Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Forwards Bay Parking

On this lesson, you will learn about the Forwards Bay Park manoeuvre. You will cover:

  • where you will perform the manoeuvre
  • How to perform the manoeuvre
  • how to deal with other road users

The most important parts of reversing are:

  1. Good observations
  2. Good speed control
  3. Be accurate

Where to do a Forwards Bay Parking

You may be asked to drive into a car park during your test to perform a Forward’s Bay Park.

You will choose the bay.

It is important that you choose a good place to do this. Try not to park:

  • alongside other vehicles if possible, it is more difficult to see to emerge safely
  • near a van as it will be difficult to see when it’s safe to reverse out of the bay
  • near the car park exit / entrance as this is where there will be more vehicles

How to Do a Forwards Bay Park

Starting Position

Decide which bay you want to park in.
Position the car parallel to the bay you want to park in, and as far from the bay as possible.

Don’t drive over the opposite bay markings or get too near to parked cars.

You may need to signal your intention if other vehicles are following you.

Pause the car at your reference point for steering (see below).

Steering into the Bay

Once you are in position, and your reference point is lined up, you will use the P O M routine to steer into the bay.

PREPARE the car to move – select 1st gear, set gas and bite

OBSERVE – check all around, including both blind spots.

MOVE – release the handbrake and steer full lock towards the bay.

Move very slowly (walking pace) and keep checking all around.

If a car or pedestrian approaches, pause and let them pass.


Line up the first bay line so that it falls just under the door mirror. You will drive into that bay.

Finishing the Manoeuvre

As the car starts to enter the bay you will start to see the bay lines either side of the car.

You are aiming for about the same gap both sides.

As the car straightens up in the bay, continue moving very slowly and quickly straighten the steering.

Drive forwards until the car is fully in the bay.

Check your position, you are aiming to be central and straight.

If any of your wheels are touching the bay lines you will need to adjust your position by reversing left or right (depending on where you need the car to be), and then forwards into the bay.

Secure the car by applying the handbrake and selecting neutral.

PLEASE NOTE: You will not be successful on your test if your wheels are touching the bay lines.

Reversing out of the Bay

Great care needs to be taken when reversing out of a bay. It is very difficult to see vehicles or pedestrians approaching.

Take care to move the car very slowly, and make very good observations.

TOP TIP: It may help to open a window so you can listen as well as look, to give you an idea of what’s about.

You will use the P O M routine:

PREPARE the car to move – select reverse gear, set gas and biting point

OBSERVE – check all around, including both blind spots

MOVE – when you are sure it is safe, look out of the rear and release the handbrake.

Drive straight backwards by about ½ a car length.

This will be when the door pillars are in line with the end of the bay line.

Continue to check all around, and listen out for any clues

When the car is half way out of the bay, check again and do a ½ steer.

When you are sure the car will not go over the bay lines, apply full lock.

When the car is free from the bay completely, straighten the wheels and secure the car.

Use P O M again to move away in 1st gear.

Drive out of the car park carefully. Look out for cars reversing out of bays, and for pedestrians walking around. Drive out at an appropriate speed.

Important Points

1. The most important aspects of any manoeuvre are:

  • Effective observation
  • Good control
  • Accuracy

Accuracy is not as important as effective observations and good control.

2. You should always move the car very slowly when reversing, and give other road users priority.

3. When steering, the car should be moving. Don’t steer while the car is not moving. This is known as ‘dry steering’ and can cause damage to the tyres and steering mechanism.

4. Do not signal while reversing. Your reverse lights will inform drivers behind what you intend to do.

5. Look back when driving back! Don’t rely on mirrors only. You can see more distance behind and to the sides when you turn around and look back.

Attempts for Clip 1

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