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How to Parallel Park in Reverse

Some drivers can parallel-park like a pro. A flick of the knob here, a little turn there, and presto! Perfect alignment. For the rest of the driving world though, parallel parking can be synonymous with hellish, nightmarish, or whatever-ish connotes eternal suffering. If only things were this easy:


Parallel parking can be overwhelming, but the key is to plan your maneuver, take it slow, and not panic. Here is a step-by-step guide on the proper way to reverse-park your car.

  • Find a parking spot wide enough to get your car into. If a space is too narrow, avoid it. Even if you park successfully, you may not have enough room to get out of your car.
  • When you find a good spot, slow down and turn your hazard lights on, then come to a full stop beside the car you are parking behind of. Make sure your right side mirror aligns with the left side mirror of the other car. Put your car in neutral.
  • Check the left side of your vehicle for any obstruction.
  • Press on the brakes, then put your car in reverse while continuing to check your mirrors.
  • Slowly turn your steering wheel clockwise while easing your foot off the brake pedal. Make sure you keep your eyes on the right passenger side mirror as you are backing so you can maintain a safe distance between your car and the car in front. Keep backing your car at an angle very slowly, with your foot ready to step on the brakes as needed.
  • Continue backing until you bring your rear tire less than a foot away from the sidewalk. Don’t let your car hit the curb. If you do, then you’ve gone too far, and will need to move your car forward a few feet to try again.
  • When you reach the ideal distance from the curb, step on the brakes, then turn your steering wheel counter-clockwise to finish reversing in.
  • Once you’re completely parallel with the vehicles in front and behind you, straighten your steering wheel to the neutral position.
  • Finally, inch your car forward to complete the parallel park.
  • Turn off the hazard lights and engine, and alight from your vehicle.

Hopefully, when you’re done, your parking effort will look like this:


If it doesn’t–well, practice makes perfect, as they say; as long as you don’t shy away from the challenge, you could soon find yourself able to parallel-park like a boss.

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