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1 May, 2011

How to pass your practical test – part two

Last week, we began our series providing you with tips on how to pass your practical test. This week we will continue by discussing the two parking manoeuvres.

Parking lot

Photo by tim caynes

First of all, we will discuss reverse parking into a bay. Remember, this does not have to be perfect – the object of this exercise is to safely park the car in an available bay with smooth control of the car. It always helps to have reference points in your car to use as turning points, once you begin, keep thinking of how much you need to turn by, and when, to get into the space you’re aiming for.

You should continue with good, all round observations in order to stay safe. Pay particular attention over your shoulders, and check your side mirrors for white lines. If you feel that your car is not going into the bay, stop. Don’t be afraid to pull forward and make adjustments so that you can enter the bay, just remember the POM routine – Prepare, Observe, Move. Make sure that you do not bring the car too far back, and make sure you finish with straight wheels.

Parallel parking

Photo by Adrian Short

The second parking manoeuvre you may be asked to do is parallel parking. Again, it is important to make sure you have smooth control of the car. It helps to have different reference points for this manoeuvre, and that you know what they are. Make sure you think about how much you need to turn and when you need to turn in order to park correctly and safely.

Again, you need to make good, all round observations, particularly over both shoulders when reversing. You should use you left mirror to check where the kerb is. You should come reasonably close to the kerb, but don’t allow yourself to mount it. Make sure you straighten up in time.

As with Bay parking, if you feel you are going off course, you can stop and adjust your position to make sure you do not hit the kerb or go too far back. Just make sure you follow the POM procedure so that you are performing safely.

Remember, practice makes perfect. If there is a manoeuvre that you are particularly worried about, speak to your instructor and ask for additional practice.

Next week we will be concluding the series by discussing the turn in the road and reversing around a corner.