Lesson Plan 14 - Parallel Parking
Reverse Parking / Parallel Parking
It is easier to manoeuvre your vehicle when reversing into a parking space and you will need much less space than if driving forwards.
Choose somewhere safe, legal and convenient. Do not park where your vehicle will make it awkward for other road users to pass. Do not park where it would be illegal i.e. on yellow lines or zig zag markings. Be particularly mindful of pedestrians before reversing, especially children who are more likely to step out behind your vehicle.
You should practise with just one car until you have gained experience before reversing in between parked cars.
Be prepared to stop when pedestrians are around and continue when safe.
What happens on the driving test?
You will be asked to pull up and stop next to the kerb a short distance behind a parked vehicle that you will use for the exercise. You will normally carry out the manoeuvre with just one car rather than in between two parked cars. You should aim to reverse behind the target vehicle taking up no more than two car lengths and ending up as close as possible to the kerb with wheels straight.
Start position on test
Move off from behind target vehicle and stop parallel to the parked car about a car door clear and with the front of your car slightly beyond the parked car as on diagram below. When stopping follow the M-S-M routine and apply the left signal if you think anyone will benefit. When you stop, apply your handbrake and keep your brake lights showing until selecting reverse gear to confirm your intentions.
Beginning the manoeuvre
Using the P.O.M. routine at each point
Prepare, Observation, Move.
To control speed try having the clutch pedal just at or near the bite, and take into account any slopes including the camber of the road which may affect your speed. You may find it easier to turn slightly in your seat to help with observations out of the rear window.
Check all round to make sure it is clear to begin manoeuvre.
Oncoming traffic - cyclists and pedestrians would have priority, check driveways and other parked cars to see if anyone is about to pull out. Look over your left shoulder as you reverse.
Steer in a straight line until the rear of your car is level with the bumper of the target vehicle - you can turn when you see the end of the target vehicle in your rear side window. Steer at least one full turn to the left.
ObservationsBefore turning your wheel check ahead for oncoming traffic as the front of your car will swing out as you turn (stop if necessary). As the front swings out check over your right shoulder for oncoming vehicles/pedestrians etc. (stop if necessary). This is the point where you create the greatest hazard to other road users.
At the point where you are approximately 45 degrees as on the diagram - steer to the right until your wheels are straight (if you gave one full turn to the left then one full turn to the right will straighten the wheels). Reverse back in a straight line very slowly and turn briskly to the right before hitting the kerb until the car is straight. When your car is almost parallel to the kerb, then steer to the left to straighten the wheels. Ensure observations are made if more moves are needed to park.