Posted by: barry | September 2, 2007

How to be a pro parker? (Part 2: Parking Technique)

In Part 1 of How to be a pro parker, you have learned how to find car park in the fastest way in peak hour. In this part 2, you will learn how to park your car in the easiest and most efficient way!

After you have found an empty parking lot, the next thing you have to do is to park your car into that lot. Now you have two choices, that is to park with your car front in first, or you reverse parking your car. Which one is better? Which one you always use to?

Parking with the front in first is definitely easier than reverse parking. This is one of the reasons why there is a lot of people park front in first. But with condition a bigger space is in front of the parking lot for both in and out.

What if the space is rather small or limited? And you are those people who have less patients always rushing especially going back? A limited space in front of parking lot would definitely hard to park front in and reverse out.

This part 2 will teach you the technique to reverse parking quickly and precisely. The main tools to use are the 2 sides mirror and the middle back mirror. If you do not use the mirrors while reverse parking, I can be sure you are not a good reverse parker! Then you shall read on.

Perpendicular Parking – Back Reverse Parking

Perpendicular Parking - taken from www.ulv.edu/masterplan/parking.phtml
Perpendicular Parking

Most shopping complex’s parking lots are designed where cars are parked side by side. Generally, when we are in the car path lane, the cars are parked horizontally at both sides of the lane. To reverse parking, we have to go beyond the empty lot and reverse park in. Illustration below shows the mistake people make most while they go beyond the empty lot to reverse parking.

Perpendicular Parking - Reverse 1

In illustration 1, you have to make several attempts reversing and forwarding before you can park in the lot. While in the illustration 2, you can park into the lot with only one time reversing. Steps below shows you how:

Pependicular Parking - Reverse 2 Step 1, to drive beyond the emtpy lot preparing reverse parking, first drive near to car beside. Once the corner of your car passes the corner of that car, turn your steering to left.
Pependicular Parking - Reverse 3 While turning the steering to left, look at your left & right side mirror. When your car is at the location where the left side mirror shows the right corner of the left car and the right mirror shows the left corner of the right car, stop forwarding.
Pependicular Parking - Reverse 4 Now change your gear to (R)everse gear. While reversing, start turning the steering to right and once again, looking at both left and right side mirror to make sure you are in the correct position, not scratching your car and the cars beside. Straighten the steering once the car is in-line with the cars beside.
Pependicular Parking - Reverse 5 To make sure you don’t go beyond the line, don’t wait for the reverse signal to beep. Instead notice your car front and make an estimation or/and look at the car parked at the side. One thing I hate are those small kancil or kelisa park til so deep inside that from far it looks like there is an empty lot in front. But when you reach the lot, you will start reading out sutra! Making an estimation using the car front is easy and it won’t go beyond the line behind because a car park lot is designed so that it can fit in any kind of general car. Of coz if you are driving a lorry or an Estima, it might be different!

Next we will look at how easy side reverse parking is.

Parallel Parking – Side Reverse Parking

Parallel Parking - taken from auto.howstuffworks.com/self-parking-car.htm

Parallel side reverse parking is a nightmare for most of the beginners. Why? Because the technique we learned from the driving schools is just for us to past the exam. Side reverse parking is very easy again if you make full use of the side and back mirrors. For side reverse parking, the way it go beyond the empty parking lot is contradict to Back Reverse Parking.

Parallel Parking - Reverse 1

In illustration 1, the car would be hard to park in the lot and it might block the in-coming car from behind. To have a precise side reverse parking, first park your car side by side with car in front of the empty lot. Well, the technique is more or less the same as what we learn in driving school. The different is that there is no stick/pole or tiang instead other people’s expensive car which you have to pay for if you bump into their car! Besides, the school just teach us a fixed technique while not teaching us how to look at the mirrors.

Parallel Parking - Revese 2 Before you park side by side with car in front the empty parking lot, make sure there is a space between the cars. Don’t park too near or too far as you might scratch your own car while reversing later.
Parallel Parking - Reverse 3 After your car is park side by side, shift to (R)everse gear. While reversing the car, turn the steering to left and keep looking on the left side mirror making sure there is enough space between the cars and you are not scratching the left side of your car! Look at the middle mirror making sure there is no people, or children passing by or standing behind.
Parallel Parking - Reverse 4 While looking at the middle mirror for any obstacle behind, notice also that the left corner of the car behind is at the center of the middle mirror. Meaning your car is in line with the left corner of the car behind. Once it is done so, straiten the steering and continue reversing your car.
Parallel Parking - Reverse 5 Start turning the steering to right (max) once your car’s front left corner past the rear right corner of the car in front. Continue reversing.
Parallel Parking - Reverse 6 Continue reversing until you heard the reverse signal beeping! Shift the gear to D, and turn the steering to left (max) to park into the lot.
Parallel Parking - Reverse Full Shift the gear to (P)arking and straighten the steering once your car is parked into the lot.

