Hawkwell Driving School - Driving lessons in Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge. Tel. 01702 204674
We try to make all the manoeuvres very easy for you: We have on our car additional door mirrors which make it easy to see along the side of the car, and to judge where the rear wheels are. Also there is a centre marker in the rear screen to make it simple to reverse in a straight line, and a marker to simplify parallel parking.
Although you won't have all these on your own car when you have passed your test - they make manoeuvring on your test much easier. You will also find that once you understand a manoeuvre, helped by using these aids, you will not find it difficult to do without.
On your driving test you will only do one reversing manoeuvre.
Before any manoeuvre your examiner will always stop you at the side of the road, and explain what he wants you to do next.
For all the driving test manoeuvres you have three things to consider:
I once had a pupil who shunted forwards 5 times, when parking in a bay, because he wasn't happy with it, and he still passed!
Allegedly the examiner can allow 7 minutes for a manoeuvre. That's ages, so take your time. It is better to slowly get it right, than to quickly get it wrong.
You can also dry-steer (turn whilst stationary) if necessary, it is not a problem on your driving test.
Aim to have at least 3 stop and observe points during each manoeuvre. Always try to avoid being in the process of reversing to the left, and looking to the right. If someone walks across behind, you might run them over. And they won't like that!
Look over your right shoulder when stationary, your left shoulder when moving !
Dealing with others:
If another car approaches, while you are doing the manoeuvre, try to STOP before the other driver is close enough to have to react to you. If you stop when they are very close they may hit you, because at that point they are expecting you to keep moving. After you've stopped, if they then go past - continue with your manoeuvre. If they stop, or slow right down, and want to wait, let them.
But never just assume that they will stop because they can't get through. They might drive over the pavement to get past. I even had a very large removal lorry do this once. If it can happen, it will.
Pull-up on the right side of the road
Some points to be aware of:
Reversing from your pull-up position is easy IF you get the car completely straight before you reverse. Be very precise with the angle of the car and the steering as you pull-up. Usually it is best to drive along next to the right-hand kerb for a short distance.
Before reversing be sure that you look properly behind you through the rear window, and don't move if there are any moving vehicles close enough for you to affect. Whilst reversing keep checking in-front, and behind, and the driveways either side, by looking around - not just by using the mirrors! Finish by applying handbrake and neutral, as usual.
When pulling away afterwards be extremely careful as you will need much more space than you would if pulling away from the left-side. Really exaggerate your observation, especially over your left shoulder. A lot of modern cars have a massive blindspot on the left (nearside) rear due to the size of the rear roof pillars. Diligently use the left side mirror to confirm it is clear. Indicate only when it is clear to go. Last thing to do before you move is another left blindspot check.
Use a 2-stage technique by checking, moving, pausing, re-checking, and moving again if clear. By pausing when you re-check it avoids moving towards something as you see it!
Forwards into a car parking space
If the space is on your left you may need to keep as far right as possible as you near it so that you have room to swing the car onto a straight track before entering the space. And vice versa if the space is on the right. Line up the front of your dashboard with the nearest line of the space that you want to drive into, before turning towards it.
When you are asked to reverse out either to the left or the right, the examiner wil be looking for good observation skills. Use the mirrors and look over both shoulders out of the back window. Pedestrians and vehicles can come from any direction in a car park, and small children can run behind you - Be very careful !!!
Pull up alongside your target car about 2/3 of a metre away and about level with it.
When it is clear all around, begin to move slowly backwards and line up the furthest rearward part of the car you want to park around, roughly level with your driver's seat. Then Stop.
Reversing into a car park bay:
The examiner will give you the following instruction as you enter the test centre car park: "I now want you reverse park into a car parking bay of your choice. Please treat the manoeuvre as if you are doing it in a busy supermarket car park."
The part about the busy supermarket car park means that your observation must be appropriate to a busy car park full of moving cars and pedestrians - not an empty test centre car park.
Method #1: In a straight line:
Method #2: At 45 degrees (to the left as an example).
Method#3: At 90 degrees (to the left as an example):
Check all around and especially behind over your left shoulder, and your right side for other cars, or pedestrians. Commence turning to full lock as soon as you move (being aware of the front-swing); keep checking the left-side mirror as you curve around towards the space. Make sure that you keep the line on the left side of the parking space, on the left side of your car; and maintain the gap.
Just as you become parallel to the lines each side of the space, pause. Then straighten the steering as you move very slowly (one and a half turns-ish from full-lock to centre). Move back as necessary to get fully into the space to finish. It is better to be tight to the line on the left side when you come in as it is easy to correct by straightening slightly. It is much more difficult if you are tight to or over the line on the other side, because any correction means moving forwards.
To pass your test you can be on the line but not the other side of it, and you may finish at an angle as long as you are within the space.
Reversing around a corner & 3-point-turn are no longer done on the driving test (since Dec 2017).
How to do it:
When you get the signal to stop: STOP. Don't check the mirrors- the examiner has already checked behind - just STOP! Be quick and firm, concentrate on the brake, and only push the clutch down just before you stop (if you have time). Remember it is an emergency stop, not a casual stop. It should be sudden! Imagine that a child has just run out in front of you, and you must stop to avoid running them over. If everything on the back seat falls off you know that you've done a good one.
When you are expecting the 'stop' signal from the examiner - keep your left foot away from the clutch. If you hover over the clutch, you will automatically press it down before the brake:
(This will make the car momentarily seem to go faster: Because in the time between lifting your foot off the gas and hitting the brake, if the clutch is down, you will lose all engine braking. Maintaining engine braking at this point actually helps you stop more quickly, as it causes weight transfer to the front wheels, spreads the tyre contact patch, and digs the tyre in, enabling your braking to be harder without skidding)..
It doesn’t matter if you stall, as long as you stop.
A fail on the emergency stop is usually because the candidate either doesn't brake hard enough or doesn't react quickly enough. Remember it is supposed to be an emergency. Often a slow reaction is due to lifting your heel to re-position to brake. It is best to keep your heel under the brake pedal and pivot your foot, this is much quicker!
After you have stopped: Apply the handbrake, select neutral, and wait for further instruction. When you are asked to pull away- Check LEFT and RIGHT blindspots (because you will be well away from the kerb), and your mirrors before moving off. If there is other traffic around, but not close enough to be a problem, then indicate right to pull away. If someone comes up behind you while you are stopped - indicate left, or use the hazards, to encourage them to go past.