To do anything, we should obviously have a method when teaching a student how to drive a car, for instance, the driving instructor has his ways of imparting essential knowledge to his students.

When coming to the question of side parking, which a student is expected to face in his practical test to be conducted by the Road Transport Authorities in the later stages, as an instructor, I’m always of the opinion that this maneuver of side parking is a difficult one to impart.

First of all, a person who has no knowledge of how to drive must be good at how to control a vehicle before an instructor can begin teaching the him the art of side parking or parallel parking.

As a driving instructor, I always believe teaching my students side parking is one thing. Being able to pass it at the first attempt, is another. As such, even though there are many methods an instructor can adopt, I choose the best side parking method for my students.

The best alternative needs a lot of work. Many instructor friends of mine tend to choose the easiest method out. Most of them are as what say, out to make quick money. They are out to make fast “dough”, so it is said. And they are not concerned if the students pass or fail for that matter.

After all, if you know how the driving school system is run in this country, a student who fails his side parking part of the exam the first time has to pay a retest fee of approximately RM150.

Besides this, a student who is saddled with his side parking failure has amongst other things to deal with:

i) The frustration and disappointment of facing the second attempt.

ii) Face with quite expensive retest fees.

iii) Having to apply leave from work, school or college to attend the 2nd test.

iv) The problem of having to learn all the steps of going up the slope, side parking and the 3 point turn all over again.

The above are all encompassed in Part 2 of the J.P.J. practical test. Even though a student can appear for the retest a week after his or her first test, if you think about it carefully, it is a bit of hassle all the same.

As a driving instructor who has been involved in this driving school business for well over 40 years now, I firmly believe in the concept of teaching my students the best I can. When it comes to side parking, as such, my record in side parking is as high as 95% success.

In today’s article, I will explain to you diligently how side parking is done. The method used by me is mine alone. I do not lay claims that my method is the best. Readers and other instructors may either choose to adopt it or otherwise. They are free to do whatever they like.

Before beginning to do side parking, an instructor has to ensure that a student can control the car well. This is what we term as “perfect clutch control”. The inability to execute perfect clutch control, a student then has no proper control over the entire vehicle.

To achieve the above, the instructor is advised to take his student to an empty area in his institute’s premises. I’m sure there are many such areas in your institute where you are attached to.

After explaining carefully to the student positions of gear one and reverse gear and how to execute correctly, make the student go forward and backwards a number of times. While doing this, it is unnecessary to step on the accelerator at all. The important thing is this maneuver is to control the clutch properly.

The student should be able to control the clutch well. The car should ideally be able to move forward and backwards as slowly as possible. When the student is capable of controlling the clutch and the car moves perfectly, the instructor can then decide whether perfect control of the vehicle has been achieved or otherwise.

Some students may need a longer time than others to master this maneuver. It depends on individual students. Believe me, the time spent on this “practice runs” is well worth the effort. Your student will eventually be able to control the vehicle so expertly that it will end up making your teaching your student side parking rather easy later on. Because you see, the ability to control a car well is actually the key to good side parking techniques.

Jerking forward abruptly, engine dying off, the car going forward and backwards uncontrollably are all signs that a student cannot possibly control a vehicle well. How then can he or she to be imparted the difficult techniques of side parking. Do you get the point what I am trying to impart?

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