From learner drivers, right through to those who have years of driving experience, parking has always been one of the more daunting parts of driving. Whether you are the type that often relies on someone else to drive, allowing you to avoid parking, or if you are the kind to pre-plan your route in advance with the hope of finding a quieter street or car park away from those feared ‘prying eyes’, take a look at our top tips. Parking needn’t be a case of stress or worry. It is a factor of driving which every motorist has to participate in each time they head out onto the road – it may just take a little practice or mind training to get used to it!
Practice makes perfect
Parking is something which is rarely successful at the first attempt. Take a family member or driving instructor out with you to experiment in your local carpark after closing hours. With no cars around you, it will be easier for you to relax and complete a successful park. You can do this by following the lines around you, or even positioning cones to act as other vehicles around your space. During your practice sessions, you may find that you feel more comfortable and confident parking in one particular way, whether it be a parallel or bay park, and this could boost your confidence for completing this move in a busier location.
A top tip for all parking manoeuvres is to reverse into your space, no matter what kind. Driving forwards into a bay parking space will make it more difficult to leave as there will be restrictions either side of your vehicle, providing you with less room for the front of your car to turn and edge you out of the space. Reversing into a parallel space will allow you to minimise the number of manoeuvres you will need and prevent you from having your front wheels stuck up a kerb or landing you in a space where your only option is to restart.
Worried about those “prying eyes”?
Having other vehicles, drivers or pedestrians around you when you are attempting to park may bring fear to your mind, causing you to misjudge or rush the park altogether However, this needn’t be a factor you worry about. Chances are, those surrounding you couldn’t care less about what you are trying to do! Parking happens every day and, in truth, it isn’t too thrilling to watch! They are more than likely recapping their shopping list in their mind or planning out the day ahead of them. They could even be as nervous as you and worrying about where they will choose to park! Focus only on yourself and your vehicle and you will succeed.
Confidence is key
By telling yourself that you can do it, you will push your mind into confidence – and you can do it! You have completed a park before, even if it was in an empty car park or quiet street, every success counts. Parking doesn’t need to be (and rarely is) completed within one manoeuvre, so don’t put pressure on yourself if you don’t get it right within the first try. Every manoeuvre you take is one closer to that perfect park that you are aiming for.
Let your success motivate you
Achieving a successful park simply means manoeuvring your vehicle into the lines of a space and leaving it in a position which is safe to lock and leave. If you have done this, then you have been successful! It truly doesn’t matter how long it took for you to get there, or how many spaces you have driven out of to find a new one which may seem easier. All that matters is that you completed the park that you have been aiming to do. Ignore any negative thoughts about timings and attempts and simply use your success as motivation. Once you know you can park successfully, the number of manoeuvres it takes for you to get there will decrease and your confidence will rise time and time again.
Recap your parking skills with a professional
If you are still finding fear in those car parks, why not reach out for some trusted, professional assistance. Here at Lanes School of Driving, we offer After Pass courses for a range of skills, one of which is parking. For over 100 years, we have been successfully passing students and aiding them into an all-round successful driving lifestyle – stress-free and filled with confidence! To speak with a member of our trusted team about taking up your own parking skills recap lessons, give us a call on 020 8166 5678 and we will be happy to help you find your life-long parking confidence.