A reverse parallel park is where you reverse to pull in behind a parked vehicle and park parallel to the kerb.

Animation of a blue car pulling up to a parallel park with it's left indicators on. It stops alongside the car in front of the park, then reverses into the space.

Where should you practise this?

  • Pick a flat street where you can see at least 50m in each direction.
  • Pick a street that doesn’t have much traffic.
  • Look for a vehicle parked on its own to begin with, with at least 10m of straight kerb (with no driveways) behind it.
  • When you feel confident, try it between two parked cars.

Making the park

  1. Indicate left before you pull over and leave the indicator on as you start reversing into the park.
  2. Drive alongside the car you want to park behind. You want your front door to their front wheels, and about half a metre away from it. This will get you in a good starting position.
  3. Check your mirrors and blind spots for hazards before you start moving. Keep checking for hazards the whole time you are reversing.
  4. Start turning your steering wheel to the left when your back wheel is in line with the parked car’s back bumper.
  5. Start turning the steering wheel right as soon as your front bumper is clear of the parked car’s back bumper.
  6. Move forward if you need to straighten up so that you’re parallel to the kerb.
  7. To finish, put your car into neutral (for a manual) or park (for an automatic) and put on the handbrake.

Tips for good parallel parking

  • You’ll need to use a mix of looking out the rear window, rear side window and mirrors as you back into the park.
  • If you have electric side mirrors, adjust the left one down. This will help you see where the kerb is in relation to your back wheel better.
  • Take your time and go slowly.

Doing this manoeuvre in your restricted test

You’ll need to show the Testing Officer that you can do each of these things when you do a reverse parallel park.

Checking around you when making the park:

  • Check your mirrors and make a head check immediately before you start reversing.
  • Keep looking behind and checking any blind spots as you’re reversing.

Making the reverse parallel park:

  • Indicate left before you pull over and leave on as you start reversing.
  • Make the park in no more than four movements.
  • Make the park in no more than two minutes (unless traffic conditions make this unreasonable).
  • Don’t reverse more than 7m behind the vehicle in front.
  • Finish with your car parallel to and within 30cm of the kerb, and 1–2m from the car in front.
  • Park without hitting the kerb with a jolt.
  • Make sure you don’t drive up onto the kerb.

Leaving the park:

  • Indicate right at least 3 seconds before you pull out from the kerb.
  • Check your mirrors to pick a safe gap to pull into.
  • Make a head check over your right shoulder just before you pull out from the kerb.
  • Leave the park in no more than two moves (one reverse if needed, and one forward).

Are you test ready?


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