Which Manoeuvres are on Your Driving Test?

Jack Dreyer | Monday 17th June 2024 12:00pm

Person driving holding the steering wheel with one hand whilst the maps show on the dashboard.

Preparing for your driving test can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. Most people commit a lot of time and financial investment when preparing to take their driving test — whether for the first time or any times after that. Driving tests have changed drastically over the years, though, getting harder with each amendment. According to recent government statistics, the pass rate was 48% between 2022 and 2023, showing it’s not an easy feat.

One of the most challenging elements of a driving test is the manoeuvres part, with over half of young drivers finding parking stressful. While some manoeuvres can seem daunting during a test situation, after you’ve passed, they’ll become second nature as you use them every day.

Check out the list of manoeuvres below to start getting familiar with what’s expected and how to ace them on your driving test.

1. Parallel park

This manoeuvre requires you to reverse park at the side of the road, usually in a line of other cars. As complicated as it may seem, the 1-2-1 method (one full turn left, 2 full turns right, 1 full turn left again) is an easy way to remember how to successfully parallel park.

It’s important to remember that it’s likely that you're parallel parking in a busy area on a road; so, it’s vital to make sure that you keep an eye out for pedestrians and other hazards too.

A classic rhyme to help you remember to complete all your checks is, ‘Mirror, mirror, who’s behind the (door) pillar?’ If you sing that to yourself, you can’t fail to check both mirrors and your blind spot.

2. Reverse bay park

The first of the two bay parking manoeuvres, the reverse bay park is one that you’ll use day-in day-out when you’ve passed your test. While perhaps seen as harder than the forward bay park, the mechanics of the car when turning can actually make this version easier. It also gives you greater visibility when leaving the parking space, as you are facing traffic already.

To reverse into a bay, select the bay you’re aiming for and drive three more along, so your shoulder is in line with the third bay line. Indicate and then slowly reverse until level with the second bay line, then turn the wheel full left lock. As you become parallel with the bay lines, ease the wheel back around and keep going until fully in the space. There you have it, you just aced your reverse bay park!

Student driver reversing with learner plate on car door.

3. Forward bay park

The second of the bay park manoeuvres, and sometimes seen as the easier of the two, it’s still vital to ensure you signal and check for hazards. Safety is key after all!

The following outlines a forward bay park on the right (so simply flip the instructions for one on the left). Approach the bay, and full lock right when the line lines up to your wing mirror. As you enter, slowly bring the wheel to the left, straightening the car until you’re fully in the space. To make sure that you’re straight, check your dashboard against something else parallel in front of you, like a wall or fence. This is an easy way to ensure you’re exactly where you need to be.

4. Pull up on the right

Added in 2017, there are 3 distinct parts of this manoeuvre:

  1. As the name suggests, after checking it is safe, pull over on the right-hand side of the road.
  2. When instructed, reverse 2 car lengths, about 8 metres.
  3. Finally, when the examiner says, make sure it is safe and rejoin traffic.

As long as you ensure that you are sticking to the trusty acronym MSM (mirror, signal, manoeuvre) you can’t go wrong. As always, be careful of bumping up onto the curb or hitting the sidewall of your tyre against it, as these are frustratingly easy ways to damage your tyres.

Now you know all the manoeuvres on a driving test. If you’re particularly worried, just remember to take it slow, and keep an eye out for hazards. The best way to get the hang of them is to practise, practise, practise, preferably in a quiet area with little traffic. Do this and you should master them in no time at all.

Here at Kwik Fit, we offer a range of services that are designed to keep your car running smoothly. To find out more about the services that we offer or how we can help, visit our services page, stay up to date with our blogs, pop into your local Kwik Fit centre, or contact us directly.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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