Driver Hub  Learning to drive  Advice for learners   How to deal with roundabouts
European roundabout multi lanes
We Are Marmalade profile

We Are Marmalade

January 30, 2018

Learning to drive 4 min read

Roundabouts are designed to help traffic flow keep moving, without necessarily having to stop. They can be tricky, and strike fear into many learners and inexperienced driver. Don’t worry – as long as you stick to these rules, you’ll find roundabouts easier to handle. Remember – always give way to the right!

Approaching the roundabout

As you approach a roundabout the more time you have to plan, the easier it is to feel in control. Keep your eyes peeled for everything that is happening around you, and look for clues such as road signs, to determine when you’re approaching a roundabout. All roundabouts are different, so you need to drive accordingly. Check the traffic signs and lane markings to know that you’re in the correct lane. Your satnav may even tell you which lane to be in! Make sure you keep using the MSM routine throughout and adjust your position and speed accordingly. If you can’t see what is coming from the right, treat the roundabout like a closed junction and prepared to stop. Keep checking your mirrors for other cars, motorcycles, cycles and pedestrians.

Turning left – first exit

Keep in the left-hand lane and use your signals to let other road users know your intentions. When pulling out on the roundabout, give way to the right. Then, when making your turn off – use the rearview mirror and passenger door mirror to check there is no one to the left of you. Don’t forget to look at the road you’re turning on to before you go, that needs to be clear too! If you’re clear – you’re good to turn! Mirror, signal, manoeuvre.

Straight over – second exit

Knowing which lane to be in when going straight over can be tricky, so make sure you check the signs and road markings carefully. If the road isn’t marked – it’s usually best to keep in the left lane. Keep in this lane until you need to exit the roundabout. Then, check your rearview mirror and your passenger door mirror – signal left once you’ve passed the previous exit, and if it’s clear – you’re good to go. Mirror, signal, manoeuvre.

Turning right – third exit

Keep in the right-hand lane when approaching the roundabout and stay there until you need to exit. Keep in this lane until you need to exit the roundabout and signal left once you’ve passed the previous exit. Again, check your rearview mirror and passenger door mirror before exiting the roundabout. If it is not safe to leave the roundabout here, you may have to go around it again. Mirror, signal, manoeuvre.


You don’t have to do anything differently on a mini roundabout than you would normally. The only difference is, you won’t need an exit signal when leaving (because they’re small, there’s no time for the second signal). So if you’re turning left – signal left. If you’re turning right – signal right. If you’re going straight over you don’t need to signal at all – your lane position should tell other road users your intentions. Simple, right?

Of course, not all roundabouts are the same (we wish), so treat this as a rule of thumb. You may need to change your lane and position depending on the roundabout you’re driving on.

If you are feeling nervous about roundabouts, remember your driving instructor is there to help, and prepare you for each roundabout you come across. Speed and control will be a great help as it will give you time to be assessing your surroundings and looking for your opportunity to go. If you take a wrong direction on your test, the examiner will help you get back on track and as long as you were safe there is no fault committed. Going the wrong way but doing it right won’t fail you!

Learner Driver Insurance→

Get short term cover on a friend or parent's car as a learner, to help you get that magic pass!

We Are Marmalade profile

By We Are Marmalade

'We champion young drivers with award-winning low cost insurance for learner and new drivers and a great young drivers' car scheme.'  See more posts by We Are

Share this article

Ariel shot of yellow car
News 6 min read

10 of the world's most bizarre driving laws

Holly West-Robinson profile

Holly West-Robinson

September 13, 2017

The laws in some countries do make you wonder what an earth they were thinking when they came up with such unusual motoring regulations!Read more

Car with full beam lights on
Owning a car 3 min read

How to replace a headlight bulb

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

November 27, 2018

You’re driving along, and you realise your headlight has gone – damn! So what do you do? Pay over the odds for a garage to fix it? Call your Mum in a panic? You could…Read more

Young girls jumping on beach free for summer
News 9 min read

Get set for a summer of freedom!

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

June 24, 2019

Nothing beats the feeling of summer – when the shackles of school, uni or work are cast aside; possibilities are endless, and the world (or at least the country) is your oyster. 56% of you…Read more