Vehicle Side Parking – Learn How To Control The Clutch

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?

By | 2012-11-02T12:47:33+08:00 July 16th, 2010|Side Parking|23 Comments

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  1. aaron NGiam July 19, 2010 at 10:24 am - Reply

    cikgu yap is the any other way’s in passing this exam because my bahasa melay is not very good .i took it 3 times already.i took the exam in melay trice but could not really understand it .is it much more esy if i take it in english i am taking it again this tuesday pls help out and reply asap .thanks alot also

    • Cikgu Yap July 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Do your computer test in English.

  2. amar July 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    the retest fee is very high.mine was RM 170.the is school offering “pakej sampai lulus” but for me its “pakej pasti lulus” .you will pass B2 test and D test easily even though you hit the pole while doing the side parking…..its money matters….thats why malaysian are the worst driver in the world..

    • Cikgu Yap July 31, 2010 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Sorry you are facing such difficulties regarding prices. Unless price is controlled, there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. Driving school is a service oriented business. Prices are controlled by the driving entity.

  3. Stephanie Phang September 22, 2010 at 11:40 am - Reply

    I just started to learn side parking today and I am really frustrated. To be honest, I am frustrated since day 1 of driving lessons. I must admit I am a very timid driver which is the main problem. I didn’t learn how to ride a bicycle until I was 11, here I am being 30 year old and taking my driving lessons for the first time.
    Today has been really frustrating. I could never took the methods of my instructor taught me. I wanted to change instructor since day 1 because he is not a very patient instructor which sometimes he would shout and made fun of my timid driving skills. My confidence is being stripped off every time I attend his lessons. Today he even complained about the hours of lesson I took so far and how it stopped him from teaching more students each day.
    I’ve read about your method of side parking but I know I can’t use the method because I have to follow his method instead but when I do, it’s always all the clumsiness and mistakes all over. And even other instructors at that driving school seen it and asked him to give me a time out.
    I am so frustrated with literally 0 confidence left and thinking of giving up but yet I don’t want to give up… it’s now or never like they said.

    • Cikgu Yap September 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Like you said, you should persist and continue with your driving lessons. Remember, a driving license is indeed important and vital.

      Try talking to your instructor nicely regarding your problem. Hopefully, your instructor will alter his attitude towards you. You may find my side parking method suitable, but as you say, it cannot be implemented, unfortunately. I hope you will be able to overcome your problem.

  4. Lisa September 30, 2010 at 11:49 am - Reply

    I pay almost thousand ringgit for driving and my instructor gives me nothing. In honestly I’m totally zero knowledge that’s why take a class. The instructor assumes me know everything and he just teach me 2 or 3 steps only. The ridiculous question is ” why you never ask your friend or your boyfriend to teach you driving?”. I still remember during the theory class, the guide said do not learn from the uncertified instructor. When I look back to my instructor question, my mind asking “if my friend or boyfriend have a certificate to teach driving,and then why I’m taking a driving class and waste my money and time to pay the driving school?”.
    This kind of instructor attitude is a major factor that can caused failure of student.They teach less, scolding when they want but they get money without do their responsibility that suppose to do.
    I’m really regret & disappointed take this school. I will suggest to all my friends and others not to take a license from this school.VERY BAD!!!

    • Cikgu Yap October 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Sorry to hear you are having problems with your present driving instructor. If yo have to, it’s best you look for a different and more understanding instructor. Best to you!

  5. mala October 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    My mother died in a hit and run when i was 12 years old i was with her when they took her to the hospital ,but she died on the way to the hospital. Since then i was was scared to driver a car.Now that i am 30 i force my self to enroll in a driving school when through all the required lessons before i learn to drive with my instructor .My instructor made me to sit for my QTI exam only after 2 lessons even though i said that i was not ready , and i fail my QTI exam and that stripped off my confidence and will to learn to drive but i force my self to continue with hesitance . But each time i sit behind the drivers seat all i can think about i what happen to my mother .It’s gotten to the point where i quit my classes after 9 sessions 2 hour each sessions because my driving school are forcing me to sit for my JPJ test even though i said i was not ready and i could not cope with the presure so i quit. I know that i may sound crazy but help me because i want to learn to drive a car but each time my fear control me with a tight grip and my driving school are’t any help.

    • Cikgu Yap October 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      A student like yourself need psychology to provide you the confidence you need. Furthermore, no student should be forced to under any test before he or she is adequately prepared. Unfortunately, your instructor has been unable to assist you much. It looks as if they are only interested in the economic aspect. I am unable to assist you except to give you advice only.

  6. A. Muraleedharan November 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    I have bought a new car. I am driving for the first time also. So far I drove about 1,400 Kms. However, the problem is that whenever I tried to enter the main road from interior, my car suddenly stops almost at the middle of the road, causing inconvenience to other traffic. After a trial of 3-4 times only, I could take the vehicle to the main road. Except this problem, I drive without much problem on the road. Only the entry to the main road from interior road is only my problem. Sir, can u say how this happens and how to overcome this problem. I have one more problem while climbing upwards. If i stop, the vehicle goes backwards. Please advise me.

    With regards

    • Cikgu Yap November 30, 2010 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Make sure you change to 1st gear at roundabouts. Step your accelerator more also. When going up slopes, enter gear one. Step more petrol and leave clutch until car jerks slightly. Then release handbrake.

