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driving test manouevresPlease click on the links below for videos on how the Manoeuvres should be done!  and the wording / terminology used by driving examiners. Check out the Tests page for more info about what you can expect on the test with regard to manoeuvres and more.


Driving lessons in SouthamptonIf you are practising with your Parents or relatives please make sure that you display " L " plates. The person accompanying you must be at least 21 and have held their licence for 3 years. You must also be insured to drive the car.

The following links may also be useful to you they are some of the test routes used in Southampton from Maybush and Forest Hills Test centres:

Maybush Test Routes            Forest Hills Test Routes


learner driver car insuranceLearner driver temporary car insurance: If you are trying to persuade your parents or a friend to take you out to practice your driving inbetween lessons in their car, try Collingwood learner driver insurance as an alternative to ,and often much cheaper than, being a named driver on their insurance policy, you could have your own policy. That way if anything were to happen!!???  You would not affect the owners' insurance no claims bonus or premium. Also in the event of an accident You would be able to take care of getting their car repaired  without affecting the future price of their insurance, whilst at the same time starting to earn yourself a no claims bonus.

learner driver car insuranceWith a Collingwood Learner Driver Insurance policy you can insure any car, group 15 or less and under £20,000 in value, when you need it, from as short as a week.
Drive your parents, grandparents, friends or relatives car without any risk to their insurance. Just take out a policy for each vehicle when you need it


1. Control - The Car needs to be under control use clutch control to keep the car moving very slowly ( walking pace no faster)

2. Observation - All round effective observation is what's needed look mostly behind you out of the rear window when reversing but be aware of everything else around you by regularly checking all around. (including your blind spot - right shoulder)

3. Accuracy - basically making sure that you put the car in between the lines on the bay park and are close enough to the kerb on the parallel park or reverse corner and don't hit the kerb etc..( remember if a manoeuvre goes wrong it's OK to make a correction, even if it means going forwards) - Just maintain GOOD CONTROL and EFFECTIVE OBSERVATIONS.


                                                                                              Printable version

emergency stopThe emergency stop is sometimes carried out on test, The examiner is looking for quick reactions and good control of the car. What would normally happen is this: You will be asked to stop at the side of the road, at which point the examiner will say to you: " in a moment i will ask you to stop as if it were an emergency I would like you to bring the car to a quick but controlled stop - the way i will ask you to do this is to raise my hand and say "STOP" Once he has asked you to drive on you must make sure that you drive in the same way that you would normally drive down that road, not really slowly in anticipation of the stop.

The examiner will make sure that it is safe to carry out the manoeuvre, there is no need for checking the mirrors before hand. When given the signal keep a tight grip on the steering wheel and press the brake firmly progressively pushing harder and harder to bring the car to a quick stop. Just before you stop don't forget to press the clutch as well to avoid stalling!! Once you have stopped apply the handbrake and select neutral. Normally at this point the examiner will say something like " Thank you very much I wont ask you to do that again, please drive on when you're ready"

At this point select first gear look over both shoulders and if safe drive on. You must check both shoulders


Throughout you test you will be asked to " pull up at a convenient / safe place on the left" - The examiner will be expecting to see you use your mirrors before you make any decision and act accordingly minimising any impact on other drivers and making your intentions as obvious as possible. When you pull away you may have to use one of the following techniques:

Remember POM - Preperation - Observation - Move

Once the car is prepared check your mirrors, if you are satisfied that it is safe to continue apply a signal if appropriate, finally check your blind spot and release the handbrake to pull away.

Up hill startsUphill - Moving away from the side of the road uphill. The engine has to work harder to get the car moving. You need to be very careful that you have found the biting point on the clutch before you release the handbrake.( otherwise you will roll backwards!) The Easiest way to do this is to bring the clutch up a little higher than the biting point, whilst at the same time using plenty of gas. Once you have your pedals in position hold them still, make your usual observations and if clear then release the handbrake and as the car starts to move forward slowly release the clutch. If in any situation you do start to roll backwards instead of forwards apply the brake  as quickly as possible to avoid rolling back too far! then re-apply the hand brake and try again. you must stay in control of the car at all times.

