Private Practice

Learning to drive with Parents or Friends.

Parents or friends who provide private practise are generally a great help to driving instructors and those learning to drive.

It is important to encourage as high a standard of driving behaviour as possible. Learner drivers prefer to stick to a high standard of driving, as then they are justifiably proud of their achievements, and they know that anything less will not do on the driving test.

Make sure you are legally safe.

Before accompanying a learner driver, you must make sure that you meet the minimum licence requirements, that you are over the age of 21 and that you have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years.

You must also have the necessary insurance cover.

You are not just a passenger, but a supervisor, with responsibilties to the learner and other road users.

Route Planning.

Sensible route planning is absolutely crucial in most stages of learning to drive, but especially important in the early stages. Do not expect too much from a novice driver. It is far better to gain experience in a progressive manner, start gently and gradually expand as skills increase. This can take time and there is no typical learner. People gain skills at different rates.

Inappropriate route choices will have a negative effect on the confidence of the learner driver, not least because he will know that there are no dual controls, in the event that things go wrong.

Avoid school times, rush hours, tricky roundabouts and junctions, keep them safe and positive, and they are off to a good start.

Make sure that the basic skills are in place and success will follow.

Communication.

Keep your instructions simple. Do not overcomplicate with technical jargon. You may understand it, but your learner probably won’t.

Be patient. Things that you take for granted, can be difficult for a learner to get used to and it can take some time before things are understood, so avoid being short tempered or snappy, as this will have a negative effect.

When mistakes occur(and they will!) do not criticise, just explain what happened and how to put it right next time. Remember- learner drivers will not set out to do it wrong.

Your own skills.

Be sure you are familiar with the basic requirements of driving safely. You must understand the mirror- signal- manouevre routine, the importance of observation and blind spots and have a responsible attitude to road safety.

If you are not sure how to approach private practice, feel free to ask your driving instructor.

It’s usually a sensible approach to allow the student to have around five lessons with their driving instructor before starting private practice, as this will allow some of the vital, basic safety requirements to be understood. Try not to pressure the student into private practice, they may not yet be comfortable with the idea.

For those of you going ahead with private practice, the following series should be of help. Good luck!

Scroll down for the session guides.

Private Practice, Session 1. Moving Off and Stopping.

“There are a lot of things to remember and get right in the first few lessons, but follow the routines given by your driving instructor, and it soon comes.”

  • Select a road that is fairly quiet and wide, which is free of too many parked cars.
  • Avoid any area where children are playing.
  • Be sure to personally check for safety before moving off.
  • Do not start too near vehicles parked ahead of you.
  • When parking or pulling over, take control of the steering wheel if necessary, to avoid “kerbing” your tyres. Explain to the student why you have taken that action.

Explain what is to be practised.

Check knowledge and understanding.

Ask some questions to check that the student can remember what their driving instructor has taught them about moving off and stopping.

Points to check during practice.

  • Carries out the “cockpit drill”- doors, seat, steering, seat-belt, mirrors, (DSSSM), correctly, in order and reasonably quickly.
  • Completes safety checks before starting the engine.
  • Prepares the car to be ready to move- correct gear, enough gas, clutch at biting point and handbrake.
  • Observation, including mirrors and blind spots
  • Smooth use of controls as the car moves away.
  • Adequate steering.
  • Assumes normal driving position.
  • Chooses a safe place to stop.
  • Uses mirror, signal, manouevre routine (MSM), especially when stopping.
  • Brakes gently to a smooth stop.
  • Accurate stopping position.

Typical Problems:

Stalling:

  • Lets the clutch up too far and too quickly.
  • Sets too little gas.
  • Releases gas as the clutch bites.
  • Does not keep feet still.
  • Releases the handbrake too late.
  • Kangaroo as the car moves off.
  • Loss of confidence due to pressure.

Stopping:

  • Difficulty in braking and steering together.
  • Unable to judge distance from the kerb.
  • Jolt or stall as the car stops.

Observation:

  • Takes too long between looking and moving.
  • Forgets blind spot check.
  • Uses MSM incorrectly.

Session 2. Correct Steering.

“Steering correctly and accurately can be a little tricky to start with, but just follow the guidance offered by your driving instructor, and it soon works out.” Gail Wilkins, Gloucester.

There are two aspects of steering that should be practised.

Steering in a straight line, or to keep to a normal driving position on the road. This will usually require only slight movements of the steering wheel.