  7. pooja August 13, 2011 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Dear Cikgu Yap,
    this website is very useful…i have just started learning..i don’t have any practice before instructor says i require minimum 30 hours completion to attend the practical test?!

    is that so? if it is a case i need to spend more..i am really worried..

    pl reply…the instructor is teaching…but,their teaching skill is really inadequate for the beginers..

    pl reply..
    Thanks& best regards,

    • Cikgu Yap August 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

      Your instructor has advised your number of times you have to learn. However, should you feel your instructor has not provided you the service you expect, look for another instructor by all means.

      • Francis December 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

        Looking for another instructor would mean Pooja have to pay more money. There should be a way for Grade for driving instructor/school.

  8. Lezha September 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    cikgu yap,on march 2011 i took a car license,but failed 3 times computer test..all my friend said,this place just want ur money,so switch other school..i paid down payment at this company rm:200.00 plus retake 100.00…if i switch to other school,do i have to go to the 5 hrs talk?..can i continued the payment with different school?..or the money the way,i want to take motocycle and car together..can u let me know how the process..finish moto first then car?..tq

    • Cikgu Yap September 29, 2011 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Whether you fail or pass solely depends on yourself. You should blame no one. The 5 hours KPP course need not be attended again.

      No, you can’t continue payment with another school, unfortunately. If you wish to take up car and motorcycle, you’ll have to attended 2 theory classes. You can either do motor practical test or car first or vice-versa.

  9. Angelique July 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    My driving lessons started in secret when I received a car as a gift from my boyfriend,who assumed like everyone else,I could drive a manual car.I enlisted the help of friends who showed me the basics in the area around my house while he was at work and in the beginning I was very nervous and often frustrated,because I had a lesson once every week or so,with a few days practice in between.The thing that helped me gain confidence was first of all mastering the gears and clutch,then making use of the areas inside our townhouse complex where I could practice parking and reversing by myself.About three and a half weeks after I started practicing,and taking the advice of everyone I could regarding gear-shifting and clutch control(I mostly used taxis to get around otherwise,so these drivers were kind enough to tell me and even let me hold the gear-lever as they drove)I had to drive my new car from the dealership where it had just been serviced.I called a taxi to drive behind me,as my boyfriend would be driving infront of me(one of the same coaches I used to learn gear-shifting.)and off we went.My boyfriend had taken the car to the dealership because I made an excuse of being busy that morning,but now here we were with his car and me supposed to follow him home.Quietly the taxi followed us and I kept my eyes on the back of his car.I remembered to relax,and that should anything go wrong on my end,the taxi behind me would keep the traffic away from me so I wouldn’t be rear-ended if I stopped suddenly.And stop suddenly I did,several times!My boyfriend loves speed and stopped twice to ask why I had pulled off to the side and if anything was wrong;but thankfully all I did was slow down when I was getting overwhelmed.We went through traffic circles,traffic lights and intersections;and all the while the taxi was behind me until suddenly during one stop,to avoid being seen,he had to pass me and I was panicked!There I was,no guide infront and my boyfriend behind,on a downhill and no taxi in sight..Thank god for bluetooth!I was on the fone with the taxi and he had doubled back so he was in on-coming traffic from the opposite side and made a u-turn just before me crossing the traffic light.I sped across the intersection and followed the taxi all the way down to my street and suddenly my boyfriend was over-taking me to turn infront of me.The taxi drove off and I turned quietly into our driveway.I was so relieved I breathed a sigh and pulled into our complex.These curves I knew well and I even parked perfectly in our garage with his car in it already for the first time!I hadn’t even parked this well when I was practicing alone!After this,I’ll have to make a time for my driving test between study and work,but if I could do this after less than a month’s practice from scratch,anyone can do it!

    • Cikgu Yap July 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm - Reply

      If you feel your own way of learning how to drive suits you, by all means then adopt it. I hope that you are in possession of your P license.

  10. Liaw December 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I don’t know how common is it this practice used by my driving school. There are poles and marks beside the parking space. The car is marked with 1, 2, 3, 4: steps to alignment with the marks at the parking space. This would help you in marking in the marked parking space and will help you pass JPJ test. But these marks are not in real world parking spaces. I would have to spray paint and insert poles the parking space in order for me to use the technique taught to me by my driving instructor.

    • Cikgu Yap December 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      You have to modify the parking steps learnt at the institutes to suit actual parking in towns. After all, that’s what is expected of us in real life, isn’t it?

  11. Stephanie June 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Hi, I just failed my driving test a second time today, and once again it was on parking. I have to wait another month to resit. My test area is a slightly sloped region. There are four parking bays, and a couple of them slope a little downwards so the moment I let go of the brake the car simply slides back of its own accord.

    I think what I’m still struggling a little bit about is coming out of the parking bay. Even if I’m already parked in the bay, when I’m told to ‘Keluar’ and I reverse, from then on I’m supposed to go into 1st gear and get out of the bay. What I worry most is sliding backwards the moment I move my foot from the brake to the accelerator. As a result my ‘desperation’ to prevent sliding backwards as much as possible makes my clutch control a little panicked, so I end up ‘bumping’ or my engine dies off, even if I move forward.

    Could you tell me anything about how best to control my clutch and accelerator when coming out of the parking bay, such that I don’t slide back as much as possible while I’m doing it? I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m not exerting enough pressure on the accelerator, or that I’m taking my foot off the clutch too soon. I am, after all, afraid too of accelerating too much and jerking too quickly out of the bay as well.

    • Cikgu Yap June 21, 2013 at 11:04 am - Reply

      No matter how well I advised you, the fact you are not competent in controlling the vehicle is evident. Ensure you are taught competently before going for the tests.

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