Parallel Parking

Theory Test Pro in partnership with Dave Harrison Driver Training

Probably the easiest of the manoeuvres. The reason I don’t teach this until after the other manoeuvres is because it involves someone else’s car and so I need to be sure that people are confident at manoeuvring slowly and looking all around before we try it. It’s probably the easiest one to do because it’s exactly the same routine every single time and never really varies once you have got the basic reference points locked in your mind.

The examiner will normally ask you to pull in by the side of the road and then, once you’ve stopped, ask you to reverse in to the space behind a car that they will point out to you. In this case it’s the pale green Corsa ahead.

You can be asked to do this between two cars or behind a single car but more often than not it would be behind a single car for reasons of safety and because it’s often difficult for an examiner to judge that there is enough space to carry out the manoeuvre between two cars as you are driving towards them.


Once you’ve made sure that it’s safe, convenient and legal to do the manoeuvre, drive up alongside the other car while checking your mirror to see that it’s clear behind and leaving about a door’s width of space between  cars. If you do see something behind you then flick on a left signal to let the driver behind know that you are going to slow down.

Keep your wheels dead straight and line up your door post with the windscreen of the other car just like the picture below. This isn’t too critical but if you get it just right it means your starting point will be the same for each attempt.

Get into reverse as soon as you can so that your reversing lights will come on and then anyone behind will know what you are about to do. Then look all around. If it’s OK to reverse then start to move back very slowly, looking backwards until the door post is level with the rear end of the other car as in the picture below. At this point get a look over your right shoulder to clear your blindspot and then turn hard LEFT.

When your car is at 45 degrees to the kerb as in the picture below, STRAIGHTEN the wheels. An easy way to know when your wheels are straight is to turn the wheel until the Ford badge on the steering wheel is level twice. It’s probably better though to look outside and see that the car is reversing straight.

Now you need to know how far back to go before you have to turn again.

Look at the other car and wait until the end of your door mirror is level with the badge on the other car just like the picture below. When you reach this point turn hard RIGHT and if you’ve kept the speed down then you should end up at about the right distance from the kerb. It can also be useful to look in your side mirror and check where the kerb is.

You now need to get the car parallel to the kerb. To do this you need to keep looking backwards and forwards until you can see that the car is parallel. All you have to do now is straighten the wheels, making sure that you don’t go so far back that you can fit another Fiesta in between your car and the other one.

All the time you are doing this manoeuvre you need to keep checking around to make sure that you aren’t causing a problem to anyone else. If a car should approach the best thing to do is usually to stop and wait to see what the other car will do. If they are prepared to wait, carry on and finish off the parallel park. If it looks like they are trying to squeeze past, let them go and then finish off once they are past.


So in summary;

Line up

Reverse until your door post is level with the back of the other car and turn HARD LEFT

At the 45 degree point STRAIGHTEN THE WHEELS

Go back straight until the end of your door mirror is level with the centreline (the makers badge) of the other car and then turn HARD RIGHT

Look backwards and forwards until your car is parallel with the kerb and then STRAIGHTEN THE WHEELS


That’s what Jessica did!

Parallel Park, right first time!

Theory Test Pro in partnership with Dave Harrison Driver Training