Bay Park Help

Manoeuvre Help - Bay Park

Driving Test Manoeuvre Help

The bay park can cause discussions with learners who often ask why they have to reverse into a bay when most people drive forward.

It's a perfectly good question and true of many drivers. However, the purpose of the Driving Test is for the Examiner to observe the candidate demonstrating a safe and competent level of driving skill. In reference to bay parking, it means reversing into the bay.

The reason for this is that it's the best way to manoeuvre a car into a tight spot and also, when leaving the parking space, it makes it easier for the driver to see other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians approaching.

Bay Park Help

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Manoeuvre - Bay Park

Where will the manoeuvre take place?

The Examiner will generally ask for this manoeuvre to be done at the start or end of the driving section because where available, they use the test centre car park. The Examiner will leave it up to the pupil to decide which space to reverse into.

The car park should be fairly quiet, with enough clear spaces for the manoeuvre to be carried out away from other parked vehicles.

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

What it says on the Driving Test Marking Sheet...

  1. Reverse exercises

    You will need to display the ability to control the vehicle safely whilst reversing to the left, right, when parking on the road or into a parking bay. You must take good effective all round observation throughout the manoeuvre and show consideration to other road users.

Observation - Bay Park

The Examiner will be watching your observation very closely because it is such an important safety feature of any manoeuvre.

When the Examiner asks you to start the manoeuvre, get the car ready to move off and do the usual observations before moving.

In a car park, other road users will be expecting your vehicle to stop and perform a bay park, however, it's important that you still look for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

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 pedestrians walking past your vehicle.

As you begin to steer in towards the bay, pay attention to the blind spot and the front of your vehicle - it's a this point that your vehicle will swing into the centre of the car park lane

Stay aware of the bay lines by glancing in the mirrors when doing your observation.

If you see a road user approaching

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

  1. Pedestrians

    Wait for them to pass; 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

    Where there's room, drivers might continue past during this manoeuvre, so keep an eye out for vehicles approaching and be prepared to stop. If a vehicle waits, make sure you stay aware of what they are doing because they may well begin to move again.

    When your vehicle is in the final stage of the manoeuvre e.g. more or less in the bay, it's generally safe to continue moving whilst vehicles pass.

Control - Bay Park

Controlled Pace

The bay park 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.

Be aware of any slopes:

  1. Downhill slope

    Be prepared to quickly lower the clutch all the way down while using the brake to control the speed

  2. Uphill slope

    Be prepared to increase the power and lift the clutch slightly.

Accuracy - Bay Park

On the driving test, the candidates will generally be parking in a space flanked by other empty spaces. This way the Examiner can see how accurate the parking technique is without the candidate using vehicles parked either side as markers.

At the end of this manoeuvre, your vehicle should be fairly straight and the tyres should not be touching the bay lines. If you aren't sure, check in both mirrors, lean forward and look down at the lines from your door window to get a better feel.

Driving Test Tip

During the Bay Park, it's okay to adjust the final vehicle position by driving forward and reversing back - just like in real life!