Steering to turn a corner or complete a manouevre, which will require much more steering.
These methods can both be practised on quiet roads.

It is important that the student understands and masters the “push- pull” steering method, as any other style will not be successful on a driving test, and can lead to safety problems. Your driving instructor at John Lowe Driving will explain this method fully. Make sure you understand and operate this steering system yourself, before the practice session.

Push- Pull Steering.

Feed the steering wheel through your hands so that one hand is always gripping the wheel. For example, to turn right, pull the steering wheel downwards with your right hand and at the same time slide your left hand down the rim so that both hands end up at the same height on the wheel. Then change the grip to your left hand and push the wheel further round, at the same time allowing your right hand to slide up the rim of the wheel. You may need to repeat these steps according to the angle through which the front wheels need to turn.

General Safety:

Be ready to take control of the steering at any time. What seems easy to you, may be difficult for a student driver.

Learner drivers often forget to correct the steering after a movement or turn, so be always ready to prompt and assist.

Practise at low speeds until the skills develop.
Remember: Explain what is to be practised and how, Check knowledge and understanding.

Major points to Check during practice:

  • Keeps speed under control.
  • Looks well ahead and not at the controls.
  • Does not steer when the car is stationary (dry steering), which can damage the tyre treads.
  • Uses push- pull steering, keeping both hands on the steering wheel.
  • Keeps both hands on the wheel, at ten to two, or quarter to three.
  • Corrects the steering at the right time.
  • Does not cross hands.

Typical Faults:

  • Looks down and not ahead.
  • Steers with small movements, when “big bites” of the wheel are needed.
  • Steers too much or too late.
  • Corrects steering too late or not at all.
  • Rests elbow on window.
  • Wobbles when changing gear.
  • Allows the wheel to spin back.

Session 3, Clutch Control.

“Clutch control is one of the first things you have to master, as the car will never drive smoothly without it. It takes practice to get it smooth, but quite soon feels normal. Don’t rush it, as that makes it harder, but just follow what your driving instructor tells you, and you will get there.” Nam Limbu, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practice.

Choose a quiet, reasonably straight, level road, without too many parked cars.

The student is going to practice clutch control, as shown to them by their John Lowe Driving instructor. This practice session involves making the car creep forwards as slowly as possible, for a few meters at a time and stopping again at a pre-selected point. You can select a marker, such as a lamp-post, by which to stop the front wheels.

General Safety.

  • Avoid children playing in the road.
  • Most of the students attention is likely to be focused on the clutch, so keep up your own observation.
  • Avoid driving in the gutter, the uneven feel will make control more difficult.
  • Do not over-rev the engine.
  • Have regular breaks to avoid overheating.

Explain What is to be Practised and How.

The aim is to move the car very slowly under clutch control, and stop at exact points without stalling.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask a few questions to ensure the student understands what is happening when the use the clutch pedal.

Major Points to Check During Practice.

  • Cockpit Drill and safety checks before starting the engine.
  • Selects correct gear.
  • Sets enough gas.
  • Finds clutch biting point.
  • Co-ordinates releasing the handbrake.
  • Adequate observation.
  • Can control the clutch to creep forward and stop.
  • Stops accurately.
  • Makes the car safe.

Typical Problems.

  • Stalls due to easing off the gas as the clutch bites.
  • Does not keep foot still on the clutch pedal.
  • Unable to maintain low speed due to excessive clutch movement.
  • Loses control of the clutch when trying to steer at the same time.

A Brief Look at the Clutch.

The clutch enables the engine to be disconnected from the transmission in order to engage or disengage the gears. It consists of two friction plates. When the clutch pedal is pressed down the two friction plates move apart. This disconnects the engine from the wheels meaning none of the engines power can be transmitted to the wheels.

When you release the clutch the two friction (clutch) plates move together and power starts to be transmitted to the wheels. This is known and the ‘biting point’.

The more you release the clutch pedal the more the plates touch and the more power can be transmitted from engine to wheels. Once the clutch pedal is fully released the clutch plates lock together and all the power from the engine can be sent to the wheels.

When you hold the clutch pedal so the clutch is only half engaged it is called clutch control. This can be helpful when needing to drive very slowly such as when carrying out manoeuvres.

Session 4, Moving Off and Stopping Uphill.

“I enjoyed practising hill starts. My driving instructor started me off on a fairly gentle slope and once I could do that without rolling back, we gradually found steeper and steeper hills, which I could do by using the correct amount of gas and coordinating the clutch and handbrake.” Leon Cook, Gloucester.

