How to Parallel Park Perfectly

How to Parallel Park in San Diego, CA

Many drivers dread parallel parking. Trying to fit into a tight space between two other vehicles can be a real challenge, but with the right instructions and a little practice, you can become an expert at parallel parking. National City car insurance professionals offer some tips on the proper way to parallel park.

Find a Parking Spot

An ideal parallel parking spot is about one and a half times the length of your car. Don’t worry about measuring the space precisely. After some practice, you should be able to determine if you can easily fit into a spot. The bigger the space is, the easier it will be to parallel park.

Line Up Your Car Properly

Pull up next to the car in front of the spot you want, lining up your passenger side door with the parked car’s driver side door. Pull up closely next to the car (but not too close), as if there is a parking space divider between both vehicles. Check your side view mirrors and look behind you to make sure there are no cars coming. Put on your right turn signal to indicate you’re attempting to park in the empty space. If cars do come up behind you, just allow them to pass or wave them on. Be patient and don’t panic. Other drivers will understand what you are trying to do.

Reverse at an Angle

With your foot on the brake, put your vehicle in reverse and slowly let off the brake while turning the wheel to the right. This allows you to enter the space at an angle. Continue reversing, and once you’re about a foot away from the curb (still at an angle), or when you can see both headlights of the car behind you in your right side-view mirror, hit the brakes.

Straighten and Turn the Wheel the Opposite Way

Straighten your wheel out while still in reverse, and begin turning the wheel in the other direction to slowly straighten your car out, bringing the front of your car into the space. If you have a rear backup camera, use it to make sure you don’t hit the curb or the car behind you.

Pull Forward and Adjust

At this point, your car should be mostly straight in the space, although you may be a bit close to the car behind you. Put the car in drive and pull forward a bit, making sure to leave enough room for the cars behind you and in front of you to pull out. About a foot of space on both sides is a good rule of thumb to follow. In addition, your car should ideally be about 6 to 8 inches away from the curb, and no more than a foot.

Minor fender benders often occur when parallel parking. Make sure you’re covered with adequate auto insurance by getting in touch with American Tri-Star. For free National City car insurance quotes or estimates on RV or motorcycle insurance, call 619-474-3900 to speak with one of our friendly agents.