What are the Manoeuvres?

You may be a confident learner driver preparing to take your test, nevertheless, even some of the best drivers have problems with the standard driving manoeuvres, consisting of bay parking, reverse bay parking, parallel parking and an emergency stop.

Whether you have currently booked your test or have only just started learning to drive, it’s definitely essential that you know the driving test manoeuvres and comprehend how best to demonstrate them. As your driving test examiner will ask you to carry out one manoeuvre selected at random, it’s important that you can effectively and with confidence show all 4 manoeuvres.

Of course, there are other crucial driving manoeuvres that will not remain in the driving test, however, these are still important for you to learn when you become an independent and safe driver.

This guide explains the driving test manoeuvres you are expected to show throughout your driving test with some professional suggestions on how to complete these.

Bay Parking

DRIVE Driving School parking

Among the most important manoeuvres is bay parking, which is a basic manoeuvre which you will most likely be using each time you drive your car. Bay parking is divided into two manoeuvres of forward bay parking and reverse bay parking. While numerous people prefer to forward bay park, it is safer to reverse bay park and, in some circumstances, a lot easier than forward bay parking.

With that being said, it is important to know how to safely demonstrate both manoeuvres as you might be asked to show this throughout your driving test, however, you may only be asked to show one.

Your inspector will ask you to pick a parking bay to drive into, which you must complete while staying in the lines.

Forward Bay Parking

You ought to start off by picking a bay that is simplest for you, it’s advised to start with to avoid bays with vehicles on either side, if you can.

Move over to the left and give yourself a lot of space and take your time to prepare. Examine your mirror and blind spots to prepare your point of turn, guaranteeing that you cause very little disturbance to pedestrians and other drivers.

Ensure that the road is completely clear before steering quickly while moving at a slow rate. Turn the steering wheel into complete lock to manoeuvre the car into the appropriate position, then gradually drive forward until you are fully in the bay. Stop the car and use your handbrake.

In order to leave the bay, you will need to do all required checks – making sure that all blind spots and mirrors are examined prior to going into reverse. Start reversing to your reference point and do a half turn until you’re clear. Change to first gear, indicate, complete checks, and after that move off.

Reverse Bay Parking

Select your bay and try to place yourself in the centre of the road to give yourself enough room to manoeuvre, with approximately 2 car lengths past the bay, which is typically the 3rd line from the bay.

Position the steering wheel into a complete lock and slowly reverse the vehicle back towards your chosen bay, making sure that you take your time and examine your side mirrors throughout the manoeuvre. As you move into the bay, examine your mirrors and straighten up until the lines are either side of the car. Continue reversing back and stop when you are fully into the bay. Put the gearbox into neutral and pull up the handbrake.

When the inspector tells you to move off, put the car into first gear and indicate left or right before driving out. Make sure to check all mirrors and blind spots and keep an eye out for any pedestrians or other motorists.

Parallel Parking

DRIVE Driving School observations

The most complicated manoeuvre for learner drivers is parallel parking, which includes vital positioning, sluggish moving and checking your blind spots and mirrors throughout every step. The trick is slow reversing, but fast steering.

If your examiner asks you to parallel park, you will be needed to reverse into an area behind another vehicle by pulling up besides it. This manoeuvre is important to learn if you live in a city or if parking is restricted where you live, for example, in a street of terraced houses.

To start, pull alongside the car and position yourself into a location so that your driver side or passenger side window is inline with the front of the vehicle next to you.

Examine your mirrors and blind spots and keep an eye on the rear view mirror. Fully lock the steering wheel and gradually reverse as you approach the parallel parking space. Line up your rear tires with the rear bumper of the other vehicle in front of your area (or the front bumper if the car is dealing with the opposite instructions).

Stop the car and examine your mirrors and blind spots. Turn the steering wheel one full turn back while keeping the reversing smooth and consistent. As soon as you see the kerb in your wing mirror and the vehicle in front is clear, turn the steering wheel for another turn. Continue guiding the wheel and reverse till you are parallel with the kerb.

Ensure that the car is in position with adequate area either side for the other cars to be able to safely get out. Pull up your handbrake to stop the car.

Pulling up on the Right

DRIVE Driving School test routes

Pulling up on the right is one of the most controversial manoeuvres for the DVSA driving test as it advises learner drivers to pull out where drivers are usually recommended not to park against the circulation of traffic. With that being said, this manoeuvre is not always possible if parking spaces are only available on the right-hand side of the road, so it is important that you learn how to do this manoeuvre safely for the future.

Your driving examiner will ask you to pull up on the right-hand side of the road when it is safe to do so, prior to reversing back 2 car lengths and after that safely getting back onto the road.

To safely pull up on the right, you need to initially discover a safe location, avoiding driveways, bends or junctions and somewhere it doesn’t bring too much disruption to road users. It is also important to ensure you have a full view around you where you choose to pull over.

Use your mirrors, signal and then manoeuvre to safely pull up to the right, ensuring that no one is in your blind spots. If you fail to check your blind spots, you will fail your driving test. Pull up in a safe place and get your vehicle parallel with the kerb before stopping the car in order to prevent any obstruction to approaching cars. Stop the car and engage the handbrake.

When pulling out, check your blind spots and your mirrors before slowly reversing back for 2 car lengths, before stopping and putting the handbrake back up. Once it is safe, indicate left and securely move away and rejoin the road.

Emergency Stop

DRIVE Driving School Sudden Brake Stop

While we understand the emergency stop isn’t strictly a manoeuvre, your examiner might ask you to safely show this in your driving test. The emergency stop tests your ability to stop the car rapidly, without losing control, and shows your hazard understanding skills and action rate, which suggests that the preparation for the danger perception area of your theory test will be paid off!

Your examiner will offer you a heads-up before they ask you to show an emergency stop, so you will know ahead of time what to anticipate. The examiner will begin by inspecting your mirrors and blind spots prior to making sure that the road is clear (both ways) prior to stating “Stop” and raising their hand.

Emergency stops aren’t constantly practical and for some, can even be frightening. However, it’s a vital manoeuvre and can save lives as it prepares you for the worst case scenario.