Reverse Bay Park
You might have to reverse bay park on your driving test which would take place at your local test centre if they have a car park, if they don’t have a car park then you will not be asked to complete this manoeuvre.
There are several different methods of achieving a reverse bay park, but at 4front Driving School we want our students to find a technique that suits them. Most students will choose the 45 degree method as it will work in almost all situations. Here is the 4front Driving School guide to the 45 degree technique.
Reversing into a bay has always been described as being the safer option than driving forward into one as you’ll have a better view when driving forward out of it, especially if you have vehicles either side of you.
There’s not much room for error when parking in between cars but in your driving test you’ll probably be able to do this with empty bays either side. Once you have passe your test you may also want to choose spaces that have a space either side to reverse into until you feel that you can do this without any mistakes.
What to do
To choose a space on your right keep the car positioned to the left. When choosing a space on the left then keep the car positioned on the right. This will give you a wider space to turn the vehicle so that it is approximately 45 degrees so that you can then complete the reversing part of the exercise. Before you start turning the vehicle, check your mirrors and over your shoulders and respond to anything that may impact on you completing the manoeuvre safely. As with all of the manoevres it’s important to drive slowly by just achieving the biting point and keeping the car speed to around 2 mph. The right foot should hover over the brake encase you need to use it at any point. There can be lots of hazards in car parks including pedestrians, children, shopping trolleys cyclists and other drivers. Drive past the target bay slightly until the white line to the left or right (depending on the space you have chosen) of you appears to travel through your knees.
Stop the vehicle and look all around you again checking over your shoulder and in all the mirrors. If the space is on the left steer quickly to the right to achieve a full lock. After turning right, the back of the car will then be pointing towards the target bay. (You should see this in your left mirror)
Stop the vehicle once you have lined the car up at 45 degrees. Look around once again, put the car into reverse and start moving slowly back unwinding the wheel as you go, control the steering to match the speed of the car and how it is lining up with the lines of the bay. You will eventually get a full lock to the left which needs to be held until the vehicle is almost straight.
Too much steering and the car will overhang the space on the left, not enough steering and the car will overhang the space on the right. You don’t have a lost of room to play with. When the car is almost straight you should see the lines for the space appear in your right mirror too. Your want to achieve an equal distance either side of the car if you can.
You Can Correct Mistakes
If you’re not in the bay then you can drive forward to re-adjust and then reverse back in as long as it’s safe and you’re observing for others before and as you do it. You may want to say what you are abut to do to the examiner and takes some control. Don’t ask him if you can correct it – take responsibility and say “I am just going to correct that”. This avoids any uncertainty or confusion. If the examiner says don’t worry about it, he may be referring to the fact that it is a bit wonky but still in the lines which is acceptable to pass so no adjustment is required.
If you decide to correct the manoeuvre and you do this safely, You might get a driving fault for this or a minor as they’re commonly called. This is better than a fail. How you correct your parking depends on which line you’ve parked over.