Uphill and downhill parking: how to park on a hill with and without a kerb

How to park on a hill

At some point, all motorists are faced with the challenge of parking uphill or downhill. It is important to know the specific rules and guidelines in place so that you don’t get caught out and receive a ticket. Knowing how to position the wheels and which gear to park in will reduce the risk of your car rolling away into oncoming traffic, preventing a potentially fatal accident. Here are all the best tips for parking on hills, according to the Highway Code.

Positioning your wheels

How to park on a hill

Parking on a hill

  • i Downhill: When the vehicle is facing downhill, you should turn your steering wheel towards the kerb. Let the vehicle roll slightly till the front tyre rests against the curb for support. If the vehicle has a manual transmission, shift the car into reverse gear. For automatic transmissions, put the vehicle in park. 
  • i Uphill: When parking uphill, the wheels should be facing away from the kerb. When positioning the wheels, let the vehicle roll backwards slowly till the back of the tyre is resting against the kerb. Shift the gear to first or into park.

Parking facing uphill without a kerb

  • i If there is no kerb to rest on, you’ll need to turn your wheels out so that if the brakes fail and the vehicle rolls, it will roll away from the traffic and off the side of the road. If you’re parking in the UK or in a place where people drive on the left side, you should turn your wheels to the left.

Parking on the right side of the road

If you ever find yourself driving in the USA or across Europe, for example, always remember to turn the wheel in the opposite direction when parking on a hill. If there isn’t a kerb, the wheels should be facing right instead of left.

Comments – 1

  • @user_263200
    21.09.2022 19:48

    I notice that you are keeping the old reverse gear parking myth going strong !
    You can leave your car in first or reverse gear when parking on a hill ,both these gears have a low ratio of about 3.2 to 1 which means the engine turns over rapidly compared to say 5th gear.
    The engine doesn't run backwards when you select reverse as quite a few people imagine !!
    Regards from Neale

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