How to Reverse Into a Car Parking Space. It is almost inevitable that once you start driving, you will need to park in a parking spot. Most people drive in and back out. However, once you master the art of backing in, you will find it is much more convenient to be able to pull right out. This is a learned skill, and will need a lot of practice off-site in a remote location. Once you have practiced, and learned the skill, you will be able to park almost anywhere. Many people hastily park their cars in parking spots by driving into them rather than backing in. Although this technique is perfectly acceptable, it is often just as quick and easy to reverse park (back into a parking space). Many drivers find that backing into a parking space affords them more visibility when exiting the space. Because the front of your vehicle will be directed towards the parking lot, you will have a clearer view of your exit if you back into parking spaces instead of driving into them. Use the following steps to successfully and easily back into a parking spot.
Parking Your Car in Reverse
- Drive your car past the open spot. As you are doing this, turn your turn signal on so that cars behind you know to drive around. The open spot should always be on your right. Never park crossing over to the other side of the street. Your bumper should cover half of the end of the parking space.[
- Make sure to look out for pedestrians before you begin backing up.
- Put your car in reverse. Turn your wheel all the way to the right before you begin moving the car. Press on the gas gently as your car begins to turn. Because your wheel is all the way to the right, your car will move left when it is in reverse.
- Continue to look in your mirrors and check for pedestrians and the edges of the cars surrounding the parking space.
- Turn your car to the left until your car is parallel with the parking space, equidistant on both sides. After it is parallel, press on the brakes and hold your car steady. Turn your wheel so that your tires are now straight.
- Begin to back your car into the space. Check your mirrors first to make sure that there is enough room on both sides of the parking space. Do not back up if there are people behind you. Let the brakes go, and gently press on the accelerator with your car still in reverse. Let your car slowly move back into the space
- Take it slow. Continuously check the mirrors, and back out, if you are getting too close to one of the cars on the sides.
- Stay aware of your surroundings as you reverse. As you’re backing into the spot, use your left and right mirrors, but also turn and look back, tilting your head to your right shoulder to check for other cars and pedestrians.
- Adjust your car. Switch between forward and reverse, moving a few inches at a time. Turn your wheel either way. You want the space on both sides of your car to be even. Once your car is safely backed into the space, put your car into park and turn off the engine
- Get out of your car. Open the driver’s door slightly to see whether there is enough room to get out. You may have to hold the door only slightly open as you get out. Make sure not to sling the door open, otherwise you could damage the car behind you. Once you are out, lock your car and you are good to go
- Exit your parking space. Turn your car on and put it in forward. Go forward slightly as you press on the accelerator. As you begin to creep out of your parking space, tilt your head forward to make sure there are no cars or pedestrians coming by. Continue out of the space straight until your bumper is fully past the cars on either side.
- Turn your wheel whatever direction you want to go and press on the accelerator.
Parallel Parking Your Car
- Find an empty parking spot. Make sure that the space is big enough to hold your car. It will have to be at least 25% longer than the length of your car. You will also want to check for fire hydrants, yellow edges on sidewalks, or handicap signs as to why the space might be left empty.
- Turn your blinker on to the right. This will allow other cars behind you to drive around. Pull up next to the car in front of the empty spot. You want to be as close to the other car as possible, not more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) away. Ensure that the front of your car is the same distance from the car next to you as the back of your car (don’t slant your car at an angle). Your bumper should line up directly parallel to the car next to you
- Put your car in reverse. Start backing up slowly until your head is parallel with the wheel of the car to your right. Press on the brake and hold your car steady. Turn your steering wheel as far as it will go clockwise. Look over your left shoulder as far as you can and start backing up again. Keep backing up until you can see the front wheel of the car behind you in your right mirror.
- Your car should now be positioned at a 45 degree angle into the parking space. Press on your brake and steady your car.
- Turn your wheel all the way counter-clockwise. Do this while maintaining your foot on the brake. When it has moved as far as it will go, begin backing up again slowly. Glance from front to back to ensure that you are not going to bump the car in front or the car in back
- Continue to back up until you are parked. If you either bump into the curb, or get too close to the car in back of you, turn the top of the wheel to the right again and pull forward slowly. Steer your car into the proper position.
- Exit your vehicle. Leave space in front and behind to allow yourself and the other people to get out of the parking spots. If you park very far forward or back and another car parks very close to you, you will be too tight to get out of your spot, so don’t forget to leave that space. If done correctly, you should leave no more than 12 inches from the curb to your car
Exiting Your Parallel Parking Space
- Turn your car on. Put your car in reverse, and go back 10-12 inches. Do this very slowly and check your rearview mirror to make sure you don’t bump into the car behind you. Press on your brake and hold your car steady. Now turn your left blinker on before your next move.
- Turn your wheel all the way to the left. Put your car into forward and slowly press on the accelerator. Your car should begin to turn left. Do this until your car is at a 45 degree angle in the parking space. Make sure that you are always checking your side and rearview mirrors. Press on your brake and steady your car
- Steady your wheel until your front tires are straight. Go forward slightly, looking to the left and right for oncoming cars. Drive your car forward until your bumper has passed the car in front of you
- Turn your wheel back to the left. Press on the accelerator and go forward as you leave the parking space. Make sure as you turn your wheel that you do not run into parked cars on your right
This is how to reverse park the easiest way. When you successfully park the vehicle, shift the car into the park mode and exit the car. Avoid crowded parking lots until you master the skill and gain enough confidence. Otherwise, you may injure someone or cause an accident.