Parallel parking is easy


Yup. I dunno what it’s like stateside, but you know just as well as me rob, that you don’t get a licence here unless you can do that kind of thing. What is the driving test like Stateside, O Cousins?

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US test (WA state, anyway) is actually pretty similar to UK, theory based computer test thingy and a drive around plus a couple of reversing manoeuvres. I did get told by the examiner that my reverse around the corner was in his all time top 5 worst - but I still passed :slight_smile:


Except with these instructions you’d fail^H^H^H^Hbe marked down in the UK for excessive wear upon your tyres.

You should only be turning the wheel while the car is moving - in which case being stopped and going from centre to full lock or full lock to centre is a no-no.


And speaking as someone who often has to park in truly tight situations (4" or less front and back), I’ll add that you don’t really lose all that much trajectory by moving slightly while turning. Don’t know why the instructions are so domineering on that detail. For most of the parallel parking that most people do, there’s more than enough space available to not have to wear your tires out prematurely.

Besides, regularly hitting “full lock” left or right is not good for the steering system, either.

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I was taught one turn to the left when level with the front car, then two turns to the right once you got to 45 degs, never anything about full lock, and yep, don’t turn while not moving.

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I dunno. It seems to me that if you need detailed, written instructions on how to parallel park then maybe you should not be driving.


Full lock won’t do the slightest harm to your steering - the manufacturers have provided lock stops to protect the mechanism.

Well, that’s only if your car is recent-enough vintage to have that feature…

The steps listed miss that you must flip off the tailgating asshole behind you. I also suspect that cars like this may have contributed to the issue by reducing the margin of error.

Pretty much. Majority of my problems with parallel parking come from the people around me. They rarely understand that me coming to a stop in front of an empty space with my blinker on means I want to park. They instead interpret it as me deliberately blocking their path and creep up on my bumper with the horn blaring.

It’s a little better in dense cities where people are more used to what’s going on, but in the suburbs there are vast swaths of people who have never seen a parallel park in person and lose their shit.

“You already passed the empty spot, how could you possibly be trying to park in it?!”


That’s why I do all my parallel parking like this

It does lead to people being upset with me for driving on the wrong side of the road, but we can’t have everything.


Similar to my technique… I just close my eyes and say FSM take the wheel! Luckily his noodly appendage is quite adept at making the proper maneuvers.

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Judging by this thread, there is a precise mechanical formula for paralel parking - it’s just that nobody can actually decide what that formula is.

I have to sign in (“proving” I’m over thirteen) to read how to parallel park?

I think I’ll just continue on with my fender bending ways.

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Yeah, not signing into quora just to read an article.

That said, parallel parking is not hard if you have a reasonable degree of kinesthetic sense. It is very hard if you are only vaguely aware of the relative size of your vehicle and how close it is to other vehicles. There are a surprising number of people who are only vaguely connected to the vehicle they are driving. The ones who see a hazard and have to think about what to do before acting, rather than just swerve or hit the brakes. It gets worse with age as well (I am certainly not as instinctively connected to vehicles as I was).

As a furniture mover when I was 18 it used to amaze me how, after awhile, I could take a tight corner or otherwise maneuver in tight spaces while driving a 5 ton truck. Getting into my big gas sucking monster of a car afterwards felt like driving a formula 1 racer.


On older front wheel drive cars (80’s - mid 90’s) often used cheap rubber in the CV gaiter or boot. Turning at full stop causes higher than normal boot flex which leads to early failure. Once the boot fails the CV joint will fail shortly after

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I think you’d still lose points for excessive wear on the tires (sorry, tyres in the UK).

I moved to the US from England about 15 years ago. I had not until then learned to drive.

My driving test in Hobbs, N.M.:

  1. Drive around the block and return uninjured to the DMV.
  2. Complete a written multiple choice exam, which still had the last person’s answers, with passing grade, pencilled on it.

I passed.


I have never really understood why people seem to have so much trouble with parallel parking. Is it just lack of practice? I can tell you that its totally balls to try to park your non-power steering car on a steep hill in a tiny space, but the mechanics are mostly the same as if you are parallel parking in a giant space with driveways on both sides of you.