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Top Tips for Reverse Parking

Although, not the most important skill required to complete your driving test, the reverse parallel park can still be pretty nerve racking. Often it can feel like the whole world is impatiently watching as you line up to complete the park, but the good news is, once you know how -- it’s easy.

To make getting your driver’s licence in SA a breeze, just follow these Top Tips for Reverse Parking.

Practise makes perfect

It sounds pretty straightforward, but the best way to get good at something is to practice. The more reverse parking experience you have, the better you’ll be. Once you feel confident, you’ll be far less likely to be nervous, or panic when doing it for your driving test.

You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole

There’s no use attempting the impossible, so make sure you pick the perfect park. Find a space that’s the right size and in the right place for your vehicle. By now, experience would have taught you how to pick the right parking spot for you, to slide into comfortably.

Check, indicate and line-up

Check the parking space and the vehicles around it. Indicate left, check your blind-spot then pull up next to the car you’ll be parking behind. You should leave about a 1-metre space between you and the other car as you line-up your side mirrors.

Select reverse and check

Put your car into reverse and check all your mirrors and blind spots before you begin.

Turn, reverse and check

As you slowly begin to reverse, turn your steering wheel anti-clockwise and check the distance between you and the car you’ll be parking behind as you begin to park. Remember not to turn too sharply too quick.

Reverse, check, clear and straighten

As you continue to reverse at the correct angle, begin to turn your steering wheel clockwise when the front of your car is at a safe distance from the car in front. As you turn clockwise, your wheels will begin to straighten as your car moves into the space. If your rear wheels touch the curb, you‘ve gone in at too sharp an angle, so you will have to go forward and try again.

Straighten and complete

Once you’ve successfully guided your car into the space, straighten your wheels, and edge forward. You should have an equal distance between the car in front and the car at the back.

When you’re learning to reverse park, your driving instructors will be a huge help, so listen to what they have to say and remember the tips. When you’re starting out, your driving instructors may get you to park between flags then reflective traffic cones. Once you get some experience, you can then try parking behind one car and eventually fitting neatly into a space between two.

Just remember, there’s no need to be nervous. Just relax, and if you make a mistake, you can always try again.

Happy reverse parking!

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