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improve parking

How can I improve parking?

My name’s Eddie from Spot On Driving and I am a qualified Driving Instructor.

In this Blog I am going to discuss parking and how some people struggle with it. I’ll cover how you can make it easier for yourself to be safe, accurate and confident to Bay Park or Parallel Park your car.

We have many enquiries from drivers, who ask how they can improve their parking skills, in particular their accuracy when Bay Parking or Parallel Parking. They are concerned about parking accurately in carparks and supermarkets or parking between cars on the street (Parallel Parking).

Some drivers worry about being embarrassed, having accidents or being unable to perform the manoeuvre. Consequently, they may drive around for periods of time searching for easy places to park, some distance from where they want to be. Some drivers even opt to take public transport, so they are not put in a tricky, embarrassing situation.

Parking far away from your destination, when it’s raining, cold or windy, or when you have young children, babies and shopping, is an option we want to help you to solve.

So, how can you learn how to improve your parking and become confident in all parking situations?

There are many sources of information available to you, something to suit everyone.

Driving the Essential Skills and The Highway Code will explain how to reverse safely. Controlling your vehicle at a very slow speed and looking around lots will keep you and other road users safe. Always imagine that there is a vulnerable person about to appear and this will help remind you to keep checking all around. A learner driver would not pass their driving test if they reversed too quickly or did not check around them sufficiently.
There are numerous YouTube videos explaining how to Bay Park and Reverse Park. You will need to select one that suits you and the way you learn, then watch and re-watch as many times as you think you need to, before going out in your car to practice.

When practicing a Bay Park manoeuvre, start of using a quiet car park. Maybe go along to your local Village Hall in the evening when no-one is around.

To practice Parallel Parking, you do not necessarily need to use other cars. Stop your car in the middle of the road, far enough away from the kerb, as if a car is parked next to you. Then steer towards the kerb and aim to pull up alongside the kerb. Keep practicing and note what the angles look like in the left door mirror. You will eventually start to improve.

Blind Spot mirrors are a great help when parking. They only cost a few pounds and easily stick onto your door mirrors. You’ll be able to see the kerbs and other vehicles close to you much easier. This can give you the confidence that you are not going to clip other vehicles.

This video explains in detail how to perform a Parallel Park:

Watching videos can be a great way to learn. This one demonstrates the exact way to accurately and safely perform the manoeuvre, making it simple for you to learn.

It shows how you:

  • Pull up alongside the target vehicle
  • Reverse back a little so you can’t clip the car
  • Steer full lock towards the kerb
  • How much angle you need, and how to know you have that angle
  • When to steer the other way
  • When to finish / straighten the steering

It also covers observations and priority.

It might help you to make simple notes to remind yourself.

Why not watch it now? Go out and have a go! Let me know how you get on!

My advice though, is to have one or two sessions with a driving instructor.
H/she will observe how you already manage the manoeuvre, then give you some structured advice that is pertinent to you. The advice you require may be something as simple as getting a better starting position or getting more of an angle on your car.

I hope this information helps you. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Eddie Winterburn
Spot On Driving School

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