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How to do a turn-in-the-road or three point turn:

No longer done on the new driving test from Dec 2017!

The examiner will stop you at the side of the road and give you the following instruction:

Examiner's instruction:
"I now want you to turn the vehicle around in the road using forward and reverse gears. Try not to touch the kerbs while you are turning. Treat any dropped kerbs(driveways) as kerbs."

How to do it:  (Please also see the manoeuvres-general page)
When you get the above instruction your first consideration should be whether or not to start from exactly where you are? If necessary you can re-position.

Make sure that you are not parked next to a driveway, or a tree / lamp-post. Whatever is next to you when you begin the turn will be behind you when you reverse. Also try not to have a parked car just behind you on the other side of the road, as that will make it difficult to pull out of the manoeuvre, as you finish.



Before you start, use all your mirrors, and check your blindspots. Then begin by turning the steering hard as soon as you move. Just as the front moves out, pause, and check your right blindspot again - at this point your blindspot is all the way down the road behind you. If you see something approaching STOP. It is better to stop part way out, than pull across in front of someone. If it is clear, continue: The steering should be on full-lock by the time that you are half-way across the road. Straighten the steering in the last half-metre before the kerb. When you get close to the kerb, stop, and apply the handbrake.

You can often tell when you are close because the car rolls slightly into the dip. You can also use a reference point - such as the kerb being at the bottom of your door mirror; although this will not be accurate at all angles / road widths. You could leave the steering on full lock until the end of the initial forward stage, then you will not be confused as to which way to turn the wheel when you begin to reverse.

Look up and down the road, and especially behind you over your left shoulder out of the back window, before beginning to reverse. On most roads you will need to do a hill start (in reverse) to pull away from the kerb because of the camber (hump of the road). Turn to full-lock on the steering (to the left) as soon as you move the front away from the kerb. The steering should be on full-lock by the time that you are half-way across the road. Keep checking back over your left shoulder.

If you have got past the 90 degree position across the road, your right side will be nearer to the kerb than the left. This means changing to look over your right shoulder as you near the kerb behind. Straighten the steering in the last half-metre before the kerb. Stop just before you get to the kerb.

Apply the handbrake. Then check up and down the road before getting the biting point, and pulling forward. Keep your speed very slow until you have completely pulled out of the turn. You would also normally pull up alongside the kerb to finish.

The manoeuvre actually doesn’t have to done in three movements, but does need to be done in a reasonable amount of turns for the road width. You can touch the kerb, or can probably get away with bumping the kerb, and still pass. But, you will probably fail if you go up the kerb, or up a driveway. Anytime that you are about to point the car at the kerb, on any of the stages, make sure that there are not any pedestrians passing. You don't want to frighten them.







Teaching people to drive for over 30 years! Professional driving lessons with Alan J Barker BA DSA ADI.
Covering Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge areas