Reversing into a Parking Bay

Reversing into a parking bay is a traditional manoeuvre that has been asked on the UK driving test for over 10 years. This is when you will need to reverse park your car into any given bay.

This exercise is usually done either at the beginning of the test or at the end and pretty much always asked at the test centre. Many times in the past if the test centre didn’t have a car park the examiner would not choose to ask you to do this manoeuvre unless there was another test centre nearby which does have a car park and they can ask you to do it there.

The examiner will ask you to choose any bay that you would like to park into (sometimes the bay will have written for test candidates only) and then it’s over to you.

Pull forward in front of the bay you wish to park in and try to keep around two metres distance from the bay you will use as this gives you more time to adjust it later if necessary.

Start reversing until you have reached your point of turn (reference point) and then you can start to steer. Plenty of observations are essential at all times as you will need to ensure it’s safe around you and that you are not affecting any other road users or pedestrians.

For the speed, clutch control speed is always good as it is generally slow enough to manage and keep under control. Some bays maybe downhill so you might need to use brake control.

Keep checking around you regularly and straighten up when your car is straight. Feel free to use your mirrors to check that you are in the bay and if you are happy with the exercise then you can continue until the front wheels have entered the bay.

If you are not happy with the exercise you can pull forward to adjust it. Remember if you do pull forward you will need to check around you again as you are now going in the opposite direction and then once it’s safe pull forward enough so that you will be able to readjust the car to fit the bay. Once you have pulled forward enough and straightened your vehicle then start reversing back again as soon as it’s safe and endure that your car is in the bay.

Once you have completed the exercise secure the vehicle so that the examiner can open the door to check if they wish.

Remember that all 4 wheels must be in the bay and not over or touching the white lines.

Finish with your car as straight as possible and the wheels straight.

Plenty of observations regularly and look directly into the back window rather than your interior mirror as looking directly behind means you can also see out of the right back door window too.

If at any point during this exercise it is not safe to continue, pause until it is.

Good luck for your test!