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Three point turn manoeuvre tutorial

How to perform the three point turn / turn in the road manoeuvre

During the test, the Examiner will ask you to park up on the left on more than one occasion. It will be to assure him that you can park safely and legally and in a way that isn’t going to inconvenience others. Also it may be that he is going to ask you to perform a manoeuvre.

The three key skills needed in order to successfully complete the three point turn are:
Accuracy – ensuring you do not touch the kerb or mount the pavement
Control – keeping a slow car. Think of a slow walking pace. Whilst keeping the car slow, steering must be brisk.
Observation – all round effective observation throughout the manoeuvre.


A. The Examiner will ask you to park up on the left. Ensure you look in the appropriate mirrors (main mirror, left mirror) and indicate if necessary (If any cars, bikes etc are approaching from any direction, then apply the indicators). Once parked, cancel the indicators if you applied them. Ensure that you don’t park opposite somebody’s driveway on the left.

B. When you are ready to perform the three point turn, look in the appropriate mirrors as you do if moving off from a parked position (Main and right mirror), and check your blind spot to the right.
Using clutch control, move the car slowly forward, steering briskly to the right until full right lock. Keeping the car slow using clutch control and steering full right lock as fast as possible is essential.

Using the markers indicated by your instructor (around a meter from the kerb), and when you reach that distance, turn one turn of the wheel briskly to the left, clutch down and gently break to a stop using the foot brake.


C. Once the vehicle has stopped, apply the handbrake and select reverse gear. Find the biting point of the clutch. Observations are essential. Performing the best three point turn in the world will still fail the driving test if inadequate observations are made.
Find the biting point to ensure you wont roll forward into the kerb. Take a good look up and down the road before you start to move the car backwards, at least twice both directions. Then look out the back window (the direction in which you are travelling) and slowly using clutch control move the car backwards steering full left lock briskly.

Around half way in the road, look over your right shoulder at the kerb on your right. When you are around a metre from the kerb (use your instructors markers) steer briskly to the right. and gently apply the foot brake to stop the car.

D. Once stopped, apply the handbrake and select first gear. Again find the biting point so as not to roll backwards onto the kerb. Use appropriate observations; IE, if any approaching traffic occurs during the manoeuvres, stop and let them pass.
If you feel you are in the way of any traffic and blocking their direction of travel, then proceed with your manoeuvres. Reversing towards any car or cyclist however, the car must be stopped.

Before you move off, take a good look left and right, and then left and right again. Then moving off slowly using clutch control, move slowly forward and steering briskly to the right.

Print the three point turn / turn in the road PDF tutorial