The parallel park is useful for parking in smaller spots at the side of a road, particularly between two cars.
During your driving test, the examiner will ask you to pull up a distance from a parked car. They will then ask you to perform the parallel park, moving back to one car length from the car in front.
At this point, take a second to compose yourself and remember the reference points. I will always ensure my students are well prepared so you will be able to do this confidently and safely.
Find your biting point, then take a good look around to ensure it is safe to do the manoeuvre. Drive to the side of the car that you are using for the parallel park, about a door width away, and with your wing mirror in line with the bonnet or boot (depending on which way the parked car is facing).
Put the car into reverse gear and, once again, look all around before moving off. Focus behind and move slowly backwards. When the yellow dot in the corner of the rear window is at the end of the parked car, you must stop and look around to check it is clear to swing out. If it is, turn your steering wheel on full lock to the left, keeping the car moving.
Your passenger-side wing mirror will come to the end of the parked car. At this point, have another look around to check it is still safe and then do one full turn to your right. This will straighten the car and bring it towards the kerb.
Once the front of your car passes the parked car, take another look around and do another full turn to your right. Once your car is parallel to the kerb, do one full turn to your left to straighten the car. Move backwards until you are one car length away from the parked car. Apply your handbrake and put the car into neutral. The manoeuvre is now complete.
People often say that this is the hardest reverse manoeuvre, but after my students have practised under my guidance, they realise that it’s not nearly as bad as people say!
All the best,