Mastering the Art of Hillside Parking: A Guide for Drivers
Mastering the Art of Hillside Parking: A Guide for Drivers
Parking on a hill might seem like a daunting task, especially if you're new to driving or haven't had much experience with varying terrain. Whether you're in a hilly urban environment or exploring the countryside, understanding the nuances of hillside parking is crucial for both safety and convenience. Let's delve into the details of how to park on a hill effectively. 

1. Choose the Right Spot

The first step in hillside parking is selecting an appropriate spot:

  • Look for a spot that is level if possible. It's much easier to park on a hill if the spot itself is relatively flat.
  • If you must park on an incline, find a spot where the gradient is gentle rather than steep. This reduces the risk of your car rolling.

2. Engage Your Parking Brake

Your parking brake (handbrake) is your best friend when parking on an incline:

  • Before you even begin to park, engage your parking brake. This helps prevent your car from rolling downhill.
  • For extra safety, consider leaving your car in gear (manual transmission) or in 'Park' (automatic transmission) after engaging the parking brake.

3. Turning the Wheels

The direction in which you turn your wheels depends on whether you are parking uphill or downhill:

  • Uphill: Turn your front wheels away from the curb or edge of the road. This means if your car does start to roll, it will roll into the curb, which can help stop it.

  • Downhill: Turn your front wheels towards the curb or edge of the road. If your car starts to roll downhill, the curb will help stop it.


4. Consider the Curb

Utilize the curb to your advantage:

  • When parking uphill, get as close to the curb as possible without touching it. This provides an additional buffer against rolling.
  • When parking downhill, ensure your tires are against the curb to prevent your car from rolling into traffic.

5. Check Your Surroundings

Always be aware of your surroundings when parking on a hill:

  • Look out for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.
  • Use your turn signal and check your mirrors before pulling over to ensure you have enough space.

6. Exiting Safely

When it's time to leave, do so carefully:

  • Before starting your engine, check your mirrors and blind spots for any approaching vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Release your parking brake gradually after putting your car into gear (or 'Drive' for automatic transmissions).


Mastering hillside parking requires practice and attention to detail, but with these tips, you can confidently navigate inclines wherever you drive. Remember, safety is paramount—always engage your parking brake and consider the direction of your wheels relative to the curb. Following these guidelines, you can park on hills smoothly and securely, ensuring a stress-free experience every time.

Whether in the city, suburbs, or countryside, these tips will help you easily tackle hillside parking. Happy parking!