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How to Reverse Parallel Park Perfectly: Step-by-Step Guide with Visuals for UK Learner Drivers

Parallel Park Start

Step One: Signal and Position Your Vehicle

Upon spotting a potential parking space, engage your left indicator to signal your intention. Position your vehicle parallel and slightly ahead of the car in front of the space, aligning your passenger side mirror with the other vehicle's front bumper. Ensure there's a gap of about 60 centimetres (two feet) from both the front and rear of your car to the surrounding vehicles.

Step Two: Ensure Safety and Reverse slowly

Check all around for traffic and pedestrians, ensuring it's safe to proceed. When clear, begin reversing slowly until your rear bumper is in line with the rear bumper of the adjacent parked car.

reversing car
turn the wheel straight

Step Three: Steering and Observation

After stopping, turn your steering wheel one full turn to the left. Check for hazards again, particularly mindful of the traffic that might pass behind you.

Slowly reverse back remembering to keep good all round observations until you are around 45° to the curb.

Step Four: Realigning with the Kerb

Now turn the steering wheel one full turn back to the right and reverse straight back until you "lose" sight of the curb in your nearside mirror.

Remember to continue those observations!

Speed is key with all our manoeuvres so remember to keep is slow and safe.

step4park
step 5 park

Step Five: Turning in.

As soon as you see the curb "disappear" in the nearside mirror turn the steering full lock to the right.

The front of the car will start to swing in towards the curb as you reverse so keep speed to a minimum and observations out of all windows and not just the mirrors! 

Step Six: Finishing Perfect

As you start to get parallel to the curb straighten the steering wheel, turn the steering wheel so you are staight and make minor adjustments to ensure you're parallel and close to the kerb. It's important that you're not too far from the kerb, ideally within about 30 centimetres.

Once satisfactorily parked, apply the handbrake and select neutral. This final step ensures that your vehicle is secure and properly positioned within the parking bay.

Parallel park Colchester

Top Tip: Practice 

Remember, when tackling reverse parallel parking, maintaining a slow and steady speed is key. It's not just about getting into the space; it's about doing it safely. Keep your speed low to have better control and time to react. Constantly make all-around observations to stay aware of your surroundings. And don't worry if you need to readjust – taking a minor adjustment is perfectly fine. It's better to correct your position than to rush and risk a mistake. Safe and steady wins the parking race!

A test pass with one minor is worth exactly the same as one with none!

Ready to start Driving lessons in Colchester or Clacton?

Ready to ace reverse parallel parking and become a safe, confident driver? Join our friendly driving school in Colchester and Clacton! Our experienced instructors are here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring you master not just parallel parking but all the essential driving skills. With our personalised approach and supportive environment, you'll enjoy learning and be test-ready in no time. Let's hit the road together and make your driving journey a success!

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