Where to Practice.

Choose a quiet, reasonably wide road, with a steady uphill slope. Avoid anything too steep initially. Start the practice a little up the hill, facing up it.

General Safety.

  • Avoid children playing.
  • Personally check for safety before moving off.
  • Discourage the student from over-revving the engine.
  • Ensure the student understands that the car will roll backwards if the proper procedures are not followed…….

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask some questions to check that the student understands what their driving instructor has taught them about hill starts, particularly how the clutch works and what they understand about clutch control.

Major Points to Check.

  • Carries out Cockpit Drill.
  • Completes safety checks before turning on the engine.
  • Selects correct gear.
  • Sets enough gas.
  • Prepares the handbrake.
  • Holds the clutch at biting point.
  • Observations correctly carried out, including blind spots.
  • Releases the handbrake, while keeping the feet still.
  • Moves away smoothly.
  • Steers to safe driving position.
  • Uses MSM routine, before stopping.
  • Parks accurately and smoothly, facing uphill.

Common Problems.

  • Stalls on moving off.
  • Sets too little gas and doesn’t keep feet still.
  • Insufficient observation.
  • Lets clutch out too quickly.
  • Unable to find and hold the biting point.
  • Comes off gas too early when stopping.

Session 5, Changing Up to 2nd and 3rd gear.

“I did some private practise with my husband before I passed my driving test with John Lowe Driving, and John’s advice really helped.” Jing Wang, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practice.

In an ideal world, for the first few attempts, try to find a long reasonably straight road, free of too many parked cars and other hazards, avoiding busy times.

General Safety.

  • Avoid children playing.
  • Personally check for safety before moving off.
  • Keep back from cars parked ahead.
  • Be prepared for the car to veer to one side as the student releases one hand from the wheel to change gear.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask some questions to establish what is known, and with the engine off, check that the student can select 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears correctly, using the clutch and gas and without looking down. See that they “palm” the gear stick.

On The Move.

  • See if the student can tell you when he should change gear, taking into account the speed and engine tone.
  • If this is too hard, then initially give them clues to help.
  • Remind them not to change gear near parked cars.
  • Be prepared for unplanned direction changes during the gear changes.
  • Encourage the student to keep the car on a straight path during gear changes.

Major Points to Check During Practice.

  • Carries out cockpit drill.
  • Completes safety checks.
  • Moves off safely.
  • Effective use of mirrors.
  • Completes gear change without looking down.
  • Stays in control of steering.
  • Presses the clutch fully down and comes off the gas at the right time.
  • Selects the correct gear.
  • Lets the clutch up gently, and applies the gas.
  • Returns both hands to the wheel.
  • Completes the gear change before speed is lost.
  • Uses MSM to stop safely.
  • Parks, without stalling, while remaining in 2nd or 3rd gear.

Typical Problems.

  • Student looks down at the controls.
  • Steering goes off course as one hand is released from the wheel.
  • Wrong gear selected.
  • Does not release the gas as clutch goes down.
  • Clutch not pressed down fully.
  • Takes too long and car loses too much speed for the new gear.

Session 6. Turning Left from a Major to Minor Road.

“Before I passed my driving test, my driving instructor, Jackie Kaur, would put together some part of the driving lesson to concentrate on getting the junction work correct. She always told me it was a big part of safe driving.” Danny Hopkins, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practise.

Ideally, choose an area of quiet roads with good visibility and not too many parked cars. Most areas have a “block” you can use to practise. It is best to practise these sessions after your driving instructor has taught you the requirements of turning left from major to minor roads, and emerging left from minor to major.

General Safety.

Use the safety rules as listed in moving off and stopping, for this and future sessions.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask some questions to establish that the student can recall what their John Lowe Driving instructor has taught them. In particular, speed on approach, positioning, correct gears, and the mirror, signal, position, speed, look sequence, (MSPSL), and how to use it.

Points to Check During Practice.

  • Proper use of mirrors (in pairs.)
  • Correct signal, properly timed.
  • Correct position before turning.
  • Appropriate speed on approach.
  • Correct observation.
  • Properly timed steering.
  • Does not swing out before or after turning.
  • Straightens wheel at correct time.
  • Checks mirrors in the new road.

Common Faults.

