Reversing into a parking bay
30th September 2016
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The first thing to do is select the space you want to go into then position the car about 6 feet (2 metres) away from the bays. Assuming the space is on the left, line up the left door mirror with the 3rd line passed the space. Engage reverse gear check all around and behind you to make sure it is safe to start. As soon as you move off turn the steering wheel full lock to the left. Once the car has turned through 90 degrees turn the steering wheel to the right to straighten the wheels, the car should now be positioned to reverse slowly straight back until the car is fully in the space. As this is a car park behind may be another vehicle or wall, so look through the rear window to judge when to stop, do not rely just on the mirror. Then apply the handbrake and put gear lever into neutral.

If the space is on your right you do exactly the same but line up with your right door mirror and steer right.  

There is no guarantee that the car will be perfectly in the middle of the space each time (although using this method should ensure you will not be far out), most spaces are only 1-2 feet wider than the car so there is not much room for error. If the car is not straight or closer to the line on one side than the other drive slowly forward, make the correction and straighten up again, you should now be able to see the lines in your mirrors. Provided the car is lined up for the middle reverse slowly back into the space again. On a driving test as in real life you are allowed to drive forwards and back again to make any necessary corrections or start again if it goes wrong. 

A good tip to check you are in the middle of the space once you have finished is to open the drivers door and look to see if you have about a 1 foot gap between the line and the car, apply the handbrake and engage neutral before doing this.

Effective observation whilst doing any manoeuvre is very important. You should at all times be aware of what is going on around you. Because this manoeuvre is carried out in a car park you should be particularly aware and on the look out for pedestrians.

Final note: this manoeuvre is only done at test centres that have a suitable car park and can be done at any time during the test.


For more information call Steve at Pelican School of Motoring on: 01992 589783 or email:

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Victoria H

Member since: 11th March 2014

My name is Victoria Hunter and I'm a true Hertford person - I went to school in Hertford and grew up here. I understand the importance of bringing trusted businesses and the community together, and believe...

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