Learning how to parallel park can be intimidating for any driver. Even experienced motorists may not use the skill all too often and may become rusty and in need of a refresher. We understand that it’s not the most necessary skill all the time, but parallel parking is an important part of being a driver and can save you the embarrassment of having to circle around the block searching for the perfect spot.
It can also save you money. The last thing any driver wants to do is damage another vehicle and possibly their own on something so easily avoidable. Whether you are taking notes before your upcoming driving test or just looking to sharpen your skills, we’ve got some tips to make parallel parking a whole lot easier next time around.
How To Parallel Park
No longer do you need to feel intimidated by the thought of parallel parking. This easy-to-use guide will help you safely park your vehicle and execute your parallel park job with ease. Here is what you need to know:
- Take your time. Take your time looking for the right spot. Take your time when performing the maneuver. Just take it nice and slow throughout the entire process. If something feels off, stop and reassess.
- Check the area and be sure that you are able to perform this maneuver. Be sure to check your mirrors and blind spots and always use your blinker. You’ll also want to be sure that your vehicle has ample space to not only park but readjust and safely exit your parking spot afterward.
- Pull up parallel with the vehicle directly in front of the spot you’ll end up parked behind. You’re going to want to give your vehicle and theirs about two to three feet of space so as to not side-swipe them.
- Once you’ve checked that you can safely do so, put your vehicle in reverse and begin to turn your vehicle’s tail into the empty space, and head towards the curb. Slowly straighten your vehicle and continue towards the curb but be careful not to overrun it nor hit the side of the vehicle you were parallel with.
- When your car’s front is passed the back bumper of the vehicle that is going to be in front of you, you are going to want to turn your wheel to begin lining up between the two vehicles in your spot. Be sure to avoid hitting the vehicle behind you when lining up.
- From here, you are going to want to make sure you aren’t too far or too close to the curb. You’ll also want to stop and make sure that you and the other two vehicles in front and behind you will have ample space for leaving your respective parking spaces. Generally, when parallel parking, a vehicle’s wheels should be within 18 inches of the curb.
- Make any necessary adjustments so that you are in a safe place, and exit your vehicle when it is safe to do so.
If you’re more of a visual learner, Driving-Tests.org has multiple visuals on how to parallel park you may find helpful. Still, all tips aside, these steps are for educational purposes only. Always obey the laws of the road wherever you are driving and defer to the professional advice of your certified driving instructor.
Why Parallel Parking is Hard
Parallel parking comes with added risks, technical maneuvering, and the added pressure of the anxiety of knowing traffic and those around you are all watching. Practice makes perfect for any endeavor in life and parallel parking is no different. For many, this can be difficult, as while it may be an important skill depending on where you live and drive, some may find it more useful than others.
Having to perform such a task during a driving test can add an extra level of anxiety, especially with inexperienced drivers. It’s bad enough that the move is one of the more difficult tasks you’ll be asked to perform during your driving test, but now you also have someone inside the vehicle judging your every move.
The best thing you can do is practice if you can when you can, study up on the tips we’ve provided above, and remember to relax. It’s easier said than done but taking a deep breath and focusing can help you keep the nerves away and perform at your best. There are well over 17 million drivers in the Lone Star State, you can do this!
Will Parallel Parking Fail You in Texas?
Yes, hopeful drivers beware, parallel parking is an important skill and in the state of Texas, you’ll likely need to perform this task in order to gain your driver’s license. In all likeliness, softly touching the curb is not going to be the end of the world. You may lose a few points and it is ultimately up to the discretion of your instructor. But if you roll over the curb or hit another vehicle, it is very likely you’ll be required to repeat your driving test before receiving your license.
Which Cars Have Automatic Parallel Parking?
Vehicles have come a long way over the last few decades. As technology continues to grow, so too do the capabilities of our cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. Basically, if something has wheels, it’s getting better at using technology to improve things such as entertainment, navigation, and driving itself. This includes a slew of car manufacturers developing vehicles capable of parallel parking themselves.
Brands such as Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Tesla, and more, continue to push technology forward and are bringing automatic parallel parking to more drivers. If you are looking to uncomplicate things, the technology has been around for a few years now, and there are many different options available. Get started with this list of some of the best self-parking cars from J.D. Power.
Saving Money on Car Insurance Made Easy
If you are a driver in Texas, we’re hoping you’ll be a success at parallel parking, because you never know what situation you might find yourself in. We also know that if you are driving in the Lone Star State, you’re going to need car insurance. Even if you are looking to gain only the bare minimum coverage, Freedom Insurance Group is here to help you save money while staying protected.
How we help thousands of drivers save 40% on auto insurance premiums on average:
- We work for you, not an insurance brand. By comparing your rate among our 25+ top-rated insurance providers in our insurance center, we can pinpoint the cheapest car insurance for your coverage available.
- We find discounts for your needs. By bundling your car insurance with a homeowners insurance policy or combining your coverage with others in your home for a multi-policy discount, you get better protection for less. We even have various personal discounts you may qualify for such as military discounts and good student discounts for younger drivers.
- Our customer service is unmatched. There’s a reason we’ve been serving Texas since 2005. We love saving people money, but we also enjoy doing it professionally and timely. We hold a 5-star rating on Google reviews and are committed to making your insurance journey a seamless one.
The risk of driving without car insurance or having too little coverage is too great. Rising costs related to medical expenses, labor for repairing vehicles, and potential legal fees are reasons enough to safeguard your money with an auto insurance policy that works for you. Use our online tool for an instant auto insurance quote, or ask an agent to see how much you can save for protection.