.
It’s time to start moving backwards, so bring the clutch up to its biting point and release the parking brake if it was required.
As you start moving make sure you keep at a steady pace so that you are always in control of the movement of the car. It’s important not to rush yourself at this point, even if there is traffic waiting.
Turn the steering wheel until it reaches full lock into whichever space you’re reversing into.
Make sure your car has enough room to clear the parked car in front of you. At this point your vehicle turns further into the road, so check all around you to make sure it is safe to do so.
When the rear of your vehicle reaches its parked distance away from the curb, turn your wheel in the opposite direction to straighten your vehicle into the empty space.
This will align your car up so that it is now parallel with the road.
Turn your steering wheel back so that they are facing forward and adjust your position on the road so that you are in the middle of the gap.
As with all aspects of driving, it can only be perfected with practice.
If you follow these steps, however, that practice will soon make you perfect in the art of parallel parking.