Pulling into Waitrose Car Park the other day. I looked at the way other cars were parked. One car in particular looked as if the driver had just thrown it into the space. The car was parked diagonally with the front end and near side wheel sticking into the next spot. My husband shook his head in disgust. As a Driving Instructor – seeing this sort of inconsiderate parking leaves him feeling annoyed.

I chose a parking space close to the entrance and initially felt the pressure of other cars waiting behind me. On learning to drive there’s going to come a time when people are waiting whilst you need to park. You have to commit to the manoeuvre. I’ve learnt to deal with the pressure but on some days – I just have to park somewhere else. That’s all part of being human I think!


  • Select your spot
  • Indicate if necessary
  • Position Your Vehicle (As taught by your APass4U Driving Instructor)
  • Begin to carry out the maneouvre
  • Use good all round observation Inclusive of mirrors and blindspots
  • Reverse parking is recommended. (On a bay park, it is easier and safer to drive out into traffic, rather than drive into it.)


  • Use your mirrors as you reverse. Especially your wing mirrors.
  • Reverse very slowly. This gives you more control and time to correct yourself, if things start to go wrong and your positioning is not central

Ideally, you will be trying to gain a central position within the box. Unfortunately, there are many bad parkers out there – whether selfish, unaware or not trained properly. You need to take into account the parking of those cars on either side of you. Observe the direction their wheels are facing. Take a moment to think about how close they will come to your vehicle on leaving their parking space. Any concerns, if possible, choose a different space.

The thing I’ve had difficulty knowing is whether or not I am tucked snugly inside my space, without the nose of my car sticking out.

A way to make sure you can do this, is by looking underneath your wing mirrors. Is the front white line of the bay, level with the underneath of your wing mirrior. If it is, then you’re safely in. If you can’t see the white line as it’s partially rubbed out, then there is no shame in getting out of the car and taking a look.

Once you’ve learnt to bay park correctly. Keep doing it. This will help build your confidence and help you to continue do so in the future. It will also make others who park near you happy too. Always a win/win…