During your practical driving test, your examiner will have four manoeuvres to choose from, two of these involve reverse parking and this can be a problem for some students. Not keeping control of the car during this manoeuvre is a common test fail.  When you practice this during your driving lessons your instructor will give you ideas on different techniques and methods you can use to help master this tricky task.

You may be asked to reverse into a parking bay or to parallel park the car and can incur faults for any of the reasons below:-

Repositioning the car too many times during parking

If during this driving test manoeuvre you feel that you need to readjust or reposition this is perfectly acceptable and you should do so. However, if you reposition the car too many times or take too long you may risk failing the manoeuvre. Top tip : it’s important not to rush, ensure you make sufficient observations and maintain good control of the car (including speed and direction) to safely complete the task.

Reversing onto the pavement during parallel parking

When you finish this manoeuvre the car should be parallel to the kerb, if you reverse onto the kerb you will incur a fault. Top tip: break the manoeuvre down into smaller sections, you may find it easier to pause after each section and assess what you need to do. There are lots of different methods and ways that people learn to parallel park one is use reference markers around the car to help you gauge where the kerb is. If you have lost sight or where your car is in relation to the kerb, safely pull forwards and try again.

Parking outside of the bay lines

When you have finished this manoeuvre the car should be within the lines of the parking bay. Top tip : Take your time, if you wish adjust your mirrors to give you a better view, don’t forget to change them back after the manoeuvre is completed. If you need to pull forward and make any necessary adjustments, but remember to carry out the appropriate safety observations before doing so.

Top tip : we would recommend that you do not use stickers in the car to help as your reference points when reversing, if these fall off or you have to change car for any reason you may not have the stickers. It is far better to take time to find a method that suits you, you will then be able to apply this to any car you drive in the future.  If you struggle with reverse parking talk to your instructor about the different methods they should be able to provide you with lots of ideas to help. Keeping control of the cars speed and slowly completing this will allow you time to adjust and position correctly.

Remember this takes time to master, break it down into sections and work with your instructor to develop the method that suits you.