I've seen parking lot signs in Spanish stating "en posición de salida", literally "in exit position", which means that you should back into the spot so your vehicle is facing out when it’s time to exit.

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That's for safety reasons. That way it is less problematic when many drivers flee the location given a danger alert.

I've Googled images for equivalent signs in English in order no know the correct English version of this sign to no avail.

"Back in only", "exit-ready position", "exit position", "park front face" or "park facing forward" don't seem correct to me.

Can someone tell me what the correct/common/official wording is (a picture of such a sign in the real world will be most welcomed)?

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    I have never seen such a sign in English in the U.S. I do see "park front end in" signs occasionally. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 12:53
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    I've never seen such a sign in English speaking countries. You said that the ones you proposed "don't seem correct." In what way? Grammatically? They could all be used for this purpose, though I've never seen such a sign in any wording in English.
    – ralph.m
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 12:54
  • @PeterShor Seems that people in the US are more worried that parking car exhaust pipes might stain their white-painted walls than that chaos might reign in a dager situation :) Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 16:25
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    Another reason is that the default direction in the U.S. is front-end-in. If you ask people to park rear-end-in, many people do this so rarely that they may be incompetent at it—which would lead to delays and damage to cars. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 16:28
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    Here's an example in Google Maps street view, in the US. It's not very common parking in the US, though. It says "BACK IN ANGLE PARKING". google.com/maps/@42.7309519,-73.7045492,3a,15y,332.07h,87.05t/… Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 18:43

4 Answers 4


I found one example from the San Diego Union Tribune regarding backing into on-street parking:

Sign "Back-in only"

But this uses back-in as a compound adjective, which is not particularly good.

The UK has standardised road signs, and this directive isn't included, so signs in car parks are generally custom-made, using words like Reverse into this space. But in my experience they are generally directions not to reverse into the space.

  • In the UK, the vast majority of car parks aren't public roads so can, presumably, use whatever signage they want. There's rarely enough space on a British street to have parking that's not parallel to the direction of traffic so the arrangement pictured in San Diego seems unlikely, here. (Aren't public roads in the sense that they're private land and the owner grants the public permission to drive their cars there.) Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 16:47
  • I wonder whether it's only because the parking slots are angled and it would be cumbersome to park front-first. The signs I've seen in spanish are for non-angled spots and the reason is because it is quicker to flee in case of a fire in an industrial area. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 18:52
  • @user1598390 The parking-slots are angled to make it impossible [or very difficult] to use them any other way. There are two streets near me (in the UK) which have this sort of parking, but the slots are angled so that cars drive in forwards and reverse out. Arguably, that is not as safe.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 18:54
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    @DavidRicherby It can't be told from the photo whether these parking spaces are private or owned by the municipality. But back-in parking is for safety regardless of whether the orientation is angled or perpendicular— the driver is facing forward and has a closer view of any oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Many parking garages in my area (public or private) require it. Moreover, in the picture, there is not enough space for a pullout lane, so forward angle parking would not be safe.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 19:18
  • Some places require front-in parking because of low overhang in the parking space where the front of the car would fit under it nicely but the back would strike the obstruction if one backed with an SUV or station wagon. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 20:24

The google searches at these links show many example English signs... reverse parking only signs and back in parking only signs

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    Wow I guess I have to whet my googling skills. Thx. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 13:06
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    @AndrewLeach: Thank you for pointing out that link-only answers are discouraged. Having said that, I think that the OP SHOULD whet his googling skills. Part of the reason that I put the links in my answer was because the OP said that he had no luck with Google.
    – James
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 13:26
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    @AndrewLeach I think the answer has more than just a link. It provides two textual examples - reverse parking and back in parking. They seem like good answers and the link is evidence.
    – bib
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 14:07
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    @James Well, if you don't know what it's called (and this question is about what it's called) you don't know what to search for. Especially since the English version is about how to move into that position vs the Spanish about what position to be in.
    – Random832
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 14:13
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    @James I said that because the OP should not have to whet his googling skills. Link-only answers are discouraged, and answers should contain useful content, being edited to include that if possible. Editing in a number of images is tedious, so I pointed it out in order that you might improve your answer. Perhaps I could have done that better.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 16:40

In my part of the world the expression "Rear To Kerb" is used for this. Since all of the web examples that I've seen are prone to extreme link rot I'll just provide the relevant search query which will doubtless continue to yield a bountiful harvest.


Had this been a consistent policy in Australia then there would doubtless have been links to the signage and its meaning. However the policy on this is completely inconsistent whether within states (some of which, when last I checked, had a blanket ban on rear to kerb parking) or within towns, cities and regions within those states since some parking rules are enforced at local level, some (mostly no stopping prohibitions on motorways) at state level.

I don't believe that the motivation for enforcing rear to kerb parking has to do with a danger alert. Certainly a country town like Tamworth doesn't have a lot of those. It's because the driver has much more visibility when driving out of a parking space than when reversing out of them. If you're parked nose in and have a one tonne van parked on your left and an oversized "pickup truck" on your right the amount of visibility that you'll have of the traffic on the road when you're backing out is next to none. So the only thing you can do is back out reeeeaaalll slowly and cautiously until you can see something on either side, and hope that in the meantime no jackass with an "I own this road!" mentality comes down and smacks the living bejebbers out of your side panel.

The trade-off for this is that backing into a spot takes more time than nosing in, again because you need to get good visibility of the line markings and make sure that you go in between them, and judge when you're far enough back but not so far that your tail lights play kissy-kissy with the brick wall behind you. That extra time will obviously mean the possibility for disruption to the traffic flow.

Generally the local authorities will weigh up which is the bigger risk / cost, and assign parking accordingly. The down side of that inconsistency is that if you go for a drive in New South Wales you need to pay VERY close attention to the signage (whether it is front to kerb or rear to kerb, AND what the specified angle is) if you want to avoid a parking ticket.

Though in reality angle parking is probably less common down here that common or garden parking alongside the kerb.

  • Did you mean bejeebers instead of bejebbers?
    – ErikE
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 22:27
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    @ErikE: Sort of. It's a quirk of my writing style in open forums; whenever I do an "expletive redacted" substitution (particularly with semi-humorous intent) I'll often use some kind of phonetic misspelling of a term which invites the reader to "substitute your own word here, depending on the level of profanity that you're comfortable with". With a particular circle of friends who have also seen some drivers whose concept of road sharing is non-existent, I would have used a term which is neither "bejebbers" nor "bejeebers" (nor, as the OED asserts, "bejabers") but one which is more... piquant.
    – Alan K
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 22:40
  • Huh, I had no idea that there was a bejabers or bejabbers word. It just seemed more natural the way I spelled it. Completely subjective!
    – ErikE
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 22:41

In addition to "ANGLE PARKING / BACK-IN ONLY", I have also seen the slightly different "BACK-IN ANGLE PARKING ONLY" in Seattle, Washington, USA, as on this sign (follow image link for Google street view):

back-in angle parking only sign

I think answers that provide more data about different regions where different terms are used are useful, and are not simple duplicates.

I have also seen the reverse in California, USA, saying something close to "Do not back into spaces", but unfortunately I can't come up with an example right now.

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    This answer was already given several hours ago.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 20:01
  • Not with this exact phrasing—as far as I can tell. That makes this a different answer, not the same one as any other.
    – ErikE
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 20:02

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