How to back a car into parking bay quickly and accurately?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by skyrider007, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. skyrider007 macrumors 65816

    skyrider007

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #1
    I'm quite a new driver (2 months) and still have slight difficulty backing my car into parking bay at shopping malls. Does anyone know how to do this quickly and accurately? I don't want to annoy the car behind me who have to wait or wants to take my space, lol.

    Thanks
     
  2. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #2
    Go to a remote, unoccupied section of a lot and practice, practice, practice.
     
  3. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #3
    I trust you are not trying to park your avatar? Because that thing would be a beast to park in any space. ;)

    Nothing beats practising… and keep on practising.
    Also, unless you are really clueless, don't be too apprehensive about another driver "waiting" for you. Better you take your time than you take a nice scrape off someone else's paintwork…

    Remember: Practice. :D
     
  4. skyrider007 thread starter macrumors 65816

    skyrider007

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #4
    I shall practice more! :D

    Thanks, again I'll practice :) The car is a Lexus LS460 by the way, unfortunately it's the 2007 model which doesn't have auto-parking assistant thingy.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    You've been told to practice so I'll refrain from echoing that sage advice. I have to ask though, as a driver of many years I find it incredibly lame for people to back into a spot in a public parking lot if it is not required or necessary. No offense meant to people who do, but if it's not necessary then why bother?

    But yeah, practice. ;)
     
  6. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    #6
    It'll be second nature before you know it. Don't sweat it.
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #7
    I usually find a place to 'pull through' instead of backing in :)
    But I am in an F150 4X4, so it takes a little more space than some

    It is actually easier to back it into a space than to pull it in :0

    I wouldn't get so hung up on getting the closest space
    I would rather park stress free and walk a little further than hunt up and down aisles

    Oh yeah... practice

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Because it's easier and safer to leave when you do. If you back in you have full visibility as you do so which is safe (this is true at this stage if you drive straight in too). When you pull out if you back in you again have good visibility. But if you drive straight in you are forced to back out. You now have limited visibility if there are cars on either side of you greatly increasing your chances of backing into another vehicle or a pedestrian. So, basically, driving straight in puts you and your vehicle at unnecessary risk.

    This basic fact is actually in the UK Highway Code (item 201). OK a driveway is not exactly the same as a parking space in a lot, but the reasoning is the same...
     
  9. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #9
    It is far easier (speaking for myself) to back a car into a space than to try the nose first thing… Also easier and safer to drive out. :)

    But then again I have had more than 28 years to practice. :eek:

    Edit: As robbieduncan said.
     
  10. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #10
    Fixed that for you. ;) Auto-park will not solve any problems, only make you--ultimately--a less competent driver (plus, I believe it was only for parallel parking, anyway). Skill comes from doing things yourself, not having automation do it for you. You're better off for not having it.
     
  11. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    #11
    You're driving that and don't know how to park? :confused: Ask Daddy for a chauffeur.
     
  12. skyrider007 thread starter macrumors 65816

    skyrider007

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #12
    I agree. That's why I prefer to back my car into parking space. : )

    Good tip! BTW your truck is a beast!!! Cool one!

    Lol, I do know how to park but it sometimes it take a while to get the car parked quickly without causing troubles.

    I'll be practicing! :)
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #13
    I park ass backwards 95% of the time. You'd hate seeing me drive. :p


    And I don't know if practice is what you need. You need someone who knows what they're doing to show you how to do it. My stepfather was sitting beside me one day (I already knew how to drive), and he just gave me simple advice on how to back into a spot. I tried it, it worked perfectly, and it has been very very easy since then.

    Follow my little diagram:

    1. Drive straight.
    2. When you see an awesome parking space, drive towards it.
    3. When you get close to the parking spot, turn your car the other way and drive away from you. Essentially, once you get close enough to the spot, make a semi "U-turn".

    4. Stop. Look behind you. Change gears to REVERSE.

    5. Back into the spot.


    When I'm at step 4, the back of my car is facing the parking space directly. If I straighten my steering wheel, I can almost back straight into the parking space. The car will require a slight adjustment in angle. That's all. Easy.

    If you don't do Step #2, it'll be a lot more difficult to back into the space because you need to back your car into the spot in the way that's similar to driving forward into the space. This requires you to turn your car by 90 degrees.
     

