Bay parking involves 2 manoeuvres, either a forward or reverse bay park. Here, we go through how to park forward into a bay and reverse back out of it.
What is the examiner looking for?
- Control – keep the vehicle slow, and control the speed
- Accuracy – keep within the lines of the bay
- Observation – be aware of everything that is happening around you and act accordingly
- You cannot drive through the first parking pay, to one in front of that.
- When reversing, you must not reverse into any bays behind you.
- You can make corrections if you need to. If you enter the bay but feel like you’re too close to the lines/other vehicles, you may reverse out and straighten up.
Step by step – forward bay parking
Make sure you are following the Mirror Signal Manoeuvre (Look, Tell, Do) routine throughout this manoeuvre. Keep checking those mirrors!
- Give yourself a good turning circle by safely pulling across the side away from your target bay. This will help you turn into your bay
- Show your intentions; check your rear view and door mirrors, then signal
- When your reference point appears do a final check of your mirrors (and blind spot) and if all is clear, you're good to go.
- Turn the steering wheel fully and you pull slowly into the bay
- As you enter the bay, straighten up your steering wheel when your dashboard is in line with the horizon
- Your reference point to stop is when the end kerb or line comes just under your door mirror. When the kerb reaches this point, select neutral and put the handbrake on.
You should then be within the white lines of the bay and have enough room to get in and out of the car. If you're not in the bay straight, don't worry. You can reverse out again and get into the correct position - just make sure you're doing your observations!
Step by step – reversing out of the bay
- Select the reverse gear
- Check the road you’re reversing into as much as you can. If all is clear, begin reversing slowly
- Continue to reverse straight until you reach the reference point; when your door mirrors are in line with the top of the bay park lines
- Turn the steering wheel either half left or half right (depending on which way you are going). As you begin to turn the wheel, the front end of the car will swing out, so you need to make sure you’re also checking you don’t hit any parked vehicles around you
- Put your full lock on, and continue reversing until you know you have enough space to move off. Once you know you have enough space, stop the car
- Before pulling off, remember to check your blind stops and when you’re happy that it's clear - select first gear and pull away.
And you're done!
Don't forget to keep breathing, take things slow and steady, and don't panic!