The steps above are also applied to right side parallel reverse parking, just change the steering direction’s left to right and right to left!

After learning how to back and side reverse parking, now you have no problem reverse parking and I believe you will have more confident next time you park your car. Nonetheless, practise makes perfect! Words of advise – don’t forget to use your side and back mirror while reverse parking.

End of part 2 – technique to park efficiently. Don’t forget to practice with your side and back mirror. Part 3 is coming, do come back :)

 Reference:
Wikipedia – Parking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parking)
Car image taken from http://www.airflowinc.net/brum.htm
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Responses

  1. Excellent demonstration! Thanks a lot!

  2. Hi Sir. It was nice to read this. Can you consider doing a step by step technique on how to go front in. I know you said it was easy, but I’m having some difficulty (more so when I am parking the car to the left side of me, since I can’t see how much room I have and don’t want to scratch or hit cars parked beside.

  3. Tho I’ve gotten my license 2 years ago, i still have problem when it comes to parking correctly. I did scratch my aunt’s car when i parked at carrefour (no cars were scratched, just the red tiang T_T) and now that i finally got a new car, i’m still having doubts on whether i can ever park a car correctly! thanks for the techniques, will be trying them ;)

  4. Good illustration! Wait for more driving technique illustration to come!

  5. Its Really Awesome & Superb…….

  6. I’m learning how to reverse parking and this is excellent tutorial.

    However, I have one note and I wish you will teach me if I’m wrong.

    With the first case, Perpendicular Parking, I could do with my car in 90 degree of the road side. Is it incorrect as illustrated, or is it simply not recommended for weak driver?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Cars,

      Really sorry for the “near a year old” reply!

      Well, it is just not recommended. The reason why a 45 degree is better because you can use your side mirror to look whether you are in the right position to turn in.

      While a 90 degree can be done so, but you take several attempt to park your car in.

      Happy that the articles helps :)

  7. Nice article. It was very helpful for me as I am beginner to the driving.

  8. In step 1 of the ‘Prpendicular Parking’ procedure you stated: “beyond the emtpy lot preparing reverse parking, first drive near to car beside. Once the corner of your car passes the corner of that car …”

    Did you mean: “FRONT RIGHT corner of your car passes the FRONT LEFT corner of that car”

    Thanks a lot for your help

    • Yes Marju, once your FRONT RIGHT corner of your car passes the FRONT LEFT corner of that car (as illustrated), you need to steer your steering to the left.

      Cheers. :-)

  9. Thank u so much.. The illustration helped a lot. Can u plz post how to perpendicular park a car in the drive mode?? I know its damn easy for a person who can do the above two parking. But its for my brother where i can explain the parking point by point. thank u once again.

    • Hima, its easy. For forward perpendicular parking,

      always remember 3 steps: left – right – left; or right – left – right!

      For LEFT turning D parking, before turning in, take good care of your car’s front RIGHT corner – make sure it has enough space to turn in without scratching the car on the right. Once your car is about half in, look at the LEFT side mirror making sure your side door does not scratched by the “rear-right-corner” of the car on your left! Then straiten your steering.

      If your car is not in a strait position, you might want to reverse your car again and move forward one more time.

      For right turning D parking, just change the above LEFT to RIGHT, or RIGHT to LEFT!

      Always remember, LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT (for left turning perpendicular parking), or RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT (for right turning perpendicular parking).

      Cheers :-)

  10. [...] near two years since my last blog. And I can’t believe that people do read my articles on parking like a pro and left comments with interest and [...]

  11. Yes we are reading it haha.

    I just always find that it is hard to tell when going in front first (perpendicular parking left turning and I am driving in the left side of the car in Canada) how much room I have at my disposal. I wish I could use some mirrors to tell me if I am going to scrape the other person’s car on my right. I know that the best thing to do is get the best angle possible going in, but this is frequently hard to do I find in small stingy parking lots. I wish I had better spacial awareness.


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