How to Reverse Parallel Park Safely

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A step by step guide

  1. Drive up next to the chosen space you wish to park in so you can judge its size to ensure your vehicle will safely fit.  As a guide it should be at least 2 metres longer than your car (a metre in front and behind)
  2. Turn your left indicator on and drive up so that you're level next to the car you're going to be parking behind.  Make sure there is about a metre between your car and the other vehicle.
  3. Check there is no oncoming traffic. Remember to check your right blind spot.  If the path is clear, you can now start reversing slowly, turning your steering wheel to the left as you go.  Keep reversing until your car is at a 45 degree angle. You'll be able to see the car behind you in your back right window when this angle is achieved.
  4. Once you're at this angle you can keep reversing but turning your steering wheel to the right now, until you're into the park completely.  As you reverse, look in your left hand side mirror to keep an eye on the kerb. Remember to look out for oncoming traffic.  Remember to monitor how close your bonnet is to the car in front.  If your tyres hit the kerb you have gone too far.
  5. Next you should go forward slightly to straighten up and make sure your car is parallel to the kerb. Check where your wheels in your left side mirror.
  6. In South Australia you must be no more than 30 centimetres away from the kerb.
  7. If there are no marked parking bays, you must left at least a metre between your vehicle and those in front and behind you.
  8. Finally, inch forward make sure your steering wheel is turned back to centre to ensure your wheels are straight to complete the parallel park.  For your driving test you must be able to complete the manoeuvre with no more than two changes of direction.


 Video provided by RACQ.


  1. RAA
  2. RACQ

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