One of the most common ‘fears’ that my students have is learning to parallel park. I believe that this is mainly down to the fact that many parents/people of my age were not taught the manoueuvre as it never used to be part of the driving test. As a result, parents tell their children that parking is really hard’! Their minds are soon changed once they have attempted this manouevure with me as they are now armed with the information they need to do it properly. I have had plenty of people I teach tell me that this is their favourite manoeuvre once I have taught it to them.
After I passed my driving test many moons ago, I had to teach myself how to parallel park. I found I was fine. I took it slowly, observed well and didn’t get flustered. Over the years, however, I became worse and worse and when I learnt to become an instructor, this was the manoeuvre I was most nervous about learning to teach to others. But I needn’t have worried – everything fell into place! I realised that I was rushing, not looking and worrying about other people. In a word, I had become over-confident.
Now, I really enjoy this manouevre, I’m not afraid of what other people thing and I enjoy teaching it.
The instructions I give my students on how to attempt the parallel park is as follows:
- Pull up next to the car you are going to park behind, leaving a reasonable distance.
- Check all around, including including blind spots before you move
- When the back of your car is adjacent to the back of the car you are parking behind steer towards the kerb
- As you very slowly move, your car will move out diagonally. Once your car is diagonal with the car you are parking behind then take your steering back to the right to straighten your wheels up
- Once your rear wheel is close enough to the back kerb, steer to the right to bring your car next to the kerb
- As your car straightens up with the kerb next to you then steer quickly back to the back to the left to straighten up
- Don’t forget to look around you regularly and, if anyone is coming up or down the road, then wait and check that they are definitely going to stop for you
In basic terms, the steering is left, right, right left! Remember to keep calm and focussed. As with any manoeuvre, t’s all about control and observation. I also highly recommend some small, round blindspot mirrors to stick onto your usual side mirrors. It really helps you to get a better view of the kerb. I’m all for making life easy!
Stuck with parking? Need help? Need driving lessons? If you live in the Berkshire/Surrey/Hampshire area and are looking for a a Driving Instructor, then, try me! My website is http://www.madeeasydriving.co.uk. I also provide gift vouchers 🙂
I’ve linked this post up to Emily Davies Writes and
Next week: What to do if your brakes fail