Pulling Over on the Left

Pulling over on the left is something that you’ll need to do quite frequently as a driver and it’s also something that the examiner will ask you to do a handful of times on your practical test.

The usual instructions from the driving test examiner when they want you to pull up on the left would be something like ‘I’d like you to find somewhere safe and convenient and pull up on the left.’

As soon as the examiner asks this it usually means the examiner has spotted somewhere safe and convenient so you should start to think about making your move. Once you have spotted somewhere nearby which is suitable to pull into ease off the gas and check the interior mirror to see the speed and position of the vehicles behind you and then check the left door mirror to check for any cyclists. When it’s safe then give a left signal to confirm your intentions that you wish to pull over and then you can start to reduce speed by gently braking.

(Do not brake first before checking your mirrors or signalling as there may be a vehicle behind you and you could catch them by surprise and run the risk of being rear ended.)

Start to steer into the space once you’ve passed the last vehicle on your left. The amount of steering will depend on how wide the space is that you’re pulling into and how fast your car is going. Generally the faster you are going the more you’ll have to steer so it’s probably best to pull into the space at walking pace using the brakes to control the speed.

A good guideline from driving on the main to pulling in on the left is to start braking gently, steer a quarter to the left, allow your car to enter enough, then steer a quarter to the right to straighten the body of the vehicle then when the body of the vehicle is straight steer a quarter to the left to straighten the wheels.

Aim to park relatively close to the kerb and a maximum of around a steering wheels width from the kerb. If the car is still far from the kerb repeat the process but do avoid parking too close to the vehicles in front.

Once you are happy with your distance from the kerb then secure the vehicle by raising the handbrake and selecting neutral. Once you’ve done this the examiner knows that you are finished and will then give you their next instructions.