For those of us who still struggle with parallel parking, here's a ready reckoner for you to polish this most critical of skills behind the wheel
Let’s face it, parallel parking is really the bane of driving for most of us. it's a critical skill, especially in the cramped confines of inner city lanes. Although it's not really a very complicated process, a lot of us find it a task mainly because we don't get the basics right. but fret not, because if you follow this simple 4-step programme, you'll find that even getting into the tightest parallel parking spots can be a breeze
When you find an appropriate parallel parking spot long enough to fit your car in (with a minimum two feet of clearance on either end of your car), don't be in a hurry and enter the spot nose first. Drive a little past the spot and when your car is almost parallel with the car ahead, stop.
Put your car in reverse, turn the steering fully towards the kerb and slowly start backing up. You should be entering the parking spot tail first. Keep a close eye on the distance to the kerb in your side view mirror. When the tail end of your car is about 1-2 feet from the kerb, stop!
Turn the steering fully in the opposite direction of the kerb and continue to reverse slowly. Now the nose of your car should start moving inside. Check your mirrors to ensure that your car's tail isn't going too close to the kerb and also check if your nose is clearing the car in front. If either of the two situations occur, you'll have to start all over again.
When the tail of your car has come close enough to the car behind you (without hitting it, of course), stop, turn the steering completely in towards the kerb, slot into first gear and start moving forward. If you've judged distances right, your car will be parallel to the kerb before it comes too close to the car in front.
Finishing it off
Once your car is parallel to the kerb, straighten your steering wheel, select reverse and back up slowly. When the distance from your car to the car ahead and to the car behind is about equal, stop! This ensures that all cars will have enough room to exit the parking space easily. Voila! That's it! You've successfully parallel parked your car.