Angle Park

Whereas most normal parking spots are perpendicular, angled parking spots allow drivers to glide into the spot with minimal steering. This makes them a quicker, more efficient way to park, especially in areas with a lot of traffic like parking garages and city streets. Because of how little maneuvering is involved, learning to park at an angle couldn’t be easier. As you approach the spot, cut the wheel gently until you’re even with the lines or cars beside you, then place your vehicle in park and save valuable time getting where you’re going.


Pulling Into an Angled Parking Spot

  1. Locate a parking spot. As you enter the garage or lot, keep your eyes peeled for a vacant spot. Angled parking spots are most commonly used in high-traffic areas, so spots may come and go quickly. Look for telltale spaces between cars or other drivers who are preparing to leave.[1]
    • Make sure you’re paying attention while scanning for an opening to avoid an accident.
    • Angled parking spots take up less space than perpendicular ones. For this reason, they’re often seen in commercial lots, multilevel garages and busy side streets.[2]
  2. Check for traffic in both directions. Look from left to right to make sure there are no cars coming. Be sure to also watch the drivers in front of you in case they slow down or make a sudden turn. When you’re certain that your path is clear, begin approaching the spot slowly.[3]
    • You should always be in the habit of checking for traffic, pedestrians and other potential obstacles, even when you’re just parking.[4]
    • If the parking spot is on a one-way street, you won’t have to worry about any cars other than the ones behind you.
  3. Put on your turn signal. Using your turn signal will let oncoming vehicles know that you’re about to park and indicate which direction you’ll be turning. That way, they’ll be able to adjust their speed or come to a stop to give you the room you need to pull into the spot.[5]
    • It’s important to use your turn signals correctly to let other drivers know your intentions. Activate your right turn signal if the parking spot is on your right; switch on your left turn signal if it’s on your left.
    • You can also use your signal to show that you’re waiting on a spot to open up in a crowded lot.
  4. Turn into the spot slowly. Reduce your speed as you near the parking spot. Press the brake lightly and let your vehicle coast until it’s alongside the spot. When your mirrors are even with the line on the side nearest to you, begin turning the steering wheel to guide the front end of the vehicle into the spot.[6]
    • The slower you’re traveling, the more room for error you’ll have when making the turn.[7]
    • If you’re going too fast as you get closer to the spot, you may accidentally overshoot it.
  5. Center your vehicle in the spot. Continue turning until the front end of your vehicle is in line with the edges of the parking spot. Inch forward and come to a stop at the line, curb or wall that marks the end of the spot. Ideally, your vehicle should be pulled up as far as it can go—this will make you less likely to get rear-ended.[3]
    • Use your windows and mirrors to double check that you’re lined up correctly.
    • If you happen to pull in crooked, put your vehicle in reverse, back halfway out (checking behind you before you do) and straighten up.
  6. Put the vehicle in park. Once you’ve come to a complete stop, hold down the brake pedal and slide the gear shift to the “P” position. This will place your vehicle in park. Turn off the engine. You can now safely exit the vehicle.
    • Keep your foot on the brake until the vehicle is securely parked.
    • It may help to apply the parking brake if you’re parking on an incline. This will prevent the vehicle from rolling out of the spot.[8]

Backing Out of an Angled Parking Spot

  1. Put the car in reverse. Start the engine and press your foot down on the brake pedal. Move the gear shift to the “R” position. You’ll now be ready to back out of the spot.[9]
    • Don’t forget to disengage the parking brake if you put it on while parking.
  2. Check behind you for cross traffic. Before you begin backing out, turn your head to scan for oncoming vehicles. They might be harder to see when exiting the spot, so look twice just to be on the safe side. Don’t start backing out until you’re sure no one is approaching.[4]
    • Look over the same shoulder as the direction you’ll be turning.[9]
    • The white reversing lights on the back of your vehicle will alert other drivers that you’re preparing to pull out of the parking spot.
  3. Begin backing out slowly. Pull straight out of the spot, using the brake to control your speed. Keep your foot on the brake the whole time you’re easing out. Check again for oncoming traffic once your line of sight is clear. [10]
    • Never back out of a parking spot with your foot on the accelerator.
    • Vehicles in the travel lane technically have the right of way, so be sure to stop if you see another car coming.[11]
  4. Turn the wheel slightly as you exit the spot. When you’re halfway out of the spot, start cutting the wheel gradually in the same direction you pulled in. Since the spot is at an angle, you won’t need to turn much. Just make a smooth, loose arc, reversing until you’re pointed straight ahead.[3]
    • The key to steering in reverse is to turn the wheel whichever way you want the rear of the vehicle to go.
    • Angled spots are meant to be exited the same way they’re entered. Cutting the wrong way will force you to make a much sharper turn and may leave you facing the wrong direction.
  5. Line your vehicle up with the main drive. Come to a complete stop, then shift the vehicle into drive (the “D” position on the gear shift). Rotate the steering wheel to straighten out your front tires. Wait until the lane ahead of you is clear to begin moving forward.
    • Make sure you have adequate clearance on all sides before you proceed to drive off.[5]
    • Keep an eye out for other drivers attempting to leave their parking spots.
  6. Drive away. Once you're safely out of the parking spot, increase your speed and return to the flow of traffic. Congratulations, you’ve successfully angle parked!
    • Watch your speed until you’re out of the parking lot or garage.


  • Always leave your seat belt on until you’re finished parking.
  • Avoid accidents by eliminating distractions, keeping your wits about you and practicing defensive driving skills.
  • If you’re ever unsure whether or not you’ll be able to fit in a given spot, it’s usually safest to pass it up and look for another with more room.
  • Backing into or pulling through a parking spot will make it easier to get out when you’re ready to leave.
  • Some newer cars are equipped with backup cameras, which can come in handy when backing out of an angled spot with low visibility.


  • Pay attention to where you’re going at all times. Collisions are a frequent occurrence in garages and parking lots.

Sources and Citations

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