How To Drive Backwards : Parallel Parking for Beginners

(Last Updated On: April 22, 2017)

Parallel parking for some reason has a bad rep. But it really is not something to get wound up about and it can be nearly perfected with practice. There is no need to drive around the block 15 times looking for a ‘pull through’ or ‘pull over’ spot in order to avoid parallel parking! Learning it is not that bad.


The thing is, experienced drivers just do it, and when it comes time to teach someone else how, we are often at a loss for words. What are we actually doing when we parallel park? Do we even know? Hopefully these tips can give a rough guideline, even if they can’t teach a new driver exactly what to do down to an exact science; driving has always been much more of an art and the most important thing is to simply keep practicing.


Basics First


1. Make sure to be familiar with the basics of reversing a car in a straight line, and to the left and right (and better yet, reversing in a U-turn shape and a Figure 8). If someone has not learned the basics of simple reversing of a car, then learning how to parallel park is going to be highly confusing; or it will be learned out of memorization without actually knowing how to properly do it and correct it if necessary. Read a bit about the basics of backing here.


Start with Calm


2. Start in a quiet residential neighbourhood and practice using one car only, so that you are parallel parking behind one car with nothing behind you. This is a lot less stressful than trying to park betw