Automotive

Reverse Perpendicular Parking -- Tips/Instructions

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  • Feb 13th, 2010 5:47 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jan 27, 2009
14 posts
Toronto

Reverse Perpendicular Parking -- Tips/Instructions

Hi everyone,

I'm still nothing more than a newbie driver so I thought I come here and ask a question about something that I'm having trouble with: Reverse Perpendicular Parking

When I get ready to park and find an empty spot I go 2 car lengths in front of where the spot is and a door's length away from those cars. When I switch into reverse should I immediately start turning, obviously not much angle at this point or should I start at a later point?

So yeah any tips regarding this parking manoeuvrer would be appreciated.
13 replies
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Nov 4, 2006
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BringerOfWrath wrote: Hi everyone,

I'm still nothing more than a newbie driver so I thought I come here and ask a question about something that I'm having trouble with: Reverse Perpendicular Parking

When I get ready to park and find an empty spot I go 2 car lengths in front of where the spot is and a door's length away from those cars. When I switch into reverse should I immediately start turning, obviously not much angle at this point or should I start at a later point?

So yeah any tips regarding this parking manoeuvrer would be appreciated.
This always works for me. Suppose you want to park in spot # 1,

1) then you drive forward until the starting line of spot # 3 (2 spots ahead) and stop when your front passenger rear view mirror meets the line (to check, your shoulder should meet halfway of spot #3).

2) Now STOP.

3) Turn your steering wheel fully in the direction of the turn and let go of your brakes

4) Adjust as needed and you should be parked well in the middle of spot # 1
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 27, 2009
14 posts
Toronto
Thanks tapanpatel88 :razz:

There's one thing I'm a little unsure of in your description. I should fully turn the wheel right (parking on right side) and then back up? I thought that would be a little too sudden and I would swipe one of the cars and thus needed to progressively turn the wheel (eventually being fully turned) while entering the spot.

Of course as I said I'm just learning so I could be wrong here.
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Aug 9, 2009
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BringerOfWrath wrote: Thanks tapanpatel88 :razz:

There's one thing I'm a little unsure of in your description. I should fully turn the wheel right (parking on right side) and then back up? I thought that would be a little too sudden and I would swipe one of the cars and thus needed to progressively turn the wheel (eventually being fully turned) while entering the spot.

Of course as I said I'm just learning so I could be wrong here.
yes tapanpatel's method is right. but you also need to stay AWAY from the parking as possible (since the spots on the right, stay to the left as much as possible, make sure not too much to the left as when you turn ur wheel full it will swipe the car on the left.) Generally staying in the middle of the lane is fine for almost any car. For smaller sedans its actually easier with 2.5 parking spots. You almost never need to adjust it while ur backin in. by 2.5 parking spots i mean, your shoulder is in the middle of the 3rd parking spot (skip 2 cars in front and another half)
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 27, 2009
14 posts
Toronto
Ok thanks. Makes sense when you have enough room leftwards.

If I have to stay towards the right though (I always seem to end up in these situations as there are other cars passing in the other direction on the left), what is the best approach turning wise.
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Aug 9, 2009
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wait till theres no cars on the other direction? dont think its that busy in a parking lot?

or u can go a bit further away from the parking spot and turn the wheel one full turn, instead of the whole way (two full turns) it'll be a bit trickier, u'll hafta adjust and practice for urself.

also if its that busy in the parking lot, then just front in?
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Aug 27, 2004
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Paris, France
the instructions so far are very dependent on what car you actually drive. The length of your car, as well as the distance between front and back wheels, turning radius etc all feature into how to actually back into a spot.

Try not to set your steps in stone. Just advance so that the rear of your car is a little past the spot, put it in reverse and slowly back into the spot while turning the steering wheel. Keep both hands on the wheel, and look back to see where you're going. Adapt your steering as needed, but remember to always back up slowly.

It will take some practice, but this way you'll be backing in perfectly in no time.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 11, 2006
9892 posts
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Mississauga
That two car lengths with a full turn and then reverse method is what they teach in driving schools and is generally a pretty good guideline. If I had to do a reverse park in a driving test, I would use that method too.

