There are now four possible manoeuvres that you could be asked to complete as part of the driving test. All of the driving test manoeuvres have a reverse element to them. During your lessons I will cover these relatively early on as I feel they help develop clutch control, observation, reverse and steering which are all crucial elements of driving.
You may also be asked to perform an emergency stop, however this only happens on approximately 1 in 5 tests.
If your driving test is booked or you are thinking of booking I would recommend reading my post of driving test tips.
The idea of the parallel park is to show that you can reverse park behind a parked car at the side of the road. There are several different methods of doing this safely. As with all of the manoeuvres, the main focus should be on safety and observation.
You should aim to finish within two car lengths of the car in front, being reasonably close to the pavement without touching it and have good all around observations.
This is considered by drivers the most difficult of the driving test manoeuvres, however, with practice and a suitable method it should not be too difficult for anyone to master.
If another car was to approach when you were part way through this (or any other) manoeuvre, come to a complete stop. This lets the examiner know that you have seen the car. Remember; we are causing the obstruction here, we should give the oncoming vehicle the choice of either waiting for us, or driving around us. Once the car is safely clear, proceed with the manoeuvre. This is also true for pedestrians who are close to your vehicle. Imagine you are walking on the pavement and a vehicle starts reversing towards you (especially a learner driver), it would be a little scary right? Come to a complete stop until the pedestrian is clear of your vehicle.
As soon as you are straight behind the vehicle, come to a stop and secure the car.
Pull Up on the Right
The new driving test manoeuvre is the pull up on the right. This is a test of your ability to cross the carriageway safely and find a place to stop that would not cause inconvenience for other road users. Once you have crossed the road and stopped, you will be asked to reverse two car lengths and the rejoin traffic when safe to do so. As with all of these manoeuvres, effective observation and safety are key.
There are slight differences to the required observations in this manoeuvre as you are on the other side of the road, which we will cover in more detail on your lessons.
Remember, what were are doing here is not normal! You wouldn’t normally drive on the right hand side of the road. Bare this is mind when crossing the carriageway and time your manoeuvre so it doesn’t affect other cars or pedestrians.
Signals are required when crossing from the left to right and right to left during this exercise.
Bay Park (Forward)
You may be asked to pull forwards in to a parking bay in a supermarket or at the driving test centre.
Aim to stop in between the marked lines and not too for forwards or sticking out of the back of the bay. Use effective observations and as with other manoeuvres, come to a complete stop if other cars are around you until you are sure they are aware of what you are doing.
The main focus of this manoeuvre is not how you get into the bay but how you get out. When reversing out, use all around observation and look out for other cars and people walking nearby. Be aware that busy car parks usually have cars coming and going regularly and people walking in the area.
Bay Park (Reverse)
There are several different methods for reversing into a bay. How you get in is not really an issue, as long as you can do it safely and finish between the lines. Your instructor will work with you to find the best method for you.
Use close clutch control and effective steering to guide the car into the bay, stopping within the white lines and ensure that your wheels are straight before the manoeuvre is complete. Effective use of mirrors is essential during this exercise. This manoeuvre will either be done in a car park on the driving test route or at the end of the test in the test centre car park.
The emergency stop is an optional manoeuvre that is carried out in a small percentage of tests. You will have practised this with your instructor before the test. This is the only manoeuvre where observations are not required as this will be done by the examiner.
Stop the car as quickly as possible using the brake and clutch, keep your hands on the wheel until you stop and secure the car when you do so. The examiner will then tell you what to do next.
I hope this information has been useful. If you need any help or further advice, get in touch.