  • Fails to check mirrors, or checks mirrors and signals simultaneously.
  • Incorrect positioning.
  • Too fast on approach.
  • Late or inadequate observation.
  • Steers too early and clips kerb with back wheel.
  • Steers too late and wide.
  • Does not correct the steering.
  • Makes no mirror checks.
  • Changes gear too late.
  • Coasts around the corner.

Session 7,Turning Right from a Major to a Minor Road.

“Turning right can be a hazardous procedure, as you are crossing the path of other traffic. My driving instructor, John Lowe, ensured that I fully practised this manouevre, for the sake of everybody’s safety.” Joanne Mutlow, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practise.

Ideally choose a series of quiet roads, where you can go round the block turning right.

John Lowe Driving suggests that you avoid this type of practice until the student has been taught the procedures by their driving instructor.

General Safety.

  • This session is not primarily concerned with emerging to the right, but you must ensure it is safe when you do so.
  • Personally check it is safe before each turn.
  • Be very aware that the student may find it hard to judge the speed of other traffic and select a safe gap.
  • Be ready to verbally or physically help with the steering.
  • Be sure the student’s speed is not excessive on the approach to the junctions.

Explain What is to be Practised and How.

Take things gently to start with, and remember the student will probably stop unnecessarily, even if there is a safe gap. They will gradually learn to slow down and go or give way as appropriate.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask the student some questions to check what they remember from their driving lessons. in particular, check that they understand the MSPSL routine, and how to use it.

Major Points to Check During Practice.

  • Effective use of mirrors.
  • Correct signals and timing.
  • Correct position on approach.
  • Sensible speed on approach.
  • Selects correct gear.
  • Adequate observation.
  • Times approach to select a safe gap, or give way if needed.
  • Final check of right door mirror.
  • Accurate steering.
  • Correct position and use of mirrors in new road.

Typical Faults.

  • Does not check mirrors, or checks mirrors and signals together.
  • Incorrect positioning.
  • Too fast on approach.
  • Insufficient or late observation.
  • Cannot judge a safe gap.
  • Selects wrong gear, or no gear change.
  • Stops unnecessarily.
  • Unable to plan and time approach.
  • Takes too long to prepare and decide when to give way.
  • Steers too early and cuts the corner.
  • No mirror check in the new road.

Session 8, Emerging Right onto a Major Road.

“This part of driving can be tricky at first, so go somewhere quiet where you can drive around a block turning right. My driving instructor, Martyn Brewer, taught me the procedures in an area where the roads were quiet and the junctions were open. After I was confident, I could practice privately between my driving lessons.” Oliver Merrick, Hucclecote.

General Safety.

  • Avoid practising where visibility is poor or where parked vehicles obstruct your view.
  • Ensure it is safe when turning right into minor roads.
  • Personally check for safety, each time before you emerge.
  • Remember that the student may find it difficult to judge the speed of other traffic and select a safe gap.
  • If the approach speed is too fast, prompt the student to slow down, before it’s too late.

Explain What is to be Practised and How.

When you first practise this exercise, it is safest to be in 2nd gear on approach. To begin with, the student is likely to stop and select 1st gear before emerging, but will gradually learn to slow down and give way as appropriate.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask a few questions to find out how much the student can remember from their driving lesson with John Lowe Driving about emerging right onto a main road and the likely dangers involved. In particular, check that they understand the different road priorities and the meaning of Give Way and Stop signs, and the relevent road markings. Ensure that they fully understand the MSPSL routine.

Major Points to Check During Practise.

  • Uses mirrors properly.
  • Gives correct signals at the right time.
  • Correct position and speed on approach.
  • Observes and makes safe decisions, before and during emerging.
  • Stops, or gives way when necessary.
  • Selects a safe gap.
  • Steers correctly and at correct time.
  • Position in major road.
  • Checks mirrors after joining the new road.
  • Accelerates sufficiently on the major road to avoid causing other vehicles to slow down.

Common Faults.

  • Does not check mirrors, or checks mirrors and signals at the same time.
  • Incorrect positioning.
  • Too fast on approach.
  • Late or poor observation.
  • Cannot judge a safe gap.
  • Stops too far back or forward.
  • Stops unnecessarily when safe to go.
  • Prepares and decides too slowly and misses gap.
  • Steers too early, or late.
  • Forgets mirror check on major road.
  • Does not accelerate sufficiently on major road.

Session 9, Changing up and Down through all the gears.

“I felt I was really getting somewhere with my driving when I got into all the gear changes. I made mistakes at first, but my driving instructor kept talking me through until I could manage independently.” Aati Patel, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practise.

