To prepare for your driving test you will need to spend a bit of time in car parks. The current practical test features two car park manoeuvres: forwards bay parking and reverse bay parking. There is lots of information on the internet about how to bay park, and my customers can log in for course handouts and scanned copies of text books. However, as well as the actual manoeuvres, here are some thoughts about how learners could improve their general car park skills
Enter the car park carefully
Many new drivers rush into car parks, and before they've had a chance to look for spaces they have already driven past several. Enter car parks with caution, consider a short pause to look for spaces and pedestrians, and think ahead about where you might park.You might find first gear is the most suitable option when looking for a space.
Treat junctions in car parks like all other junctions. Give way where you can't see properly, signal your intentions in good time, and be clear about what you are doing. If you want to stop the car, check the mirror, and consider the car park users behind you. Allow other vehicles to pass if you can. Signal to enter a parking space and also to leave a parking space, (if another car park user would benefit from seeing it).
Allow room to manoeuvre
If you're parking forwards, give yourself enough room to swing the car round. For example, if you're parking to the right, keep well to the left. This will help allow room for the front corner of the car to enter the parking bay without encroaching on neighbouring bays.
If you're parking in reverse, allow room for the front of the car to swing out.
Slow car, quick steering
Sometimes you will need to steer fully while moving the car only a few centimetres. Make sure you are able to control the clutch so that you can manoeuvre without lurching too much. It takes a bit of practice but once you can keep the vehicle at 'zimmer frame' speed and steer quickly and smoothly, manoeuvring in car parks becomes a breeze.
Give other drivers time and space
Other drivers need room to park and space to think. Please don't drive up close behind other vehicles. Anticipate their intentions and always try your best to be patient, kind and understanding.