Parking seems like a simple task, but it is not always easy. Some parking lots are small and narrow, making it difficult to enter safely without accidentally damaging other cars on both sides of your space. Parking can be especially difficult when driving a large car. If you take your time and follow some very useful tips, you will be able to park successfully in small places.
Part 1 of 2: Entering the parking lot
Step 1. Locate an available parking lot
To make it easier, find a space where there is no other vehicle next to it, so you don't have to worry about being too close to another parked car. If that is not possible, choose the first empty space you find to park.
- If you drive a SUV, truck, or large vehicle, be careful not to park in a small space. Small parking lots are limited to small vehicles, such as compact cars.
- When trying to park a large vehicle in a small space you run the risk of hitting or scraping another that is parked because there is nowhere to maneuver, so to speak.
Step 2. Stop your vehicle in front of the space where you plan to park
The bumper should be lined up in the middle of the parking space, exactly where you want to occupy it.
Step 3. Turn on your turn signals
This lets other drivers know that you are about to park. By knowing that you are about to park, they can stop and give you space to do so safely.
Step 4. Check your rear view mirrors
Even if you're not backing up, it's a good idea to check your mirrors before entering the parking space. You must make sure that all vehicles behind you have stopped.
If you notice a vehicle trying to pass you, wait until it has passed before continuing to park
Step 5. If possible, move your side mirrors inward
Once you've checked your mirrors as outlined in the previous step, if you have retractable mirrors, it's a good idea to turn both inward before entering the parking space.
- In small parking lots, vehicles parked next to each other run the risk of hitting the rear-view mirrors of the driver or front passenger.
- Turn the rear-view mirrors of the driver and passenger inward to avoid being hit by another vehicle whose driver does not know how to park with the same care as you.
Step 6. Turn the steering wheel into the space you want to park in and slowly begin to enter
Your turn signals should be on at this point. They'll turn off on their own as you continue to turn the wheel
Step 7. Continue turning the steering wheel as you drive into the parking space
Take your time and enter slowly. Always be very careful when parking in small, tight spots.
- If there is a vehicle parked on the left and it is extremely close to the line between the parking spaces, park yours closer to the opposite side in your parking space. This will leave more space on the driver's side, and you can safely open the door without hitting the other vehicle when exiting.
- If the vehicles parked next to yours are each in the middle of their parking space, then you too can put yours in the middle, instead of leaving extra space for the driver's side.
Step 8. Straighten your steering wheel once you are parallel with the vehicles on your side
When you are completely inside in your parking lot you must make sure that the steering wheel is in its original position. This will make it easier to exit the space once you want to leave.
Step 9. Keep going until your vehicle is in the parking space and then brake
If there is a vehicle parked directly in front of yours (it is probably face to face with yours unless it is facing away) Be careful not to hit it as you enter.
Step 10. Leave your car in the parking lot and turn off your lights
As you exit your vehicle, be careful when you open the door. In small parking lots, there is not always enough room to get out of yours without hitting the vehicle next door.
Part 2 of 2: Exiting the parking lot
Step 1. Check your rear view mirrors and look behind your vehicle as you exit the parking lot
Make sure there are no children walking behind or other vehicles passing.
- If you turned your rear view mirrors in, open them before backing if you have enough space
- If you were able to open your rear view mirrors, look both ways to make sure everything is clear before backing up.
Step 2. Put your vehicle in reverse and slowly begin backing up when safe
You should constantly check for children or other vehicles as you exit the parking lot.
Step 3. Turn the steering wheel of your vehicle in the direction you want the rear to go while in reverse
Remember to keep looking to see if other people or vehicles show up.
Step 4. Apply the brakes and straighten the steering wheel once your vehicle is completely out of the parking lot
Don't release the brakes until the next step. You don't want your vehicle to go beyond what it is while you pull completely out of your parking spot.
If you were unable to expand your rear view mirrors, please do so now before continuing
Step 5. Start driving, release the brakes and slowly begin to move forward
You have now successfully entered and exited a small parking lot.
- Take your time and move slowly when parking in small spaces.
- In small parking lots, there may not be enough room to open the door fully when you get out of your vehicle.
- Consider parking your vehicle slightly more to the passenger side so that you allow more room for the driver's side door.
- Make sure to check your mirrors several times when you are exiting the parking lot to verify that there are no children or other vehicles approaching.