When it comes to the day-to-day driving of your car, one of the most stressful parts can be parking. We’re not talking about putting your car on the nice big driveway outside your house. We’re talking about when you’re out in the wild, looking for a space in a busy car park or, even more stressful, trying to work out if a space between two cars is big enough to parallel park. This needn’t be the case.

While parking can seem like a challenge when you first start driving, there are a few tips and tricks you can do to make parking stress-free. You’ll also feel much more confident at attempting that parallel parking manoeuvre.

Practice makes perfect

The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. It’s the same for every hobby, sport or skill – practice makers perfect. Parking is no different. So why not go out and have a practice?

It’s something you probably did when you were learning. Go to an empty car park and drive around, reversing into parking spaces over and over again. There’s no reason why you can’t do that now. The good news is that, even if you don’t dedicate time to practising your parking, every time you park your car, you’ll be practising. So don’t ever be ashamed to give parking a go. If you don’t do it right, you can always drive on. Forget about the shame. Think about the longterm prospect of being a parking pro.

Learn the dimensions of your car

When you park your car, you’ll need to know just how big your vehicle is. This can be tricky when you have just bought a new car, as you’ll still be getting a feel for its size. But as you drive more, you’ll have a better understanding of the space the car takes up on the road.

This is vital when it comes to parking. You need to be confident that you’re not going to hit any cars around you while manoeuvring your vehicle. That way you can focus more on getting the positioning of your car right rather than worrying about clipping the car in front or behind.


Size up the space before you parallel park

Parallel parking is the trickiest of all the parking manoeuvres. But many of us will fail the manoeuvre before we even start. Why? Because you haven’t assessed the space to see if you’ll fit.

When you find a space you want to parallel park into, move your car alongside to start with. If you can comfortably fit your car in between the two vehicles, then you will be able to park there. So you won’t have to worry about having the right amount of space, just getting your car into that space.

It’s all maths and trigonometry

Another thing you need to do is make sure you get the right angles. This is easier for forward and reverse bay parking, as you can easily adjust yourself once you’ve got inside the space. Parallel parking is more difficult, as you can understeer or oversteer, leaving you at an angle that’s impossible to right.

When you start reversing, you should start turning your steering wheel into the space when your wing mirrors are level with the back window of the car in front of the parking space. That will give you enough room on the road to turn into the parking space and then straighten up when you are inside.


Don’t be ashamed of asking for help

There’s a lot of shame when it comes to parking. Thoughts of viral videos of bad parking attempts inevitably cross your mind and you feel like every single person is watching you struggle. But you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help.

Why? Because people will help. They can guide you in and help back you up into that tight space. But you’ll also be able to take advantage of those spaces that you find and not have to drive around desperately searching for a space that you feel you can park inside. Saving you time and stress. So why not ask for help?

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