Reversing and Parking

Moving the car backwards is as important a fundamental skill as driving it forwards. Only by learning to reverse smoothly and understanding how a car moves in reverse gear will we ever be able to master parking and many other manoeuvres which feature in the driving test and in everyday traffic.

Parallel Parking

Pull forward past the space and carefully check that it is large enough – a space about 1 and a half times the length of your car is about right.

Looking over your left (or right if parking on the opposite side) shoulder, and ensuring it is clear to do so, engage reverse gear and, turning the wheel left and then gradually right, reverse into the space, checking as you go that you are not endangering other traffic.

Centre the car neatly in the space.

Car Parks

Parking in car parks is a bit different….

Pull past the car park space and stop diagonally.

Checking carefully all around, reverse slowly into the space and move slightly back and forth until the car is centred in the gap.

It is neater and safer to reverse into any car park space as you can drive out of it with better visibility.

Reversing around corners

Pulling to a halt beyond the corner, carefully check it is clear and, looking over the left shoulder, put the car into reverse gear and follow the trail around the corner.

While turning remember that the car’s nose is projecting into traffic and check all around you every few seconds.

Neatly line the car up alongside the kerb when you have completed the manoeuvre.

Try to avoid reversing from a minor into a major road, this is very dangerous.

  • Practice reversing
  • Signal your intentions
  • Check all round while reversing
  • Observe parking restrictions

Article © Graham Benge 2007

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