Two brothers from Gloucester have broken the Guinness World Record for the tightest parallel park.
John and Alastair Moffat both managed to park their MINI Mayfairs between two other cars, leaving a gap of just 13.1 centimetres – about the same size as a pen. The previous record stood at 14 centimetres.
We can't promise you'll ever be as good as the Moffat brothers but follow our tips below for the perfect parallel park and you won't be far off!
We’ve all been there – trying to parallel park into a space, which you know is just too small. After the 6th attempt, we give up and have to drive round again with our egos bruised. When deciding whether a space is big enough, ensure there is a foot or two either side of your car. Remember the smaller the space the harder it will be.
When you spot your space, signal and approach slowly, making sure there is enough room for your car – always be aware of what car you’re driving, it can be difficult to realistically gauge the size of a car if you change vehicles more often than you change your socks. Drive past the space and align your bumper with the bumper of the car that you’ll eventually be parked behind, ensuring there is a 1 meter gap between both cars.
Wait until the road is clear, or if you are on a wider road, ensure that the drivers around you know your intention. Putting your hazard lights on is a good way of letting other drivers know. Begin to reverse slowly. When your cars rear bumper is inline with the car parallel's rear, steer half a turn left (the steering wheel should be upside down).
Continue reversing until your wing mirror is aligned with the car in front. You should be at a 45º angle. Now turn the steering wheel sharply in the opposite direction and slowly bring your car into the space being careful that the nose of your car doesn’t touch the car in front.
You should now be in the space with a few inches between your car and the kerb. Move forward, straightening up the steering wheel as you do. If you feel you could be closer to the kerb, use this opportunity to do so by steering left. Apply the handbrake, get out and admire your handy work.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll have the perfect parallel park every time. Remember, practice makes perfect!