Parallel Parking

Reverse Parallel Parking on the Left by A.D.I. Tharka Sen



Why is reverse parallel parking better than forward parallel parking?

Because on a vehicle with front wheel drive it is the front wheels that move, so there is more maneuverability reversing in. All that’s needed is to turn the steering to the left, the right and then straighten it. If you were to drive forward into the space a lot of driving back and forth would be necessary and chances are it would still not be correctly aligned with the kerb.



I recommend practicing with just the car parked in front to begin with and as your skill improves and you begin to feel more confident, practice between two vehicles. Also make sure that the place you have chosen to practice is in a quiet area.


 is the place you have chosen safe and legal?

 Make sure the space is at least one and a half to two lengths of your vehicle

 Signal left on approach to where you wish to park.

 Drive up along side the car that you intend to park behind.  Stop parallel to vehicle and leave 3 feet between your vehicle and the parked vehicle.

 Stop car at starting point and pull hand brake.


 Select reverse gear


 Look around again including blind spots on left and right side. Remember your observation must be done during the entire time you are doing the maneuver.


 Leave your left signal on while you do the maneuver


 As you reverse slowly and carefully turn the steering wheel to the left steadily as you reverse. This will need one full turn of the steering wheel.. (Don’t turn the steering to lock too quickly or your angle of turn will be out, which will mean there will be many unnecessary tries back and forth to get the angle of turn correct.)


 when your back wheel is about two and a half feet from the kerb start steering to the right again steer steadily as you reverse.


 when your front wheels are about two and a half feet from the kerb turn the steering wheel back to the left again which will straighten the wheels.




How will I know if I have completed the parking correctly?

You will know that you have done the maneuver correctly when the front and back tyres are between half a foot and one foot from the kerb. When you start to practice between two vehicles make sure you are parked centrally between both vehicles.



What happens if another vehicle pulls up too close behind you?

You move on and look for another space. Most of the time, the reason a vehicle would pull up too close behind is that you did not signal in good time which would allow the driver following you to react and hold back.


Who has right of way when I stop to do the maneuver?

You must yield to other road users and wait until your way is clear and safe. This does not mean waiting until the road is clear of all other road users. Remember you are an obstruction on your side of the road until you park, so do so without any unnecessary delay as you would with the left corner reverse.


Can I position my left wing mirror down so that I can see where the back tyre in relation to the kerb?

Yes, however you must remember to re-position your mirror before driving off again.


Can I reverse Parallel Park on the right hand side of the road?

I would not recommend doing this. There are two many aspects in doing this that make it unsafe. Firstly you would have to go the opposite side of the road to take up your start position facing the oncoming traffic. Secondly at the time that you would want to get back out on the road your view is blocked as the driver seat is at the kerb side. Thirdly when you would manage to make proper observation coming out of the space you have to cross back to the opposite side of the road

   We are always happy to help about any Driving and Motoring matter if humanly possible

Tharka Sen A.D.I.  Ex67670

Chairman Instructor Association UK

078613 9069-Mobile

01252 683124-Office

Parallel parking

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