Hawkwell Driving School - Driving lessons in Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge.    Tel. 01702 204674

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How to parallel park around a parked car:

The examiner will stop you at the side of the road and give you the following instruction:

Examiner's instruction:
"I now want you to pull up alongside the next parked car, Stop, and reverse park next to the kerb behind it. Within 2 car lenghs of the vehicle."

How to do it: (Please also see the manoeuvres-general page)
Pull up alongside your target car about one metre away and with the back bumpers level. When it is clear all around, start to move and turn-in one turn. Stop when the kerb behind you disappears in the right hand corner of the rear window (or the point on the nearside wheel-arch (white triangle) on the Fiesta using the top side mirror): Take more all-round observation at this point. Then turn full-lock right as you continue towards the nearside kerb. Keep the lower point of the white triangle (our car only) tracking along the base of the kerb.



Remember to keep looking over your left shoulder as much as possible, and keep stopping to check up and down the road. Also stop when you are about two thirds of the way in to check how close to the kerb you are. At this point it is very easy to make a correction. If necessary you can shunt forwards at least twice to correct it, or re-align it, if you are unsure. If you do shunt forwards make sure that it is enough to be useful.

You should be looking over your shoulder – out of the rear window at least half of the time when reversing. Take all round observation at all STOP points. To pass, you must parallel park within an imaginary gap of two car lengths, and you should normally finish within 30cm from the kerb.

If you are asked on test to do this manoeuvre between cars, the gap will normally be a minimum of three car lengths, so you won't be pushed for space. But to keep within your test criteria you still need to do it in 2 car lengths.

If you become parallel to the kerb more than 30cm away you will need to make an adjustment. You should straighten the steering wheel and move forwards as far as you can towards the car in front. Bring the front out if you can, or at least keep parallel to the kerb (if you bring the front in, it means the back is pointing out).

Then reverse again turning the steering hard left towards the kerb. Then, when you have closed off the gap between your car and the kerb, turn full lock right quickly to bring the car parallel to the kerb again and finish the manoeuvre.

If you hit the kerb, or think you may go up a driveway (just as serious as going up the kerb, and will normally fail you). Stop. Then pull forwards to give yourself more space. Then come back in again trying to keep the triangle marker tracking the kerb.

If you want you can finish with your wheels turned fully to the right. This also makes it easier to pull away afterwards.


Teaching people to drive for over 30 years! Professional driving lessons with
Alan J Barker BA DSA ADI. Covering Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge areas