Instructables

How to Parallel Park

Picture of How to Parallel Park
I am in the UK. We drive on the left and sit on the right.

If you insist on living somewhere foreign, where they do heathen things like painting taxis yellow instead of black, then you'll have to swap left-for-right and right-for-left.

When I say "left hand down", that means "turn the steering wheel anticlockwise". "Right hand down" means "turn the steering wheel clockwise", and "full lock" means "turn the steering wheel as far as you can.

 
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Step 1: Setting up your car.

Your car has mirrors. You need them.

Make sure that both your wing mirrors are adjusted so that you can just see your own car in them. Adjust the rear-view mirror so that your rear window appears central to the image.

Step 2: Find your space

Picture of Find your space
What do you do when you see a spaceman?

Park in it, man!

The ideal space is on a straight section of street, and is around a third longer than your car. With practice, you will be able to park in slightly shorter spaces without problem.

When you find your space, indicate left, slow down and drive past it. Stop about half a length past the space, with enough space between your car and the parked car for two sets of wing mirrors (about 30cm / a foot). Keep indicating left, and engage reverse gear.
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jackrackam7 years ago
Or you could buy a lexus and just use the Autmated Parking feature. And who's stupid idea was it to sit on the Right and drive on the left? And the taxi's are yellow so you can see them. It's common sense really. Not to mention spelling it "Color" makes a whole lot more sense then "Colour".
Ya know, you Americans just dumbed down a lot of English words to make it less confusing. Our way, is the "proper" way. No other country spells like that.
Actualy, the first edition of websters dictionary was written with misspelled words in order to give America an indepedent language, so they dropped letters in some words that didn't need them. Some alterations were made but they didn't make it into the official language.
Where could I learn more about that? 
Esmagamus rerat6 years ago
Totally loved it! :D
Ezza rerat7 years ago
I live in Australia and we use the same spellings as they do in the UK. We also drive on the left (correct) side of the road. Also, the "English" used in America was based off the British English and is a simplified, less correct way of spelling things.
rerat Ezza7 years ago
Yeah, that's exactly what I said;). I'm in Canada, we also spell words correctly. METRIC 4 lyfe.
Funny, I'm in America and I've always used the correct "British" spelling. And by parents and grandparents were born here, so it can't possibly be that.
Kiteman (author)  jackrackam7 years ago
We sit on the right so we can reach out of the window with our sword arm...LOL Anyhoo, if you drive on the left and sit on the right, you are nearer the centre of the road and can see further, and see oncoming traffic. The same goes for driving on the right and sitting on the left.
That's the best excuse I ever heard xD
Kiteman (author)  jackrackam7 years ago
jackrackam : " Not to mention spelling it 'Color' makes a whole lot more sense then 'Colour'. "

Yeah, and also, not to mention spelling it "than" makes a whole lot more sense than "then" ;-P

About driving on the left instead of the right, i'm still wondering what trick they use in Eurotunnel ...
Kiteman (author)  chooseausername7 years ago
i'm still wondering what trick they use in Eurotunnel

Trains.
lol Actually, i've just discovered that french trains also drive on the left :-P
i like how we, AMERICKA, spell color but how UKians, yes made up word, spell armour armor is whimpy... good instructable to you UK kid
xerxesx204 years ago
"noisy object balanced on top." Like the missus favourite really ugly tea set. Nicely written 'ible once again Kitey. England rules the world! (did at one point anyways, biggest empire ever known!)
Forgot to mention: I also like your "new" (new to me anyways) avatar Kiteman.
What?? They have black taxis in Great Briton?
Kiteman (author)  Lithium Rain6 years ago
No, we have Black Cabs in Great Britain. If we had them in Great Briton, he would need surgery to have it removed.

;-)
Rsssssp :P All those times I pointed our your typos are coming back to haunt me...
Kiteman have typos? That umpossible!
Kiteman (author)  Lithium Rain6 years ago
> silly grin <
ggiihh15 years ago
I turned the parking car into a gif not sure if it'll work but i was bored
parking car.gif
Quite often in a hatchback it'll line up with the middle hump where the wiper comes out of, this is stillf resh for me, was just passing through, funny many instructors teach a different way of doing it, this is my preffered method though, bay parking is another one that many instructors teach the complicated way...
mikesty7 years ago
Well, at least our clocks turn the same way. Good advice though, just flip it around and it'd work here in America. I never have had to parallel park and won't have to for some time, thus I don't really know how to do it.
I have to parallel park almost every time I drive.
CameronSS7 years ago
Wow! First Instructable I've seen that used graphics instead of photos that was actually good! Nice! And I don't "insist" on living in a foreign country. I'd much rather be in the UK. And half the taxis where I live are white, though they are from Yellow Cab company.
They should have picked a more pratical colour that gets less dirty. Oh... I forgot there's almost no diesel smoke to worry about there.
Kiteman (author)  CameronSS7 years ago
Thankyou. It was that or keep jumping of my car and standing on a wall to take photos.

I live on a narrow street (built before the car was invented, heck, half of it was built before America was invented), so any such tricks would have caused ... comments.
ara6 years ago
We, in Romania, have learned to park on both sides of the street. What is a so big deal to park? I think is better to drive on right side because most people are righthanded and is easier to use CDplayer and gearshift (and ...) with right hand. Apologise for my english ... :)
Kiteman (author)  ara6 years ago
Your English is fine, Ara (better than certain natives).

The Instructable was needed because parking like this is a required part of some driving tests, yet it is a skill rarely-practised, thanks to the number of car-parks at shopping malls.
Well, not only it is not practised in driving school, driving instructors usually don't want to spend more fuel to teach you properly. In Portugal we also learn how to park in both sides of the street.
nice very detailed
txtsttoo7 years ago
Well done, this really was very Informative yes and since I live in MALTA ( EUROPE )I kindly ask if you,Kiteman can send me some tips on parking please, I just got my driving lesson's but I guess your tip's will help me a lot -- by the way here in Malta have the same rule's as U.K - Our cousins ..! Thank's again. Jerry.
Kiteman (author)  txtsttoo7 years ago
You've got my tips in the Instructable, Jerry. If you're just learning, though, the best person to talk to is your instructor, who can show you directly.
Nice instructable!! This will come in handy. :-)
You use your mirrors to help parallel park? Interesting. Never done that before and I can parallel park with just a foot to spare while on a hill. Not trying to brag, it's just what you have to do when you're living in San Francisco.
Kiteman (author)  fungus amungus7 years ago
Unless your car is a really wierd shape, you need your mirrors to check you have no small children running under your rear wheels, plus bits of other peoples' cars stick out in places you can't see over your shoulder.
It's OK, I brake for screams. I kid, I kid. I really just have a good feel for my car and good visibility out my windows.
I will sometimes use my mirrors. They're definitely necessary if you're parking a car you're not highly familiar with the dimensions of. I can parallel park my own car without a problem, but put me in someone else's car, and it can be a lot trickier.
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