Downhill - Moving downhill you can make the appropriate observations, Signal, then release the handbrake allow the car to start rolling forwards and you can control the speed of the roll by using the footbrake. Once moving you need to apply the gas and release the clutch. It's OK to roll forwards because you are in control of the car and moving in the right direction


Left corner reverseLeft reverse is reversing around a corner into a road. On test the examiner will ask you to pull up on the left just before the road you will turn into. The examiner then would normally say that he would like you to drive pass the road ahead on the left and then stop again on the left about 2 car lengths away from the road. As you drive past the road have a look at what sort of corner you are dealing with: is it sharp or gradual?, how wide is the road ?   any other hazards?

mirror view of turning pointIdentify where the corner starts, look for the kerbstone that starts to curve into the road. This is called the point of turn. Reverse until your rear nearside wheel is level with it.Now it is time to turn.

When you steer, the front corner of the car will swing out into the road. You must check your right blind spot especially at this point. I would suggest at this point you pause and have a good look around. Most corners require about 1 whole turn of the wheel so this is the best starting point. As you go around the corner look out of the side and rear windows to assess whether the car is staying parallel to the kerb or if is drifting away or getting too close. The door mirror is also very useful for checking this (see pictures) but be careful to not look for too long in the mirrors, just regular, quick glances, most of the observation should be out of the back window as this is the direction you are travelling in. If the car starts to drift too far from the kerb you will need to steer more towards the kerb (left) if you're getting too close then you will need to take off some of your steering (steer right). If you are getting really close it may be neccessary to completely straighten the wheels to avoid hitting the kerb. You will than need to re-apply the steering to the right to continue steering around the corner. If you find your self either too close to the kerb so that you can't continue or drifting too wide (so that you would have to swing out too wide into the road to correct) it is OK to select 1st gear look around thoroughly and carefully drive forwards to make a correction just be sure to look around thoroughly first.  Then you should be able to re-try the part that went wrong.( you will incur a driver fault on your test for this)

mirror view of parallel with kerb at end of manouevreWhen you have completed the corner and the car is pointing straight down the road that your turning into (parallel) -  straighten your wheels  keeping parallel to the kerb. As you continue to reverse ensure that you make any adjustments to stay close and parallel to the kerb.

look out the rear window. Reverse back for three to four car lengths or until told to stop. Throughout this manoeuvre you should be keeping a constant lookout all around for approaching traffic. When other vehicles get close you need to stop and make eye contact with the driver. hopefully you will be able to stop and let the vehicle pass, (you could consider using your brake lights and indicator as a signal to other drivers that you intend to stop and wait).  if that isn't possible you can always move forward to the starting position and then you will have to restart the manouevre.


parallel parking
Parallel parking: The Examiner will first get you to pull up on the left of the road some distance behind another vehicle. He will say "I’d like you to drive on when you’re ready, pull up just alongside the next car on the left and reverse back into the space behind it, finishing reasonably close to the kerb(within 30-40cms) and within 2 car lengths from the vehicle." Try and draw up alongside the parked car about a metre away and with the back of your car slightly further forward than the back of the car next to you. Being careful to use your mirrors and signal. As soon as you have stopped pull up the handbrake and select reverse gear to alert traffic approaching from behind with your reversing lights. Hopefully then anyone coming from behind will realise what you are doing and drive past. (If at any time you do encounter traffic try and stop the car and turn and make eye contact with the driver, this will hopefully mean that the driver is happy to drive past knowing you are aware of his presence. Also you will be demonstrating to the examiner good all round observation skills).

As the rear of your car starts to pass the back of the parked car, steer left. the front will start to swing out so you need to look over you right shoulder at this point Steer left by 1 full turn of the wheel 

reference point rear of cars level

reference point wing mirror level withrear of target vehicleThe best angle to approach the kerb is about 45°, (think of a clock face where 12 o clock is straight ahead of you, the car should be pointing towards 2 o clock). As the wing mirror draws level with the back of the parked car turn 1 turn back to straight. The car will now be heading for the kerb and may start to roll fast if there is a steep camber on the road. (At this point the car should be pointing at the 45° angle and have straight wheels).

