If you don’t work in valet parking services, parallel parking can be tricky. It has made a name for itself as the bane of every teen’s driver’s test, and many veteran drivers still avoid it at all costs.
With the advent of advanced driving technology, this part of parking is easier to circumnavigate, but it hasn’t yet become obsolete, and chances are you’ll need to face it someday.
Unparalleled Parking, your local Minneapolis valet company, is here with a few tips below.
We’re parallel parking pros, but none of our drivers got that way by speeding through the learning process. Though it can feel like all eyes are on you when you’re trying to parallel park between real cars, you need to take it at a relaxed pace at first to get your angles right.
The nice thing about parallel parking: You can pause and think whenever you need to. Which isn’t something that’s allowed in other avenues of driving, such as on the freeway.
Select the Right Sized Parking Spot
The first step to parallel parking is selecting the right spot for your vehicle. One mistake that beginners make is that they chose a spot that is too small for their car.
If you select a small spot that is too tight for your vehicle, it will be a frustrating experience trying to park your car. You may even accidently hit a car trying to park!.
One tip from the pros is to select a spot that is one and a half times bigger than your vehicle. Anything smaller will require pro level skills.
Avoid the frustration of trying to fit your car into the spot by starting with a spot that is big enough to begin with!
Pull Beside the Vehicle in Front of the Parking Spot
Once you have found an appropriately sized spot, it’s time to park! Line up your vehicle adjacent to the car that is parked in front of the spot.
Take your time with this because you don’t want to accidentally hit the car. Be sure to look around your vehicle, and use your turn signal to let other drivers know that you are parking.
When you line up your car next to the vehicle in front of the spot, leave about two to three feet of space between your car and the parked car. If a call pulls up behind your vehicle, they should see the lights on your car and know that you are parking.
You can always roll down your window and signal for any drivers to go around you.
Turn Your Wheel to the Right
Many people mess up this step, which results in you having to take more time to park than necessary. When sitting adjacent to the parked car, turn the wheel as far as it can go to the right.
It is important that you do not do any additional turning at this point, because you need to turn the wheel all the way to the right to shift the car into position for parallel parking.
Keep your vehicle at a complete stop while you are turning your wheel to the right. A half a turn to the right will not give you the correct angle to park.
It’s All About the 45 Degree Angle
There’s no magic trick to parallel parking quickly, but there is a magic number, and it’s 45 – specifically in degrees.
When approaching your parking spot in reverse, you want your vehicle to be roughly at a 45 degree angle with the curb before you straighten out and begin to back in. You’ll see this number crop up in a variety of ways when it comes to this parking method.
Consider watching a bird’s-eye demo of the process online, and see how many you can find! The more reference points you have, the better.
Turn Your Wheel to the Left
Now that you have successfully backed to the curb, it is time to turn your wheel to the left as far as it can go. Check your mirrors constantly and straighten your vehicle into the parking spot.
If you are parking in snowy conditions, slower is better!
Practice Makes Perfect
We know it’s a cliche, but cliches earn their stripes for a reason. The more opportunities you get to parallel park, the more quickly you’ll become adept at it.
If the place you’re going to has a parallel parking opportunity, take it – even if standard parking is available. If you’re really dedicated, you can even practice at home.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is once you’ve grasped it. If you put in the time, parallel parking will begin to feel like second nature.
Yes, it does get easier!
Unparalleled Parking: Minneapolis-St. Paul Valet
From corporate valet services to hotel valet services, our team has the skills and the service-minded manners to park wherever they find themselves. Give our Minneapolis office a call today at 651-300-1515.