Reverse Bay Parking – Parking Into A Bay – Driving Lesson
The bay parking or reverse into a bay manoeuvre is the reversing exercise you’re most likely to do once you’ve finished your driving lessons. Reversing into a driveway uses much the same method, so for many people this may be done on a daily basis. If your taking the test at Heckmondwike, the test centre there doesn’t have it’s own car park, so bay parking isn’t part of the driving test there. However Wakefield test centre does, so bay parking will be covered if your taking a driving test there.
With all the driving test manoeuvres control, observations and accuracy are the common themes.
Control – The ability to maintain the car at a very slow speed on a slope or flat.
Observations – As this will be practised and carried out in busy car parks, thorough observations are needed and acting correctly on what is seen. Remember most pedestrians aren’t paying attention to your reversing lights.
Accuracy – Must be within the white lines of the parking bay.
On entry to the car park you’ll need to start to position the car for the manoeuvre, drive to a position a cars width away from the bay you intend to reverse into, starting a cars width away gives you enough space even if the bays either side have cars in them. Check that the bay you are parking into is empty, this may seem an obvious one but it’s not uncommon to see drivers reversing into an occupied bay.
From position 1 count three white lines away from the intended bay, check around and drive slowly forward keeping the car straight, a cars width away and at a right angle to the bays, when the third white line lines up with the reference point that your driving instructor gives you (usually the front door handle) stop, select reverse and apply handbrake if needed.
From position 2 perform an all round check and if it’s safe start to reverse the car slowly and steer straight to full lock. This will make the back end start to move towards the bay but also makes the front end swing, so keep checking all around (position 3).
As the car starts to get near the parking bay (position 4), check the wing mirrors, it is at this point that we can tell if the manoeuvre is going to be accurate or if we need to correct it. If your within the white lines let the car come parallel with both white lines and then turn the steering wheel 1and 1⁄2 turns to straighten the wheels, take this opportunity to check all around paying particular attention to the possibility of someone walking across the back of the car.
If it remains clear keep the car reversing slowly, as we need to make sure the front of the car is in the bay. Using the same reference point that is used on the reversing part of the turn in the road exercise, will mean the car will be in the bay as much as possible without touching the kerb at the back. Then apply handbrake and select neutral.