Parking a car can often be quite tricky to master. In fact, recent research carried out by the British Parking Association (BPA) revealed that 59% of drivers named people who park badly and block more than one space as one of their biggest frustrations.

While the French car manufacturer, Citroen, found that 65% of drivers will search for another parking space with no other cars nearby to avoid tackling a tricky one.

What a kerfuffle! The good news is that we’ve put together a few top tips on how to park a car. Hopefully, it’ll prevent a few grey hairs in the process too!

How to parallel park?

For some, reverse parallel parking can cause a lot of unwanted stress. First, you need to gauge the space between the two cars, and then you have to carry out the manoeuvre without delaying passing traffic for too long. That’s a lot to deal with, especially if you’ve only just passed your test!

Here are our top tips on how to parallel park:

  • First, check that the space is big enough – give yourself a minimum of 2ft (60cm) at both ends.
  • Next, indicate to let passing drivers know that you’re attempting to make the manoeuvre.
  • Move slowly forwards, aligning your car alongside the one that will be parked in front of you.
  • Once you’re set, start moving slowly backwards, until your front passenger window is in line with the end of the back passenger window of the parked car. Then start turning your steering wheel left or right. Use the rear view mirror to keep an eye on the car behind you and the nearside mirror to check how close you are to the kerb.
  • Once you’re clear of the one in front and you’re close to the kerb, turn the steering wheel the opposite direction to bring the front of your car closer to the kerb.
  • Straighten up the wheels by turning the steering wheel to the left or right again. Just avoid dry steering.

A Reversing Camera is the ideal extra to help you safely maneuver into tight spaces, essentially giving you another set of eyes!

How to bay park?

When you find a space at a car park, it’s very easy to simply drive into it. However, if you want a safer, easier route out of the parking space and remove the stress of trying to magically see through cars when you leave, being a pro at bay parking comes in handy.

Here are our top tips on how to master it:

  • First, give yourself about a car’s width between your car and the bay you are reversing into. If applicable, drive three lines ahead of the space you’re aiming for, stopping when the third one aligns with the middle of your car.
  • Before moving, it’s important to check your blind spots and mirrors for passengers and impatient drivers.
  • Once it’s safe, reverse slowly, turning the wheel left or right when your car goes past the second (or far) line on the space next to yours. Just be aware of hazards as your car starts to swing-out.
  • Use your wing mirror to pick up the nearest line of the bay you’re parking in. As the car starts to move into the bay, the other line in the opposite wing mirror should appear.
  • Once you see both lines, straighten up the wheel and continue to reverse using all of your mirrors.
  • There should roughly be a foot spare either side of the car. If there isn’t, either adjust by turning your steering wheel left or right as you reverse, or drive forward and correct it before going back into reverse again. If you do choose to drive forward and correct your steering, be very vigilant for impatient drivers passing at speed.

For extra help maneuvering into tight bays, the Summit Easipark Parking Aid can help you do so without the need to constantly turn your head. Check out our full range of parking sensors online.

Want some more driving tips? Then check out our recent blog posts: ‘7 obscure driving laws you might be unaware of’ and ‘6 tips for driving long distances’.