Choose a series of roads that are reasonably straight and quiet. Try to include a section where the speed limit is above 30mph. John Lowe Driving recommend that you have thoroughly completed session 5, before starting this exercise, because of the higher speeds involved.

General Safety.

  • At first, you may need to prompt the student when to change gear.
  • Do not encourage gear changes when close to parked cars.
  • Be ready for the car to steer in the wrong direction as the student takes a hand off the wheel to use the gear lever.
  • Make sure the car is moving in a straight line when you prompt a gear change.
  • Make sure it is always safe behind.
  • Take great care that 1st gear is not selected by mistake at high speed.

Explain What is to be Practised and How.

You will be practising changing up and down through all the gears on a straight road, in order to gain smoothness and fluency in your gear changes. Have respect for other road users, especially those behind you during this practise.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask some questions to check what the student remembers about the gear changes from their driving lesson with John Lowe driving. With the engine off, check that they can select each gear in sequence, without looking down.

Major Points to Check During Practise.

  • Checks the mirrors.
  • Handles gear lever properly, not looking down.
  • Controls steering.
  • Pushes the clutch pedal fully down and releases gas pedal at the same time.
  • Selects the correct gear for the speed.
  • Lets the clutch up smoothly, with a little gas.
  • Returns both hands to the steering wheel.
  • Completes the gear change up, before car slows down too much.
  • Brakes enough before selecting the next gear down.

Typical Problems.

  • Looks down at controls.
  • Steers off course as hand comes off the wheel.
  • Selects wrong gear.
  • Does not release gas as the clutch goes down.
  • Forgets to use the clutch.
  • Takes too long to complete the gear change.
  • Does not slow down enough before changing down.

Session 10, Moving Off at an Angle.

“Now that I’m getting the hang of the basics, my driving instructor, Martyn Brewer, has said that I could start private practice. He has given me a lot of advice to pass on to my parents, and this website will really help!” Freya Savage, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practice.

This manoeuvre can cause anxiety due to the close proximity of the other vehicle, so only practice it after the student has mastered clutch control and practised it during their driving lessons with John Lowe Driving.

Choose a quiet, level road which is reasonably wide and has sufficient gaps between the parked cars.

General Safety.

  • Avoid roads where children are playing.
  • Personally check for safety before moving off.
  • Look all around as the car moves off.
  • Use your own “shoulder checks” before moving and when the car is at angle.
  • Look for oncoming traffic.
  • Remember that the student may not correct the steering enough and end up too wide, or on the wrong side of the road.
  • Consider the owners of the cars you are practising near. Do not overdo it, move on to a different car after a couple of attempts.

Explain the Manoeuvre.

The objective is to move away safely and under control, with full observation, around the car in front.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask a few questions to confirm that the student understands what is required and what they can remember being taught by their John Lowe Driving instructor. Be sure they understand about clutch control, steering and observation.

Major Points to Check During Practice.

  • Prepares the car properly, before moving.- Gear, gas, biting point and handbrake.
  • Observes fully, including blind spots.
  • Signals if necessary.
  • Moves slowly using clutch control.
  • Steers briskly.
  • Has second blind spot check at the angle.
  • Corrects steering to achieve normal driving position.
  • Selects a safe place to stop.
  • Uses MSM when stopping.
  • Brakes gently and positions accurately when stopping by the kerb.

Typical Faults.

  • Stalls because of the need to steer more than usual.
  • Moves off too fast because of poor clutch control.
  • Steers too gently.
  • Jumps because of poor clutch control.
  • Poor observation, especially the second blind spot check as the car edges out.
  • Fails to notice oncoming traffic.
  • Corrects the steering too late and ends up wide.

Session 11, Reversing Around a Corner to the Left.

“The manouevres can take a lot of practise and can be frustrating, but with the type of systems used by my driving instructor, John Lowe, it all eventually becomes clear.” Emma Hodgkinson-Last, Cheltenham.

Where and When to Practise.

Choose a quiet area with level roads and good visibility, free of obstructions and parked cars. The student should be able to reverse under control in a straight line before attempting this manouevre, and should have practised it on a driving lesson with their John Lowe Driving instructor.

General Safety.

  • Initially avoid corners where a tree or postbox obstructs vision.
  • Avoid areas where children are playing.
  • Personally check that all is safe before the car moves.
  • Keep up permanent observation throughout the exercise.
  • Remember that the front of the car will swing out as steering begins, so watch for oncoming traffic.

