Reverse bay parking

Revved up about your reverse bay parking? Don't worry - we're here to guide you in to that spot!


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By Chloe Martell

Updated on Jan 11th, 2021

In this episode of Driving Instructor Masterclass, we're taking a look at the Reverse Bay Park. This is when you reverse into a parking space in order to be able to pull out of it forwards. It's a manoeuvre you may get on your driving test and something you'll often use in life as a full licence holder, so knowing your reference points and getting the hang on this will help a lot in your driving life! 

  1. Control – keep the vehicle slow, and control the speed
  2. Accuracy – keep within the lines of the bay
  3. Observation – be aware of everything that is happening around you and act accordingly

Step by step – reverse bay parking

Make sure you are following the Mirror Signal Manoeuvre (Look, Tell, Do) routine throughout this manoeuvre. Keep checking those mirrors!

How to perform the reverse bay park

  1. Make sure you're doing lots of observations, making sure it's safe before starting the manoeuvre 
  2. Pull up past the space, looking where the white lines are in your mirrors and position 
  3. Making sure it's safe, turning the wheel all the way in and continuing to check those mirrors, as well as up and down the road. Keep looking for the white lines so you know when you're positioned in the bay 
  4. You can adjust if you need to by turning the wheel
  5. Once round, straighten the wheel and continue to reverse back. If it's not quite right, pull forward (don't forget to check for traffic or pedestrians) and reverse back, turning the way you want the back of the car to go
  6. You're done!

The 45 degree angle

Something a lot of experienced drivers do is turn the car out, before they turn it in - this can make it easier to reverse in. A lot of people may not realise but this is perfectly acceptable to do on your driving test. Of course, we'd suggest performing the manoeuvre the way that suits you best, and the one you're most comfortable and confident with. 

  1. Use the same approach and observations as usual, looking all around and finding the bay you want to park in 
  2. As you come up to the space and the lines of the bay disappear from your view at the front on the car, check over your right shoulder and pull forward whilst turning across at the front as far as you can go 
  3. You'll now need to select reverse and drop into the bay - by turning the wheel back around 
  4. You should see the line on your left hand side appearing first, followed by the line on the right 
  5. You can now straighten the wheel completely and reverse all the way back, continuing your observations 

Don't forget to keep breathing, take things slow and steady, and don't panic. Practice is key - find the way in which you prefer to tackle this manoeuvre and we're sure if it comes up on your test, you'll be good to go! 

Practice makes Perfect

Short term learner insurance allows you to practise in a parent's or friend's car and get test ready!
See how learner insurance can help you!
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Chloe Profile Picture

By Chloe Martell

As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!


Related Blogs


Forward Bay Parking

Have you been practising your forward bay parking? We've got a simple guide to explain how it's done!

Parallel parking

The reverse parallel park often strikes fear into the hearts and minds of learners - but knowing your reference points and practising often makes much easier!

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