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Learning to drive

How to practice reversing

Reversing a car can throw some learners off. Don’t worry! We’ve got some tips to help you with the reversing manoeuvres in the practical driving test.

Pull up on the right and reverse

Stop 1: Look around for a safe spot

The examiner will ask you yo ‘Pull up on the right where it is safe to do so’. Find a safe spot for the manoeuvre. You shouldn’t stop directly behind a parked vehicle or close to a junction. Don’t block a driveway or entrance.

Step 2: Remember Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre

Now check your mirrors and over your shoulder. Then indicate right. Look ahead for oncoming traffic, check in your mirrors and over your shoulder again.

Step 3: Pull over to the right

Make your way over to the right-hand side of the road at a relatively shallow angle. Aim to stop in a straight line and parallel with the kerb., close to it without hitting it.

Step 4: Get ready to reverse

Select reverse gear. Allow any traffic to pass. Now check to make sure it’s clear behind you. Reverse slowly and stay close to the kerb, continuing to keep a close eye out for traffic.

 

Step 5: Rejoining traffic

Look ahead, in your mirrors and over your shoulder to check it’s clear. If there’s a safe gap in both directions, signal left and pull away, moving over to the left side of the road.

Reversing into a parking bay

Step 1: Stay out

Reversing into a parking bay is much easier if you give yourself a bit of space to work with before you go backwards. So, don’t stay too close to the row of bays you will reverse into. Instead, check ahead and behind you, and if traffic allows move out around half a car’s width from the bays. Indicate in the direction you will be turning.

Step 2: Swing in

Come to a stop just beyond the bay you will be parking in. Select reverse gear, and have a good look around you to check for other cars or anyone on foot. If it’s clear, look out of the rear windscreen and start to reverse backwards, turning toward the bay.

Step 3: Take it slow

It’s important to take your time rather than rush. Reversing slowly will give you time to adjust the direction of the car, aiming for the middle of the bay. It may help to use your outside mirrors as reference points – think of each mirror ending up just inside the white lines which mark either side of the bay.

Step 4: Keep looking around you

Good observation is crucial to reverse parking. While your main focus is behind you, it’s important to keep glancing around. If pedestrians or other vehicles come close, wait until they have passed, unless it’s clear that they are waiting for you.

Step 5: Straighten up the car

Once in the bay with the car in line with the white lines, straighten the wheel. If you are not quite straight, check for traffic and people on foot and, if it’s clear, pull forward a little, steering the car so it’s parallel with the white lines Then reverse back again so the car is squarely within the bay.

 

Parallel parking

Step 1: Stop moving

You’ll be asked to pull up in a space that’s big enough for the car you’re driving. Stop level with the car you are going to reverse behind and no more than one metre out to the side.

Step 2: Be ready to reverse

Select reverse gear while checking all around you to make sure it is safe to drive back, with no other traffic approaching. If it’s clear, start moving backwards slowly.

Step 3: Turn the wheel to the left

Look over your left shoulder to see where you are going. When the corner of the car you are reversing behind disappears in your passenger-side window turn the wheel to the left one full turn.

Step 4: Keep looking around you

Now check carefully all around you again to be sure there’s nobody walking close to the car or other road users nearby. If it’s safe to do so, continue to reverse back into the parking space.

Step 5: Turn the wheel to the right

Now turn the steering wheel hard the other way (two full turns should do it). This will tuck the nose of your car in toward the kerb. Just be careful that the front of your car is clear of the other vehicle.

Step 6: Straighten the wheel

Once you are parallel to the kerb, straighten the wheel. It’s okay if you need to move back and forth a couple of times to tuck the car right in. Make sure you’re not sticking out into the road or up on the kerb.

Reversing into a parking bay

Step 1: Look around for a safe spot

The examiner will ask you to “Pull up on the right where it is safe to do so”. Find a safe spot for the manoeuvre. You shouldn’t stop directly behind a parked vehicle or close to a junction. Don’t block a driveway or entrance.

Step 2: Remember ‘mMirror, signal, manoeuvre’

Now check your mirrors and over your shoulder. Then indicate right. Look ahead for oncoming traffic, check in your mirrors and over your shoulder again.

