3 Point Turn / Turn in the Road Help

Manoeuvre Help - 3 Point Turn / Turn in the Road


Often called the 3 point turn, but officially called Turn in the Road.

However, turning around in the road is a very useful tool for drivers to learn, and will certainly be required whilst driving at some point. Whether you have to turn your vehicle around because the road is blocked, or perhaps you take a wrong turn when trying to find a location.

When pupils first start practising this manoeuvre, they often get concerned if they can't turn the car round in 3 moves. But it's not important; the clue is in the real title of the manoeuvre - 'Turn in the Road'!

Although all test standard learners will probably be able to complete the manoeuvre in 3 moves, there are no laws that say they have to. If, for some reason, it wasn't possible to turn the car round in 3 moves, they can simply do their observations again, and safely complete the turn using extra moves.

3 Point turn Help

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Manoeuvre - 3 Point Turn / Turn in the Road

Where should the manoeuvre take place?

A suitable location which means the road should be: fairly quiet; wide enough to turn a car around in and with no obstructions (parked vehicles etc.) blocking the manoeuvre.

What's the most important thing to remember in a manvoeuvre?

When Driving Instructors are training, they learn 3 pieces of knowledge that are crucial to teaching pupils a successful manoeuvre.

  1. Observation

  2. Control

  3. Accuracy

Observation - 3 point turn

Because a turn in the road is not something that most road users will be expecting, it's important that you look for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, in fact, anyone who might be effected by your manoeuvre.

It's absolutely crucial that throughout each stage of the manouevre, you keep checking all around the car, because the situation can and often does change frequently e.g another vehicle approaching or a pedestrian crosses the road.

If another road user approaches

Make a decision on what to do; based on safety.

  1. Pedestrians

    Wait for them to cross the road or pass on the pavement. Pedestrians are vunerable and it can be daunting for them to see a car heading towards the area where they're walking.

  2. Cyclists

    Are more likely to cycle past during the manoeuvre, so again, it's better to wait or be prepared to stop .

  3. Vehicles

    Are more likely to wait if your vehicle is halfway across the road but could well drive past if you are at the edge. Therefore, you need to look at the driver and their vehicle to get some clues as to whether they may pass or not.

    It's perfectly acceptable to wave a vehicle past, providing there's room to do so. Also, because you are waving the vehicle through, it's your responsibility to check the opposite direction to ensure it's safe for them to do so.

Control - 3 point turn

Controlled Pace

The turn in the road requires a slow driving pace for 2 reasons.

  1. It gives adequate time for observation.

  2. It enables the driver to turn the steering wheel quickly in a short distance so the vehicle gets far enough round to complete the manoeuvre.

    NOTE: turning the steering wheel whilst stationary damages the tyre tread.

Good Clutch Control is the key

To crawl along, raise the clutch just inside the bitting point. If the car begins to pick up speed, lower the clutch slightly.

Often the edge of a road slopes down towards the kerb, so as your vehicle approaches the side it may speed up. Be prepared to quickly lower the clutch all the way down, whilst using the brake to control the speed.

Accuracy - 3 point turn

The road is for vehicles and the pavement is for pedestrians!

So you should aim to stop the car without over-hanging the kerb.

If you hit the kerb, as well as being dangerous, there's also a chance of damaging a wheel or the body work.