Explain What is to be Practised and How.

As you arrive at the corner to be used, stop before the corner. This allows the student to assess the corner. Then drive past it and take up position to start the practice.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask some questions to check what the student can remember from their driving lesson about reversing to the left.

Major Points to Check During Practice.

  • Positions safely and under control before the reverse.
  • Looks into the road for any hazards.
  • Prepares to reverse correctly, including seating position, grip on steering wheel, and door mirror adjustments.
  • Uses full observation before the car moves.
  • Looks back over left shoulder during reverse towards the corner, and frequent glances to the front.
  • Observes all around before steering and especially over the right shoulder before the front of the car swings out.
  • Keeps reasonably close to the kerb.
  • Looks over the left shoulder, having rounded the corner, with frequent looks to the right.
  • Uses clutch control throughout.
  • Continues to reverse in a straight line for a reasonable distance, and stops safely.
  • Gives way where necessary to other traffic or pedestrians.

Typical Problems.

  • Poor observation, failing to check to the front and sides before steering.
  • Does not see other vehicles or give way.
  • Reverses too fast and out of control.
  • Starts in the wrong position, too close to the kerb, not parallel to the kerb, or too near the corner.
  • Steers too early or too late.
  • Corrects steering at the wrong time to maintain position

Session 12, Turning the Car in the Road.

“The turn in the road was my favourite manouevre when I was learning, as it gets you used to steering and control. My driving instructor had some good tips which always worked.” Joanne Mutlow, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practise.

Select a quiet, fairly flat and wide road that is free of parked cars, trees and other obstructions. A gentle camber is OK to start, but nothing too steep.

General Safety.

  • Avoid obstructions in the road and areas where children are playing.
  • Personally check that all is safe throughout the manoeuvre.
  • Check for other traffic and advise the student to give way if needed.
  • Do not drive towards pedestrians using the pavement.
  • If other traffic waves the student to continue, be sure they mean it.
  • Remember that waiting traffic will put pressure on the student and may cause them to stall.

Explain What is to be Practised and How.

The student is to turn the car to face the opposite direction, using forward and reverse gears, within the width of the road.

Check Knowledge and Understanding.

Ask a few questions to find out what their John Lowe Driving instructor has taught them about the manouevre. For a full description see our “Free Advice” page.

Major Points to Check During Practice.

  • Parks safely and properly before starting.
  • Full observation before the car moves.
  • Waits for any traffic to pass.
  • Full observation during the exercise in all directions.
  • Controls the speed.
  • Steers quickly and corrects when needed.
  • Uses the handbrake when stopped after each phase.
  • Does not roll on the camber.
  • Does not touch the kerb.
  • Parks safely at the end.

Common Problems.

  • Poor observation, especially on the reverse phase.
  • Does not see other vehicles and does not give way.
  • Fails to notice pedestrians.
  • Moves the car too fast and not under control.
  • Does not correct the steering, if required.
  • Touches or mounts the kerb.
  • Uses incorrect foot pedals on a steep camber, and loses control.
  • Takes too long to complete, and holds up the traffic.

Session 13, Reversing into a Parking Bay.

“I thought that reversing would be really difficult, but with the systems and methods my driving instructor has shown me, I have been able to do it much quicker than I thought.” Dakota Barber, Gloucester.

Where and When to Practise.

Use a car park that has a quiet area with clearly marked bays. Try to avoid a lot of other parked cars and obstructions at the rear of the bays. Make sure the bays are the same width as the bays at the driving test centre.

General Safety.

Keep your eyes open at all times for other car park users, including pedestrians.
Don’t push it to start with. If it’s going wrong, abandon it, and start again.
Do not get too close to other vehicles.
Explain What is Required.

Stop somewhere safe in the car park, so you can point out and describe the procedure. Ask a few questions to find out what the student has remembered from his driving lesson. Be sure that they understand the need for full observation and clutch control.

Major Points to Check During Practise.

  • Positions properly prior to starting.
  • Prepares and observes properly.
  • Looks mainly over left shoulder when reversing, with frequent looks all around.
  • Checks all round before steering into the bay.
  • Reverses slowly and smoothly under clutch control.
  • Steers accurately.
  • Stops within the parking bay.
  • Stops before any obstruction to the rear.
  • Does not protrude at the front.

Common Problems.

Most faults on this manoeuvre are the same as the other manoeuvres, lack of observation, positioning and control.

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