But otherwise, I find it to be too procedural. I usually steer away from the spot, such that the vehicle is already angled quite a bit, and then reverse into the spot. So for example, the spot is on the right, I will drive towards the spot and then turn to the left as much as possible while lining up the back of the car to the spot. At this point your vehicle could be a mere 25 to 45 degrees off as opposed to 90 degrees. So it's a lot easier to back in to the spot.
Penalty Box
Mar 23, 2004
29869 posts
10583 upvotes
I dunno that driving school business is never totally accurate and it depends on the car, width of the spaces, etc. I just drive. Put the car in reverse and put it where you want it to go. Same as driving driving forwards, only in reverse lol. I do use the 2 spaces thing a little but I don't like precisely line up, start turning the wheel etc. I just go forward enough, stop wherever, then reverse. When there's no one around and I want to reverse I will actually just angle the car over the driveway and reverse like that, but whatever floats your boat.

I don't think even on a driver's test they care if you follow the procedure exactly, just that you can park. You don't even have to do it in one movement, if you have to go forward and reverse again they don't care as long as you get to where you're supposed to be. If you don't know what you're doing and it's clear though and/or you give up, well there's a fail for you LOL.
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Apr 11, 2009
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Thornhill
ES_Revenge wrote:
I don't think even on a driver's test they care if you follow the procedure exactly, just that you can park. You don't even have to do it in one movement, if you have to go forward and reverse again they don't care as long as you get to where you're supposed to be. If you don't know what you're doing and it's clear though and/or you give up, well there's a fail for you LOL.
I think you're allowed one or two "adjustments", but after that it's a fail....the poor girl who finished before me when I was getting my G2 failed for that reason....7 times she went forward and back...so painful..
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Apr 11, 2006
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Mississauga
What I do find strange though now that I think of this reverse parking business (because I reverse park 95% of the time), it almost always happens to be that I find a spot on the right hand side. More times than not, I'm reverse parking to the right, I seldom reverse park to the left - despite the fact that there should be just as much a chance of finding a free spot on the left side as on the right side. So reverse parking into a left hand spot would be a slightly more awkward circumstance since it is less rehearsed. Even at home, my parking spot is on the right hand side from entrance so, once again, reverse park to the right. Hmmm... :confused:
Penalty Box
Mar 23, 2004
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mkerian wrote: I think you're allowed one or two "adjustments", but after that it's a fail....the poor girl who finished before me when I was getting my G2 failed for that reason....7 times she went forward and back...so painful..
7 times, well yeah that shows you don't know what you're doing lol.
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Mar 29, 2006
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ES_Revenge wrote: I dunno that driving school business is never totally accurate and it depends on the car, width of the spaces, etc. I just drive. Put the car in reverse and put it where you want it to go. Same as driving driving forwards, only in reverse lol. I do use the 2 spaces thing a little but I don't like precisely line up, start turning the wheel etc. I just go forward enough, stop wherever, then reverse. When there's no one around and I want to reverse I will actually just angle the car over the driveway and reverse like that, but whatever floats your boat.

I don't think even on a driver's test they care if you follow the procedure exactly, just that you can park. You don't even have to do it in one movement, if you have to go forward and reverse again they don't care as long as you get to where you're supposed to be. If you don't know what you're doing and it's clear though and/or you give up, well there's a fail for you LOL.
+1

I do this in a parking garage near the office every day, since it's small and there's really no room to back out if there's someone parked beside you. I have no "technique" whatsoever. I just give myself ample space to back up, look behind me, turn the wheel towards the space, and slowly guide myself in (also checking side mirrors since there's a huge concrete pillar to my right). Sometimes I have to go forward a little then back up again if I'm not positioned squarely in the space, but that's no big deal. I think they would rather enforce the habit of correcting rather than have everyone think that parking exactly on the line or crooked is OK when it just causes problems for for other drivers.
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Sep 4, 2007
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Etobicoke
This is what I do if I need to reverse into a spot. I take a curved reverse approach rather than a parallel reverse approach. What I mean is, say the parking spot is on the right. I will stay close to the right and make a turn slight left like a I'm doing a 3 point turn. Then I will check the lines and turn my wheel right while I am reversing. I like to put my hand on the passenger headrest and look back, while doing so and controlling the steering wheel with my left hand. Once you drive a bit, it comes really easy.
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