Continue to slowly reverse and turn half a turn to the right (The steering wheel should be upside down). The front of the car will swing in towards the kerb. Whilst looking out of the rear window where you are going, keep a check on your left door mirror to see if your back wheel is going to hit the kerb. If it looks as though you are going to be too close then steer further to the right, If you think that you will be too far from the kerb then steer less to the right to allow the car to get a little closer to the kerb. (It can sometimes be quite difficult to know how much extra steering to put on if your'e going to be too close - Once the rear wheel has reached a point that you would be happy with as a finishing distance from the kerb it then becomes impossible to be too far away from the kerb as the rear wheels can't steer and so at this point simply steer to full lock to the right, bringing you into parallel with the kerb).

view when finished and parallel with kerb.When you are parallel with the kerb straighten your wheels. Once straight secure the car with your handbrake and select neutral.

Remember to keep your speed down using clutch control. Most roads have a camber and that can cause the car to roll so make sure that this doesn't catch you out.

If it looks like you are not going to get the car into a suitable finishing position, you are allowed to continue backwards (you must finish within 2 car lenghts of the vehicle in front of you) or to go forwards and re position the car to reverse back for a second time ( this will incur a driver fault on test). Remember to be always looking behind you in the direction of travel , whilst maintaining good all round observations including for pedestrians ( don't reverse towards them, simply pause until they have cleared the area.)



bay parkingThis manouevre requires that you reverse into a parking space. The examiner will not tell you where to park he will only say " I would like you to reverse into any available space" you can decide either left or right it's your choice. At the end of your test, depending what manouevres you have completed you may be asked to drive straight into a parking space forwards. Don't worry it doesn't matter if you don't quite get into the space accurately as this will not be marked on your test!

lining up to start turningPosition yourself so that you are 90° to the parking bays. Reverse back slowly, when you feel that the line on the passenger door in your vehicle is level with a white line steer left full lock.

straighten wheels when parallel with spaceWhen the lines appear parallel straighten the wheels (Use the lines in front of you to help with this.) Check all around for pedestrians as you reverse the car in to the space fully. When finished secure the car. Remember throughout the Manoeuvre to be fully aware of everything around you as you reverse. (LOOKING MAINLY OUT OF THE REAR WINDOW BUT ALSO OVER BOTH SHOULDERS - EFFECTIVE ALL ROUND OBSERVATION).

Throughout this manoeuvre you will need to be looking behind you out of the back windscreen, but also all round effective observations are needed. (try to imagine that you are reversing between 2 other cars) keep the car very slow using clutch control. On the test it doesn't matter if you aren't perfectly straight but you do need to have all 4 wheels within the lines both at the sides and at the front. Again it is OK to go forwards to make a correction ( you will incur a driver fault for this)



Stopping distancesStopping distances: remember when we are driving we use the 2 second rule which doubles in wet weather and can be up to 10 times as long in icy conditions. The highway code gives us a general guide for stopping distances which is very useful to know. 

The way the overall stopping distance is calculated is split into 2 parts: Firstly there is the ‘thinking distance’, which is the distance that your vehicle will travel in the time it will take you to see a hazard and then actually start to brake. You will travel about the same number of ft (feet) as miles per hour that you are driving. So, if your travelling at 40mph you will travel about 40ft (12metres) from seeing the hazard to actually engaging the brake.

Speed (MPH)  Thinking Distance
      20            20ft (6 metres)                           
      30            30ft  (9 metres)                          
      40            40ft (12 metres)                           
      50            50ft  (15 metres)                       
      60            60ft  (18 metres)                       
      70            70ft  (21 metres)                       

We then have the ‘braking distance’. This distance is based on how far the average car would travel with the brakes engaged before coming to a complete stop. To work this out you will need to multiply the mph travelled by a steadily increasing figure  the figure increases by 0.5 with each extra 10 mph, for example:

Speed (mph)  Formula            Braking Distance  
    20               20 x 1           = 20ft (6 metres) 
    30               30 x 1.5        = 45ft (14 metres)
    40               40 x 2           = 80ft (24 metres) 
    50               50 x 2.5        = 125ft (38 metres) 
    60               60 x 3           = 180ft (55 metres) 
    70               70 x 3.5        = 245ft (75 metres) 

By adding your Thinking Distance and Braking Distance together you will find the ‘Total Stopping Distance’.
Example 50mph : 50ft TD + 125ft BD = 175ft TSD

For speeds less than 20mph you should leave at least one car length for every 5mph.

