Now it is time to review the art of parking your car! As I mentioned in the previous article there are three main types of parking styles that you will need to teach your child, parallel, angled and straight in. Please take a look at our website for some cool instructions that can help beyond what is listed below!
The best place to learn how to park is again in the church/office parking lot that you have chosen and there is a neat tool that you can build easily and inexpensively to help with this adventure.
Get Some Props
First visit your local hardware store and buy two 3/4” x 10’ PVC pipes and have them cut both of these pipes in half which should run around $3.00 per pipe/section. Note that when you are buying the PVC pipe make sure you don’t screw up like me and buy 3/4” inside dimensions as it needs to be a total of 3/4” overall width or they will not fit into jugs. While there also buy a small roll of 2” red or orange fluorescent tape that you will use later.
Lastly if they don’t carry plastic jugs of water then stop off on the way home and pick up four one gallon jugs. Total cost for all this should not be over $15.00 at best and a great investment for what you are getting ready to do!
What you will do is wrap some of the fluorescent tape around the top six or eight inches of the four sections of the PVC pipes that you had cut in half to make four 5’ sections. Bring all of these items with you to use to help guide your child while in the church/office parking lot where they will learn how to park the car properly.
Measure a Space
Sometimes you might not have a parallel parking space available to practice in so bring with you a tape ruler and measure one off near a curb.
They are on average about 9’ wide and approximately 20’ long so position your props within that distance. You will find a section at our website that shows pictures of how to set them up for use but basically just stick the pipes with fluorescent tape on top end inside the jugs of water.
Position your Props
Position all four props around the perimeter of the parking spaces so your child can have a good feel for the space they will be parking the car into. It goes without saying that you do not want your child using real live cars to practice parking between so these tools are great for when they first start out and begin knocking them over! I would suggest starting out with the easiest two of the three parking spaces to learn on which is angled and straight in parking styles.
Types of Parking
Parallel parking is the biggest pain and one that you will not encounter as often as these two types and I will touch on this a little later. By the way we have some really cool tools on our website that will give you a lot of help with everything you need to know on parking!
Show Them How
First it would be wise to have you show them first how you do it so they have an idea of what they need to do in positioning the front of the car when entering the parking space. You need to slow up as you approach the empty space you are practicing on (or in live situations once you learn) and turn on your turn signal to let others know behind you of your intent. The basic guidelines to follow for both angled and straight in parking is when your front tire is about even with the painted stripe closest to you begin your turn.
Practicing this is the only way to learn and it might take a while so both you and your child need to have patience!
Now as far as parallel parking goes that is a whole new adventure that is the single hardest thing you will have to learn in driving a car. Many states require you to demonstrate your ability to parallel park as part of getting your driver’s license on the road portion of the test.
Matter of fact I will come right out and admit that when my father took me for my driver’s license test well I passed the written portion and all the other parts of the road test however I knocked a cone over while attempting to parallel park and failed my first attempt at getting my license! I think I had to wait 60 days before coming back to attempt my second chance at getting my license which was so embarrassing but finally succeeded.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are many ways to learn how and over the years I have gotten pretty good at it but it takes a lot of practice to feel comfortable doing this so without taking up a lot of space here I would suggest you go to our website at for a great example of instructions that will go a long way in helping you here. I would also suggest that you not parallel park unless you absolutely have to or until you become well versed at this.
You will understand what a pain it is with cars stopped behind you as you pull in and out 15 different times trying to get into the space all the while they are honking their horns at you..it’s just not worth it! While on the subject of parallel parking there will be times that you are lucky to find a parallel space that you can just drive into without baking into it and if you are on a hill you need to know what to do.
If your car is facing down the hill then make sure your tires are turned in facing the curb prior to turning off the car and likewise if you are facing up a hill turn your tires facing away from the curb. This is important should your car pop out of gear and this helps to keep car located within the space next to the curb. Also note that when exiting out of a parallel parking spot you need to turn on your blinker to alert cars that are coming in your direction of your desire to pull out!
Backing Out of a Parking Space
Once you get the hang of pulling into parking spaces now comes the important part, backing out!
I bring this up as you need to know that almost 20,000 people are injured each year just in backing up. So practice these thoughts when it comes time to exit your parking space, first just like when leaving your driveway take notice of anything that might be around/behind your car.
It’s important to know that when backing out of a parking space it is not a “one time” look and see if the coast is clear to exit. You need to be constantly looking behind you to make sure cars are not speeding up through the parking lot and thus running into them.
I have seen so many accidents/near accidents in my lifetime of driving that happen within the parking lots of shopping centers and office parks so you need to be on guard at all times when driving in these areas.
Watch the Front
Also be mindful of the front end of your car as you pull out of the space not to hit the car next to you in that if you cut your car too quick when exiting you stand the chance of clipping the car beside you opposite your front end. Likewise turning too sharply when backing out of a parking space will cause your back quarter panel to hit the car parked next to you.