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How To Park Next To A Curb: A Simple Step-By-Step Guide

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Key Takeaways

  • Align car parallel, 16-24 inches away from the parking spot.
  • Reverse at 45-degree angle, check mirrors, avoid scraping cars.
  • Straighten wheel opposite curb as rear nears, parallel vehicle.
  • Adjust position if needed, ensuring wheels within 12 inches of curb.

Curb parking. These two words make every new driver nervous. I remember it was a big challenge for me when I first started driving. So, how to park next to a curb like a pro?

Many years of both driving and parking helped me learn some helpful tips to make it easier. And I am sharing all of them with you right now.

Parking next to a curb is very intimidating for most drivers because it does require precision, steering in reverse, and a couple of skillful maneuvers. The great thing is, it’s not unlearnable.

It just takes some practice and you’ll be parking like a pro even in the smallest parking spots.

This is something you should become an expert in, especially if you live in a big city. Also, it is a part of your driver’s test. But don’t despair!

With this little help, parking next to a curb will be piece of cake, and it will save you time and energy.

By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to start mastering this skill.

What You’ll Need for This Tutorial

To park next to a curb, follow these concise steps for both driver’s side and opposite side parking:

  1. Find a Parking Space: Choose a space at least three feet longer than your car. Signal to following cars if you intend to park.
  2. Align Vehicle: Stop your car with the rear bumper in line with the parking space’s front, then shift to reverse while braking.
  3. Back Up: Begin reversing at a 45-degree angle, constantly checking mirrors to avoid hitting nearby cars.
  4. Straighten: As you near the curb, turn the wheel away from the curb to straighten the car, ensuring it’s parallel to the curb.

How To Park Next To A Curb: Step-by-step instruction

To better understand the aforementioned steps, here is a short photo presentation of every step you need to follow.

How to park next to a curb - step 1

Step 1

Pull alongside the parking spot. Here you need to indicate that you will be parking, turn ON your indicator light to signalize that you will be parking.

Throw a look in your mirrors and make sure it is safe to start parking. Pull your car up alongside the vehicle parked in front of the free space, staying parallel about 16 to 24 inches away from it.

Step 2

Stop and put your car in reverse, and look back over your right shoulder behind you. Turn the wheel completely to the right and slowly start to move backward.

As your car swings in toward the curb, keep the steering wheel turned to the right until the rear driver’s side corner of your vehicle is in line with the front driver’s side bumper of the car behind you.

Step 3

At this point, begin turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction while continuing to back up.

Straighten the wheels of the car as you are slowly pulling into the parking space and pull forward or backward if it’s needed to leave enough space in front and behind your car.

Lastly, before setting the parking brake, make sure your wheels are within 12 inches of the curb. If they aren’t, you may need to pull the car forward and back in again while turning the steering wheel to get closer.

To better understand the process of parking next to a curb, I highly suggest you watch this detailed video tutorial:

Now that we covered the steps, let’s look at some rules concerning parking in general because it’s just as important to know where you are allowed to leave your car as it is to learn to park it.

Keep Painted Curbs in Mind

While parking next to a curb, it is important to consider the paint color you’re parking next to.

  • Green: Limited time parking, with time limit signs posted.
  • White: For pick-up/drop-off only.
  • Red: No stopping or parking allowed.
  • Blue: Reserved for individuals with disabilities.

Each has a different color, which are very important to pay attention to so that you don’t get towed or hit.

Extra Parking Tips to Consider

Lastly, keep these parking tips in mind as well:

  • Blind Spots: Be mindful of blind spots as mirrors don’t always provide a view of the curb. Stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Driving into Space: If possible, choose a space you can drive straight into to save time and effort. If not, follow the parking steps provided above.

Final Thoughts

These kinds of tutorials were very helpful to me when I first started driving, and I think I’ve perfected the curb parking by now. Follow the steps carefully and you will learn this skill in no time.

You can watch a couple more videos to get an even better understanding of the process. Remember to practice because you know what they say – practice makes perfect.

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