Parallel Parking with Cones: A Step-By-Step Guide 2023

September 30, 2022

Parallel parking with cones is not the easiest maneuver you’ll encounter in driving. You approach the parking place parallel to the car in front of it and then carefully back into it.

In this guide, I’ll take you through the whole procedure of parallel and reverse parking with cones. Stay put!

How to Parallel Park with Cones

reverse parking with cones

Step 1: Locate an Empty Parking Lot

Position your automobile next to the curb in a parking space. Place a cone 3 feet in front of your automobile and another three feet behind it. Drive your vehicle cautiously away from the curb and cones after getting inside it.

Step 2: Check Your Mirrors 

Look for other traffic in your right and left right side mirrors and rearview mirrors. Put your car in reverse after making sure there are no other cars in your blind spot.

Step 3: Line Your Car’s Front Seat with the Front Cone

Turn your steering wheel toward the curb while applying firm pressure. Put your vehicle in reverse and carefully back up, keeping an eye out behind you to be sure nothing is in the way. Continue backing up slowly until there is enough space for you to fit your car between the cones.

Step 4: Focus on the Brake

Put the brakes on using your foot. As you carefully reverse, turn your steering wheel far from the curb. 

To ensure your car navigates the cones appropriately, check your mirrors and the space in front of you. Once you are near the rear cone, move your automobile into position.

Put your automobile in drive while slamming on the brakes. Step off the brake gradually and accelerate to position your vehicle between the two cones.

Step 5: Repeat the Procedure

Practice until you understand the maneuver well and are confident while parallel parking. You can then progress to real-life scenarios with real parking spaces.

If you need more driving tips, visit the Pierre Paul Driving School website to learn more.

How to Find an Appropriate Parking Space

parallel parking with cones

Locating a parking space is the first step in parking a car. When selecting a parking space, keep the following in mind: 

  • A larger vehicle necessitates a larger parking space than a smaller vehicle.
  • You must have enough side clearance to maneuver, around 4 feet on each side.
  • Check if other vehicles have been parked on the white line that marks your parking space, as it may be too small.
  • When parallel parking, look for a space that is about 1.5 times the length of your vehicle.

Also, if possible, find a wide parking space far from other vehicles and pedestrians.

Even if you get used to coping with tight parking lots and pedestrians, parking perfectly in tight situations will be significantly more difficult than in open parking areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the parallel parking distance with cones in New York?

The cones should be a foot wider than the car’s width. This is 12 inches (20 cm) on each side of the vehicle, passenger, and driver sides. In terms of vehicle length, the distance between cons should be one and a half vehicle’s length.

Why do drivers reverse into parking spaces?

You might believe that whether you pull in or back in, you’ll eventually have to reverse your car, making it more difficult to drive safely. In contrast, backing into your parking place gives you a better view of pedestrians and cars than backing out of the space.

What three forms of parking are there?

There are various types of parking, namely: 

  • Perpendicular parking: This method involves parking cars side by side and making them perpendicular to a curb, wall, or aisle, as shown below:
perpendicular parking
  • Angle parking: It’s similar to perpendicular parking, but cars are aligned at an angle to the curb or aisle. See the photo below:
angle parking
  • Parallel parking: This type of parking requires a driver to park between two cars in a line, one behind and one ahead, as in the image below:
parallel parking

How is a parking space straightened out?

When your back wheel is less than 18 inches from the curb, start twisting the steering wheel far from it. To straighten out, you should pull both forward and backward. Your car should be parallel and no closer to the curb than 18 inches.

How can you escape a crowded parallel parking space?

Your attention should be on the back wheels as you move out of parallel parking. Try to straighten your steering wheel as you move. To avoid hitting the car behind you, reverse or back up as far as you can. Reversing until you can see the automobile’s tires in front is the best test.

What’s the trick to parallel parking?

Practice is the key to parallel parking. It is a simple skill to learn, and yet repetition is what keeps it sharp. Parallel parking requires only a parking space large enough to fit your vehicle.

Should I signal when making a three-point turn?

Yes, you should. Always remember the golden rule: mirror, signal, and maneuver before doing any turn. Therefore, don’t forget to do it right after checking your mirrors

Other drivers won’t anticipate a three-point turn because they won’t know you have to turn your car around.

What makes parallel parking so challenging?

Parallel parking is most prevalent on streets and roads since angled or perpendicular parking may obstruct too much driving space. Being able to position your car between two already-parked vehicles correctly makes it one of the trickiest driving techniques to master.

Does hitting a curb make you fail your driving test?

Yes, hitting a curb is an automatic fail when taking a driving test. However, if you only scrape the curb and get back to your lane fast enough, you’ll only lose some points and not necessarily fail.

What occurs when you gently approach a curb?

You could still harm the alignment if you are traveling between 5 and 10 mph when you hit a curb. 

An experienced service professional should examine your alignment if the steering pulls to one side and operating the car is difficult. If left unchecked, you can encounter driving hazards.


With the above guide, you’ll learn parallel parking with cones effortlessly. You’ll be confident enough with the parallel parking mirror trick, which will help you watch out for oncoming vehicles. 

After several classes and tests, you’ll be good to go!