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Advice on learning to park properly

Learning to park properly and safely is one of the essential skills of driving. If you cannot parallel park, then you face a long walk into busy town centres. Even simple parking needs to be done accurately. If you cannot park neatly in a single space at the supermarket then not only will you cause inconvenience for both yourself and other drivers, bit you will also put your car at risk of dents and dinks from other driver’s doors as they struggle to squeeze in.

Yet learning to park is easy if you are prepared to put in the time and effort to figure out how to do it properly.

Easy steps to perfect parking

First, you need to understand the fundamentals of your vehicle, such as its length and width. For example, you need to learn where the back of your car is when you look in the mirror. This may be at the back edge of the boot or spoiler that you can see, or it may be a few inches beyond. Similarly, if your bonnet curves away from you, you need to learn where the front bumper actually stops.

Once you understand the dimensions of your vehicle, you need to familiarise yourself with how it handles, including things like clutch control, steering and brakes. To do this, take yourself to an empty car park and just practice driving and manoeuvring at low speeds.

Practice, practice, practice

  • Call in the professionals

    Not to do the actual parking… but most driving schools offer extra parking lessons, where a professional instructor will teach you the techniques you need to parallel park safely and accurately. It normally only takes a lesson or two and its well worth the investment.

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