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  14. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #14
    I don't know why it hasn't been mentioned, but you just need to practice ;)
     
  15. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #15
    Just go in FORWARD!

    It takes MUCH less time, and is much less annoying to other drivers.

    When you back out, go slowly. People are happy to stop for you because your space is opening up.
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #16
    Might like to point out a problem in parking backwards. Some one else (normally in a big truck) well back out of their parking spot and can easily have some time do put a trailor hit though front of your car. Or they just back into it.

    The real kicker is they can do that and not even know they have done it. They leave and you have no way to drive home. Your car is stuck in the parking lock because some one else screwed up.

    Like another poster above I just do not see the point of backing into a spot. It general takes more time to do so and it saves you next to none when you leave. It sucks let me tell you. I have been called to go pick up friend who was stranded. I could tell by looking at the damage the other driver did not hit and run because they where scared but more because it was a big truck that did not even feel the hit.

    As for learning how to do it. It just takes time. I personally recommend you pull in forward and backing up like most people do until you can do it with out asking for help or advise. It newbies who try to do it that end up hitting other cars and not knowing it and leaving. I have a ding in the passager side of my car from a newbie not knowing what he was doing and scrapping my car backing in.


    My advise is DO NOT BACK INTO SPOTS YET. you are asking for advise which means you clearly are not ready for that more advance driving. Until you can tell where the corners of you car are and learn how to do it. Don't. While it might be easier to leave afterward . It is much more forgiving backing out of a parking spot than backing in.
     
  17. Bow Rekk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Don't you have to be able to reverse park for your driving test?

    It is much easier to park straight on the first attempt if you back in. Especially in tight spots.
     
  18. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #18
    My son just took his test in North Carolina and didn't even have to back up, other than to back out of his parking space.
     
  19. gibbz macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
  20. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #20
    learning to drive in an ls460 sedan, that must pretty fun(ny to watch:p). the first car i drove legally was gx47 and its way to much suv for any new driver to control. I had the same advice Abstract had it works great but I really dont care so i just pull in headfirst.

    here across the pond, well in my state anyways, the only parking they make you do is parallel, and if you can do that i guess they assume you're golden.
     
  21. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #21
    Yea its really just as easy to go in forwards as it is backwards once you know what you're doing.

    My old Land Rover had the worst turning radius. I remember my sister in a parking garage trying to parking and having to make like a 12 point turn, backing up traffic. Come to think of it I am impressed it actually fit in the parking garage without hitting the ceiling.
     
  22. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #22
    Fixed. It should be pretty obvious who I'm talking about.
     
  23. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    #23
    Also, make sure your mirrors are setup properly and don't be afraid to use them. You can park in some very tight spots if you learn to use your side mirrors. Many people are not comfortable going backwards while looking in their side mirrors.

    Unless there is a lot of traffic I rarely look over my shoulder to back anywhere, and none of my cars have rear-view mirrors, just the side mirrors. My work truck is a whole different ball game though...
     
  24. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    In my Corner
    #24
    Just close your eyes and floor it :) ...seriously tho, just make good use of your side mirrors and practice w/ cones or something. also make sure you have a good idea of how long your car really is so you don't back into a wall or another car.
     
  25. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #25
    When I was first learning to drive, my driving instructor drilled it into me how to back into spots, and we practiced a lot. So much so that I was actually better at backing the car in than driving it in forwards.

    Now, years later, I've discovered that I seem to have lost that skill, so I need to practice again. Of course, I am driving a different car now (that's my excuse, anyway).

    I was actually taught slightly differently than the diagram Abstract posted. The way I was taught was this:

    Drive PAST the spot you're interested in, and line up your rear wheels with the stripe of the spot past where you want to park. (e.g. you want line 1 in this diagram, driving from right to left: |1 (car) |2 (open) |3) Then reverse, turn the wheel all the way, and start backing up. Trust the turn, if you've lined up the car right there will not be a need to make any adjustments. When you are fully 90 degrees with the spot, straighten the wheel and continue backing in.

    It's a bit unconventional, and it has the MAJOR disadvantage that if anyone is following you too closely, you won't be able to back into the spot (because you drove right past it and they'll now be blocking it). But, it worked every time!
     

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