Whether you just bought a house with a small garage door leading to a small garage or you have a new teen driver in the house, it takes some getting used to when it comes to squeezing your car into a limited space. Maybe your garage isn’t even that small, but you have a lot of bikes, lawn equipment, tools and seasonal decorations that are taking up a lot of space. This can leave you with a tiny parking space that you have to adjust to.

Here are some tips on how to prep your garage to accommodate an inexperienced driver and how to best park the vehicle.

Prep the Garage

Most modern garages are built with plenty of room to fit the number of cars it was built for.  But garages weren’t originally designed to be used as storage for all your other stuff, which will make gaining access to the actual space quite tough. Before you even attempt to park your car in the garage, do the following.

  • Check Sensor Placement: Many homeowners store bulky items such as tools, shelving units with paint cans, and bikes hung on hooks in the back of their garage. This may make it more difficult for you to pull the car in all the way. Take a look at where your garage door sensors are. Measure how long your vehicle is and then compare that with the space available. You’ll want to run a test to see if your garage door will actually close with the car inside. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to move things out of the back of your garage and store them somewhere else.
  • Create a Mark: Especially at first, you may not be sure exactly how far you can pull into your garage without hitting something. In this case, you may want to hang a tennis ball on a string from the ceiling. Then you will know to stop when the ball bounces off your windshield. You can also add bumper guards along the sides of the walls so you don’t damage the car or anything around it.

Inspect the Garage

If you notice anything amiss with the operation of your garage door, have it inspected before using it, and make any necessary repairs now before they become bigger issues.


It may take several tries before you can accurately estimate the available space on each side. That’s OK, practice makes perfect! Just take your time, and heed these tips:

  • Adjust the Mirrors: It’s not just the car itself that you have to fit into the space – you also have to account for the side mirrors that jut out. Those can easily get scratched and even torn off if you misjudge. Fold them inward if you can, at least initially.
  • Do a Trial Run: Before you park in the garage for real, try doing it outside in a parking space. It’s best to try this in a spot with cars on either side.
  • Learn from someone else: If you’re trying to teach your teen driver how to park in the garage, the best way to do that is let him or her watch you do it a few times. Tell them to pay attention to the constant adjustments you’re making as you inch into the spot.

Achieving a new driving or parking skill can be daunting at first no matter how old you are. Protect your garage, door and vehicle by taking it slow and practicing.  

Contact M&M Garage Doors

Tired of your small garage? Looking for a new door to match your new garage? We can help. Get in touch with us at (586) 610-5434.