Reversing & 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.
Pull forward past the space and carefully check it is large enough - a space about 1 and a half
times the length of your car is about right - looking over your left 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.
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 shunt 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 into
traffic better able to see.
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
Article © Graham Benge 2007