Your Helpful Guide to Successfully Reverse Parallel Parking

By Ruel
Driving 101

Learning how to parallel park can be scary for many learners. Although instructors typically say you only need to pull up next to a parked car and reverse behind it, it's easier said than done. Besides the basic steps, you should make minor adjustments as needed. If you want to pass your driving lessons and get your licence, let this article guide you to reverse parallel parking successfully. 

2 Essential Skills to Have 

Succeeding in driving school begins when you have the needed skills. Here's what you should master before trying to reverse parallel park. 

1. Spatial Awareness

Spatial awareness is understanding your body's position with surrounding objects. When reversing a car, the concrete gutter may not be visible, so you should know where it is at the back of your vehicle.

2. Observation Skills 

While driving forward, your eyes are at the front of your head, giving you 180-degree peripheral vision. However, when reversing a car, your sight becomes limited behind you, regardless of which direction you turn your head. As a result, reversing becomes more hazardous. 

Why Should You Know How to Reverse Your Car?

When reversing, cars respond differently than in drive, and you should understand how the vehicle turns when you turn the steering wheel. Different autos have different turning circles, affecting the space needed to turn and park.

4 Steps to Reverse Parallel Parking Successfully

Once you've mastered the essential skills in your driving lessons, you can now learn how to reverse parallel park. Here's how to do it. 

1. Select the Parked Car

Park your car next to a parked car with enough space behind it to reverse park.

2. Reverse Backwards

You can park your car by reversing while turning the steering wheel to the left until your car is at a 45-degree angle to the gutter. The amount and timing of turning the wheel depends on your car's circle size.

3. Be Close to the Gutter

Different-sized cars have varying turning circles, so larger cars may not be able to get as close to the gutter when parallel parking as smaller cars. You may also need to stop at a 45-degree angle and straighten up before reversing into the space.

4. Get Close and Parallel to the Kerb

You can parallel park by turning the steering wheel full lock to the right and reversing back until close, similar to the gutter. However, it can be challenging due to differences in cars and other road users not always giving enough space.

How to Reverse Parallel Park in the NSW Driving Test

Reverse parallel parking requires several skills to park to the standards expected in the driving test in New South Wales, including completing the parking safely and to the rule of the driving test and conducting required observation checks.

How Much Time Do I Have in the Test to Perform a Reverse Park?

You can take as much time as necessary to park the car, and the examiner won't mark you down. However, other road users may not be patient, so you should remain calm and not rush or lose focus.

What Are the Needed Observation Checks?

Observation checks, also known as blind spot checks or head checks, are frequently forgotten by learner drivers during the driving test, leading to failure. Therefore, you must confirm safety before moving the car and not rely solely on mirrors.

What Is a Crash Avoidance Space?

Maintain a safe distance between your car and other road users and stationary objects while driving and parking.

What Makes Reverse Parallel Parking Challenging?

Your chosen car for the driving test may differ in size, position, and location from the vehicles you practised on. There may also be more traffic and distractions; you must adjust your steering and post accordingly.


Learning to reverse parallel park can be daunting, but you must master it to get your licence. You can pass the test by mastering the essential skills, attending all your driving lessons, and remaining calm. 

If you want to learn professional driving lessons in Parramatta, enrol in Prestige Driving School! We boast reliable driving instructors, high test pass rates, affordable prices, and online booking. Book us now!

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