Learning to drive can be a long and complicated process. On average, it takes around 45 hours worth of guided lessons to get up to speed with the practical test and around 20 hours of independent practice on top of that.
If this seems daunting, it’s important not to be discouraged. With the help of temporary driving insurance, you can practice in a family member’s car to make sure that you need minimal lesson time. You might also look into stress-busting methods if you’re feeling nervous during the build-up to a big test.
Surprisingly, a lot of this time is taken up learning some of the trickier manoeuvres which, in practice, are performed only very rarely. It’s worth thinking about which manoeuvres are going to pose a challenge in advance, and preparing for them as thoroughly as possible. Let’s take a look at them.
This is something that few drivers really master. The method can be summarised with the acronym MSMOG, which means that you need to check the mirror, signal, check the mirror again, look over your shoulder, and go whenever it’s safe. You’ll need to know how far you need to be away from the car you’re parking behind, and the point at which you need to turn the wheel. Remember that you’re turning the wheel as far as possible every time; the more gradual you are about it, the greater the distance you’ll need.
Reverse Park and Bay
If you can’t park your car in a parking space, then you’ll find it difficult to exist as a motorist in the UK. Reverse parking tends to be better than forward parking, as it’ll allow you to emerge from the space with maximum visibility.
You’ll need to ensure that the space is large enough to accommodate you and that you have room to manoeuvre. You’ll know that you’ve got it right when the white lines appear in both of your wing mirrors. This is something that you’ll be able to practice pretty easily if you can find a suitably empty car park (just make sure that you have permission). So, make sure you set aside the time late in the evening.
This is where you turn completely in the road. You’ll need to find an empty cul-de-sac to practice on. Don’t try to perform the manoeuvre too quickly, and make sure that you lock out the steering wheel, and that you check constantly for incoming traffic.
Reversing round a corner
This is a challenge that can be mastered pretty easily with practice. You just need to ensure that your starting position is right and that you can see where you’re going. Don’t reverse out across a give-way line, and make sure you stop when another car approaches.
Reversing in a straight line
This is one of the first advanced manoeuvres you’ll master. It’s a prerequisite for reversing around a corner. You can master it easily if you take it slowly and keep checking your mirrors.