Step 3: Pull over to the right

Make your way over to the right-hand side of the road at a relatively shallow angle. Aim to stop in a straight line and parallel with the kerb, close to it without hitting it.

Step 4: Get ready to reverse

Select reverse gear. Allow any traffic to pass. Now check to make sure it’s clear behind you. Reverse slowly and stay close to the kerb, continuing to keep a close eye out for traffic.

Step 5: Rejoining traffic

Look ahead, in your mirrors and over your shoulder to check it’s clear. If there’s a safe gap in both directions, signal left and pull away, moving over to the left side of the road.

Reversing into a parking bay

Step 1: Stay out

Reversing into a parking bay is much easier if you give yourself a bit of space to work with before you go backwards. So, don’t stay too close to the row of bays you will reverse into. Instead, check ahead and behind you, and if traffic allows move out around half a car’s width from the bays. Indicate in the direction you will be turning.

Step 2: Swing in

Come to a stop just beyond the bay you will be parking in. Select reverse gear, and have a good look around you to check for other cars or anyone on foot. If it’s clear, look out of the rear windscreen and start to reverse backwards, turning toward the bay.

Step 3: Take it slow

It’s important to take your time rather than rush. Reversing slowly will give you time to adjust the direction of the car, aiming for the middle of the bay. It may help to use your outside mirrors as reference points – think of each mirror ending up just inside the white lines which mark either side of the bay.

Step 4: Keep looking around you

Good observation is crucial to reverse parking. While your main focus is behind you, it’s important to keep glancing around. If pedestrians or other vehicles come close, wait until they have passed, unless it’s clear that they are waiting for you.

Step 5: Straighten up the car

Once in the bay with the car in line with the white lines, straighten the wheel. If you are not quite straight, check for traffic and people on foot and, if it’s clear, pull forward a little, steering the car so it’s parallel with the white lines Then reverse back again so the car is squarely within the bay.

Parallel parking

Step 1: Stop moving

You’ll be asked to pull up in a space that’s big enough for the car you’re driving. Stop level with the car you are going to reverse behind and no more than one metre out to the side.

Step 2: Be ready to reverse

Select reverse gear while checking all around you to make sure it is safe to drive back, with no other traffic approaching. If it’s clear, start moving backwards slowly.

Step 3: Turn the wheel to the left

Look over your left shoulder to see where you are going. When the corner of the car you are reversing behind disappears in your passenger-side window turn the wheel to the left one full turn.

Step 4: Keep looking around you

Now check carefully all around you again to be sure there’s nobody walking close to the car or other road users nearby. If it’s safe to do so, continue to reverse back into the parking space.

Step 5: Turn the wheel to the right

Now turn the steering wheel hard the other way (two full turns should do it). This will tuck the nose of your car in toward the kerb. Just be careful that the front of your car is clear of the other vehicle.

Step 6: Straighten the wheel

Once you are parallel to the kerb, straighten the wheel. It’s okay if you need to move back and forth a couple of  times to tuck the car right in. Make sure you’re not sticking out into the road or up on the kerb.

Parallel parking

Step 1: Stop moving

You’ll be asked to pull up in a space that’s big enough for the car you’re driving. Stop level with the car you are going to reverse behind and no more than one metre out to the side.

Step 2: Be ready to reverse

Select reverse gear while checking all around you to make sure it is safe to drive back, with no other traffic approaching. If it’s clear, start moving backwards slowly.

Step 3: Turn the wheel to the left

Look over your left shoulder to see where you are going. When the corner of the car you are reversing behind disappears in your passenger-side window turn the wheel to the left one full turn.

Step 4: Keep looking around you

Now check carefully all around you again to be sure there’s nobody walking close to the car or other road users nearby. If it’s safe to do so, continue to reverse back into the parking space.

Step 5: Turn the wheel to the right

Now turn the steering wheel hard the other way (two full turns should do it). This will tuck the nose of your car in toward the kerb. Just be careful that the front of your car is clear of the other vehicle.

Step 6: Straighten the wheel

Once you are parallel to the kerb, straighten the wheel. It’s okay if you need to move back and forth a couple of fo times to tuck the car right in. Make sure you’re not sticking out into the other vehicle.