Don’t forget wet surfaces can double your stopping distance and ice and snow can increase it by up to 10 times.

MPH  Thinking Distance    + Braking Distance        = Stopping Distance 
 20            20ft                          20ft                          40ft (12 metres) 
 30            30ft                          45ft                          75ft (23 metres) 
 40            40ft                          80ft                         120ft (36 metres) 
 50            50ft                        125ft                         175ft (53 metres) 
 60            60ft                        180ft                         240ft (73 metres)
 70            70ft                        245ft                         315ft (96 metres)

stopping distances


turn in the roadThe turn in the road:

The Examiner will ask you to pull in at the side of the road, then say: " Iwould like you to turn the car around, using forward and reverse gears, being careful not to touch either of the kerbs."  This manoeuvre needs you to keep the car moving very slowly whilst steering quickly. Most roads have a camber and so when carring out this manoeuvre sometimes you will find that one minute you are going uphill and the next rolling downhill towards the kerb. Always take a moment before you begin to assess the road so that you know what to expect. The timing of your observations is very important remember POM: Preperation: gas biting point, Observation left and right, then Move.

Before you move off check thoroughly to ensure that it is safe to move off then using  clutch control to move forward slowly. Steer quickly to the right to full lock. as you near the kerb you may feel the car start to roll down the camber, if so, clutch down and gently use the footbrake to control the speed. Just before you stop steer left to straighten the wheels. This makes the next phase much easier. Stop the car before you hit or overhang the kerb. Apply the handbrake. 

Prepare the car in reverse and make sure you find the biting point so that you don't roll into the kerb then look up and down the road, if all is clear release the handbrake. Reverse back slowly steering left. Looking mostly behind you out the back window, Stop the car before you hit or overhang the kerb. Apply the handbrake. 

Prepare the car in first gear and again make sure that you find the biting point  to avoid rolling. Look up and down the road. If safe, drive slowly forwards steering right. If you find yourself getting close to the kerb as you drive away don’t risk hitting it, Just reverse and the go forwards again completing the manoeuvre in 5 moves instead of 3 

you won’t fail if you need to reverse and then go forwards to correct your manoeuvre
If you encounter other traffic the best thing to do is to continue towards the side of the road that you are heading to and secure the car. Try to make eye contact with the driver of the other car. Never beckon other drivers to pass, let them decide for themselves on which course of action to take, if they decide to wait for you then you will need to continue but always keep a good look out for other road users at all times!

Clutch control is when you are controlling the speed of the car by adjusting the pressure on the clutch:

If you are in a situation where you need to move the car very slowly and carefully, for example creeping out at the end of a road when you can't see very well or whilst carrying out a manoeuvre. It can also be used to hold the car still for a moment on a hill or slope without the need to use the brake (very useful)


Unless you're driving a diesel you will always need to use a little gas when using clutch control and the gas needs to remain constant all speed control will be with the clutch.

Set the gas and find the biting point the car should start to move forwards very slowly at this point, however if you leave the clutch at the biting point the car will begin to speed up so it is necessary to make very small adjustments on the clutch. - Clutch up to speed up - clutch down to slow down. (This can take a bit of practice to get the very small adjustments needed to keep the car smooth) Too high and you will go too fast too low and the car will stop ( or worse roll back if you're on a hill!) Don't be tempted to ease off the gas to slow down you most likely stall!!

Think of the clutch as a tap that allows out as much or as little of the engines' power ( water) as you let it

On a hill clutch control can be used to hold the car still momentarily or move forward very slowly using the same technique if you balance the clutch at exactly the biting point it will stand still on a hill, slightly higher and you can then pull away as slowly or as quickly as you like it's all determined by how high you bring up the clutch.

Always be careful not to roll back down the hill - if things don't go to plan the priority is always to keep the car under control - if you start to roll back hit the brake then use the handbrake and start again finding the biting point.


Here are some more videos. links are to an external website:

driving test success

Gears                                      Steering                        Starting off

Stopping                              Clutch control                   Junctions

Basic left turn                       Basic right turn               Box junctions

Dual carriageways                Meeting traffic                 Overtaking

Traffic lights                     Pedestrian crossings        Roundabouts

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