Guide to parking and manoeuvring

Many motorists find precision parking and manoeuvring difficult to master regardless of how long they’ve been driving. For instance, it’s estimated that two-thirds of British motorists have experienced some kind damage to their vehicles after parking in a car park. These accidents tend to occur at low speeds when drivers are most likely to let their guard down, and yet even a minor collision can be dangerous and expensive.

Here we revisit some parking fundamentals and suggest some simple safety tips to help keep your vehicle free from scratches, scrapes and dents.

Reverse into parking spaces

It’s generally safer to reverse into a parking space than it is to drive into one. This is because you can drive straight out when you leave the space instead of blindly reversing out into the path of oncoming traffic.

To reverse into a parking space:

– Pick out your space and pull up past it by about a single car’s length.
– Check for any vehicles, pedestrians and obstacles. If the coast is clear, put on your indicator and put your vehicle in reverse. Make sure you have enough space for the front of the vehicle to swing out.
– Slowly reverse into the bay looking back through the rear windscreen. You can glance at your wing mirrors if it helps with accuracy.
– Straighten your steering as you enter the bay to make sure your vehicle is parked centrally.

Blind spots

All vehicles have blind spots in different places. Make sure you know where yours are and check them when making any tricky parking manoeuvres. Your mirrors will help with vision but won’t let you see everything – checking over both shoulders will give you the 360-degree range of view you need to be sure of what’s around you.

Give a wide berth

Make sure you park your vehicle as centrally as possible, leaving enough access space for the vehicles next to you. This will reduce the chances of scrapes and scratches.

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