It’s one thing driving a car, but it’s making all those tricky manoeuvres on your test that really sets the nerves jangling. This blog outlines with videos the manoeuvres you may be asked to make on your practical driving test, and describes some others that you may not be asked but it would be good to have in your kitbag.
As well as these manoeuvres, you are expected to be comfortable with more independent driving, to follow directions and while driving, answer vehicle safety questions, skills which are also illustrated clearly with a video.
Independent driving on your practical test
During your driving test, you will be asked to do about 20 minutes of independent driving. For most candidates, this will also include following directions on a sat nav. Here’s a video to show you what to expect.
Compulsory driving test manoeuvres
There are three driving test manoeuvres that you will be asked to make.
1. Bay parking
There are two types of bay parking. You might be expected to demonstrate one of the following:
- Forward bay parking: driving in and reversing out of a parking bay
- Reverse bay parking: reversing in and driving out of a parking bay
You will need to practise during your lessons but read our blog for a little help in bay parking on your driving test. Here are two videos to help you.
2. Pulling up on the right
This is one of the most controversial manoeuvres and was introduced in December 2017. The Highway Code has always urged drivers not to park against the flow of traffic but the DVSA contended that it’s important for drivers to know how to do so as pulling up on the right is legal and, in some circumstances, necessary.
The manoeuvre is broken down into three main parts:
- Pulling up on the right
- Reversing back two car lengths, and
- Rejoining traffic
3. Parallel parking
You will be asked to park the vehicle in a parking space parallel to the road and usually in a line of other vehicles. In the test, you’ll pull up next to a vehicle in front of your chosen parking spot, and then reverse into it.
Practice makes perfect but read this blog for a little extra advice on parallel parking.
4. The emergency stop
It’s not compulsory but one in three learner drivers are asked to perform an emergency stop during their driving test. You won’t know whether it will be on your test until you’re told by the examiner on the day.
The emergency stop tests a learner driver’s ability to bring their vehicle to a halt quickly— without losing control or stalling. You will be told to drive along the road at the normal speed permitted and, when you least suspect it, the examiner will ask you to perform an emergency stop. They usually do this by raising their hand and saying “STOP”.
Other manoeuvres to master on your driving test
A number of compulsory manoeuvres were dropped from the driving test when it was updated in 2017 but they are still good skills to practise. These were:
1. Reversing around a corner
Pre-2017, you would be expected to do this in three stages
- Stopping just before the junction you want to reverse into
- Driving past the junction, and
- Reversing into it after finding your point of turn
You will need to make sure you’re not too close to the kerb, or too far away from it, as you reverse. Once you’re on the new road, keep reversing until you’re parallel with the kerb.
2. Turn in the road
Also known as the three-point turn, as you should be able to turn a car around in the road so it faces in the opposite direction to which it came in three manoeuvres, this was probably the movement that caused more sleepless nights than any other. However, you could, in fact, go back and forth more times than three to turn the vehicle if needs be.
The most important thing with the three-point turn was to avoid clipping the kerb at any time, or rolling towards the kerb because of the camber of the road.
More help on passing your driving test
There’s heaps of information on this website aimed at helping you pass your driving test. If your test is imminent, you will benefit from reading these three blogs:
- Driving test nerves? Here’s how to overcome them
- Most common driving test mistakes and how to prevent them
- Driving test tips to help you pass your driving test first time
Don’t forget to tell your insurer when you pass your test
If you have a learner driver insurance policy you will need to inform your insurer so they can upgrade your policy as soon as you pass your test. Adrian Flux have a host of young driver insurance schemes even if you plan to drive something with a little more oomph than the standard ‘first car.