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Practical Test - Manoeuvres
Overview of the Manoeuvres Required for the Practical Driving Test

For the normal learner practical driving test, you will need to know how to perform four standard manoeuvres, each involving reversing your vehicle:
  • Reversing around a corner into a side road on the left
  • Turning in the road (typically a '3-point turn')
  • Reversing into a parking bay
  • Reverse parallel parking
Your examiner will randomly select two of these manoeuvres for you to perform on your driving test.

Your Instructor will help you develop the necessary skills to perform each manoeuvre correctly.  Each manoeuvre will require careful vehicle control whilst taking effective observations to deal with other road users and pedestrians.  The manoeuvres are typically introduced / practiced in the order listed above as each subsequent manoeuvre builds on the skills previously learnt.

Be patient - each manoeuvre takes time to master; you will need to practice them many times with your Instructor.

Reversing around a corner into a side road

This manoeuvre is typically used to turn your vehicle around, although in a driving test is not necessarily used for this purpose; it is more about demonstrating safe, careful vehicle control.  You will need to demonstrate slow consistent control of your vehicle, keeping reasonably close to the curb throughout, whilst taking due regard of other road users and pedestrians at all times.  If another road user appears during your manoeuvre, be prepared to give way, safely move out of their way, or if necessary pull forward and re-start the manoeuvre.

Common problems:
  • poor speed control, resulting in accuracy and observation faults
  • over-steering, causing you to strike or mount the curb
  • under-steering, causing you to end up too far from the curb
  • ineffective observation / not responding to other road users and pedestrians
Turn in the road

The examiner will refer to this manoeuvre as a 'turn in the road using forward and reverse gears' and not a 'three-point turn' (as it is more commonly known).  This is because the number of 'points' will vary depending on the width of the road chosen.  That said, once you develop the skills to a high level, you will find the manoeuvre typically takes three-points to complete, unless the road is very narrow, in which case it is more likely to take 5 points.  The examiner will be looking for careful vehicle control, effective steering, and observation throughout to deal correctly with other road users / pedestrians.  Be prepared to give way to other road users when correct to do so, and if a road user is prepared to wait for you, don't panic, but try to complete the manoeuvre promptly.
Common problems:
  • poor speed and or steering control
  • inadequate use of the width of the road
  • hitting or mounting the curb
  • continuing the manoeuvre without due regard to other road users / pedestrians
Reversing into a bay parking space

This will involve reversing into a designated parking bay, finishing squarely, fully within the bay, leaving an equal gap between the two side lines.  Your instructor will teach you several ways of going about this particularly parking manoeuvre.

Common problems:
  • incorrect starting position to reverse into the bay
  • not finishing within the bay with suitable accuracy
  • lack of observation to the rear of the vehicle whilst performing the manoeuvre
Reverse parallel parking

This manoeuvre is what is used to park your vehicle into a limited gap on a side street. This park requires the most accuracy and is therefore typically left until last.  However, don't fear - the examiner will not make you park in tight space - typically you will be required to complete the park within a gap of about two car lengths, you probably will not have a car too close behind.    You will need to have precise vehicle control to perform this manoeuvre accurately.
Common problems:
  • not enough observation to rear of vehicle
  • incorrect steering / approach angle
  • finishing too near (mounting curb) or too wide from curb
  • using too much space to complete the park
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