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M is for... Manoeuvres!


Lets take a look at all 4 of the manoeuvres on the driving test.

It's important to note that although turn in the road and reversing round a corner have been removed from the test, they are still very much used in day to day driving.


We'll look at what the manoeuvre is, why we might do it, and what the examiners are looking for on your driving test.


The 4 current manoeuvres are;

- Forward bay park

- Reverse bay park

- Parallel park

- Pull up on the right & reverse


Forward bay park

What is it: This is driving forwards into a bay, and reversing out.

Why might we do it: We may choose to drive forwards into a space if we're in a car park. It is sometimes easier and quicker to pull forwards into a bay, however it makes it harder to reverse out, and you may have less vision around you.


Forward bay park

Take a look at my awesome drawing!

1 (black) - drive forward into the space

2 (green) - reverse out of the space

3 (blue) - drive forwards


What the examiners guidance says (simplified);

- The forward park exercise should be conducted into a parking bay in a car park along the test route. The examiner will direct the candidate to a suitable area of the car park.

- There is no requirement to carry out this exercise between two cars.

- Whilst being directed around the car park the candidate should be advised to drive forwards into any convenient bay, finishing within the lines, either to the right or the left (if car park layout allows).

- The candidate can make their own choice of bay and carry out the manoeuvre in the way that they choose. The candidate should then be asked to reverse out to the right or left. If there are one way systems in operation, the examiner should dictate which direction the candidate is required to reverse in.

- Examiners should make no attempt to determine or dictate which bay is used or how the candidate carries out the exercise.

- If the car park is too busy or no bays are available or suitable, the examiner should direct the candidate out of the car park.

- Candidates should park within a bay, but examiners should not be too concerned, when making their assessment, of the final position of the car in the bay. Parking outside the bay is unacceptable. Candidates should not normally be penalised for crossing the lines when entering the bay. Examiners should consider whether the car could reasonably be left, in that car park in the prevailing conditions, in that position.

- Irrespective of the presence of other vehicles or pedestrians, the candidate should be expected to take all round observations to ensure that the manoeuvre is executed safely. The question is not whether there is anybody there, but whether the candidate has taken adequate observations to ensure that safety is maintained throughout the exercise.


Reverse bay park

What is it: This is reversing into a bay, and driving forwards out.

Why might we do it: We may choose to reverse into a space if we're in a car park etc. It's often safer to reverse into a bay and drive out forwards, as you'll have better vision when you drive out.


Reverse bay park

Take a look at my awesome drawing!

1 (black) - reverse into a space

2 (blue) - drive out


What the examiners guidance says (simplified);

- The reverse park exercise can be conducted either into a parking bay in the DTC car park or on road (parallel parking). Examiners should allow the candidate to reverse into any bay of their choice and no attempt should be made by the examiner to determine or dictate which bay is used or how the candidate carries out the exercise.

- This may be done at the start or end of the test.

- At the start of the test: The candidate should be told that, before going on to the road, they are to carry out the reverse park exercise into a convenient bay. They should be asked to drive out of the bay to the left or right and stop with the wheels straight before reversing into any convenient bay and parking the car. The instruction is to prevent them reversing back, into the bay on the same lock.

- The candidate may elect to drive forward to adjust the angle at which they address the bay they intend to reverse into, or space permitting, they are allowed to drive forwards into one bay before reversing back in a straight line into the opposing bay.

- At the end of the test: On the approach to the centre the candidate should be advised to turn into the car park and reverse into any convenient bay to park the car. The candidate can again make their own choice of bay and carry out the manoeuvre in the way that they choose.

- Parking outside the bay is unacceptable. Candidates should not normally be penalised for crossing the lines when entering the bay.

- Irrespective of the presence of other vehicles or pedestrians, the candidate should be expected to take all round observations to ensure that the manoeuvre is executed safely. The question is not whether there is anybody there, but whether the candidate has taken adequate observations to ensure that safety is maintained throughout the exercise.

- If, because of the examiner’s seating position, the candidate has difficulty in taking observation, examiners should be prepared to adjust their seating position during the reversing exercises.


Parallel park

What is it: This is pulling up alongside a car, and reversing behind it, finishing parallel to the kerb, and then driving on again when safe.

Why might we do it: There may be a tight space next to the kerb that you wish to park in, therefore making this manoeuvre appropriate & necessary. The parallel park is often seen as difficult, but can be kept fairly simple if taught well.


Parallel park

Take a look at my awesome drawing!

1 (black) - parked car

2 (blue) - reversing in behind the parked car

What the examiners guidance says (simplified);

The examiners view the reverse parking into a bay, very similar to parallel parking - be sure to read the examiners guidance for reverse parking, as well as this -

- The candidate should be asked to pull up well before a parked vehicle identified by the examiner. They should then be asked to drive alongside it and reverse into a parked position either:

*Behind one parked car, when the exercise should be completed within two car lengths or;

*Between two parked cars, where the gap should be equal to about two car lengths.

- The candidate should show proper care for the safety of other road users while reversing. If, because of the examiner’s seating position, the candidate has difficulty in taking observation, examiners should be prepared to adjust their seating position during the reversing exercises.


Pull up on the right & reverse

What is it: This is pulling up on the right hand side of the road, and reversing back in a straight line for 2 car lengths, then rejoining the main road.

Why might we do it: You have no spaces on the left to pull over, or you may be visiting a friend who's house is on the right hand side of the road. It's a good skill to have, to be able to pull up on the right, reverse, and rejoin the main road.


Pull up on the right & reverse

Take a look at my awesome drawing!

1 (black) - pull up in a safe place on the right hand side of the road

2 (green) - reverse out of the space

3 (blue) - rejoin the main road safely


What the examiners guidance says (simplified);

- This manoeuvre should be carried out during routine driving, on a general main road which would normally carry light to medium traffic flow.

- It is not always necessary for the candidate to encounter traffic whilst completing this manoeuvre.

- Whilst driving on a suitable road, and at a safe location, the candidate should be asked to pull up on the right when it is safe to do so. Once stationary, the candidate should then be asked to reverse for two car lengths before being asked to drive on again.

- If the candidates begins to select a location which is not suitable, then the exercise should be aborted before moving across to the right and attempted later in the test.

- The candidate should show proper care for the safety of other road users while pulling across to the right, reversing and moving off.

- If a vehicle pulls in front of the candidate prior to the completion of the exercise, the examiner should take control of the situation and advise the candidate to reverse back further to allow a clear view ahead.

- If a vehicle blocks the candidate from reversing, the manoeuvre should be aborted and a manoeuvre attempted later in the test. If this situation causes the candidates view to be severely restricted then the examiner should offer some assistance.


So in brief, the examiners are looking for lovely control of the car, accuracy of the manoeuvre, and good effective all round observations to ensure safety at all times.


Your instructor will support you to practise these manoeuvres, in different situations, road conditions, weather conditions, etc :)


We hope you find this information useful!

Next week we're looking at... Navigation!


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