When you finally start driving, the last thing you want is to be that guy in the parking lot who doesn’t know how to park. Have you ever encountered a parking job that’s just so bad that you wonder how they got their driver’s license? Yeah, that guy.
Whether you’re a beginner driver or want to brush up on your parking skills, here’s how you can get better at parking:
Find a place where you can practice parking your car, preferably one with no other cars around or a car-park monitoring system (so that you won’t look like you’re loitering). After you find the perfect place to practice, spend a couple of minutes practicing parking techniques until you get the hang of it.
Practice is the best way you can get better at parking. There is no secret recipe or technique that can magically turn you into a better parker. It’s just a physical action that you have to do over and over again to master.
You can also consider buying orange cones (like the ones used in soccer practice) to practice parking next to obstacles. If you keep knocking over a cone or parking too close to it, keep practicing.
2. Use technology
Rearview cameras can make it easier to park in a space without bumping into anything. This tool can be incredibly useful for beginner drivers, as well as people who have trouble estimating the distance between their rear bumper and an object behind their car.
There also smartphone apps that can help you find and reserve parking spots in major cities, such as BestParking and Parker. On the other hand, parking apps like Anchor Pointer and Parkify can help you remember where you parked in huge parking lots, eliminating those precious minutes wasted looking for your car in a sea of others.
3. Don’t panic
It’s common for amateur drivers to get nervous when they have to park a car between two occupied lots, or when they know that someone else is watching. This anxiety can make it harder for you to park, let alone do it properly without dinging the surrounding vehicles.
There is no better way to overcome parker’s anxiety than to stay calm. Don’t think about anybody else in the parking lot. If they’re watching, so what? At least you’re being a responsible driver and being careful about your parking. When you focus on the task at hand, the better you can overcome the nervousness every time you park.
4. Know where you can’t park
Being a beginner driver is not an excuse to be ignorant about the places where you can’t park. Make sure you know where you’re not allowed to park, such as places like:
- Cycle lanes
- Tram or bus lane during operating hours
- Blue badge bay
- Double yellow lines
- Single yellow lines during restricted hours
- Roads with red lines
- Verges of pavements
- In front of pedestrian crossings
- Private property
- In front of access routes
5. Watch how other people park
When you’re a passenger to a more experienced driver, pay attention to how they park. You might be able to pick up on some techniques and use them the next time you drive. Better yet, ask the driver to teach you when the opportunity arises. They might also be able to point out what you’re doing wrong and help you correct those mistakes.
6. Re-park when needed
If you step out of the car and realize you’ve parked too close to the next vehicle, don’t hesitate to re-park. The hassle of parking your car again is worth it if it means avoiding an accidental scratch on your vehicle. Moreover, doing this will help you realize what you’re doing wrong while parking so that you can further improve your skills.
7. Hang a tennis ball in your garage
Do you want to perfect your parking every time you pull up in the garage? Take a tennis ball and tie a piece of string around it. Then, hang it from the ceiling in a way that it’s just a few inches from the center of your windshield when you park. With this technique, you’ll start parking perfectly in no time. Also, it will help you get better at estimating spaces around your car.
Parking can be a difficult skill to master for some people. If this is a challenge for you, use these techniques to improve your parking skills from beginner to experienced.