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Turn In The Road

The turn in the road is one of four manoeuvres you will need to learn before taking the driving test, one of three if you use the Bournemouth test centre. The turn in the road, also known as the 3 point turn is also one of the more common manoeuvres asked by the test examiner for you to perform.

This tutorial will demonstrate an ideal technique or example, fully explained with instructions, that the examiner will be looking for in order to pass this part of the driving test.

By performing the turn in the road on your test exactly as described in this tutorial, you will pass this section of the driving test with considerable ease. For a brief summary, the test examiner will be looking for 3 key skills demonstrated by yourself in order to successfully complete the turn in the road.

These are:


The test examiner will be assessing your ability to turn the car around in 3 points without touching the curb or mounting the pavement. This can be extended to 5 turns if necessary.


The examiner will be judging your ability to keep the car slow by use of clutch control and simultaneously steering quickly.


Effective and all round observation must be taken whilst performing the turn in the road manoeuvre.

Prepare, Observe and Move

A key factor within the turn in the road (or any manoeuvre) is the driving routine POM; Prepare, Observe and Move (or Manoeuvre). Always prepare the car to get it ready to move, before moving it, observe to ensure it is safe to move, and when you are sure it is save, move. This is required from the first turn, through to the last turn.

Turn In The Road A

Throughout the driving test, the examiner will ask you to park on the left on more than one occasion. This is to ensure you do so safely by using main interior mirror, your left mirror and if necessary, signalling to the left. The examiner will not ask you to park anywhere that is illegal, although do ensure to avoid parking in front of somebody´s driveway, on sharp bends and opposite a junction. Once you have stopped the car, apply the handbrake and select neutral.

Other than testing your ability to park safely on the left, it may be to perform a driving test manoeuvre such as the turn in the road. The test examiner will provide a briefing, explaining to you that he would like you to ´turn the car around´ or make a ´turn in the road´ or to perform a ´3 point turn´.

Turn In The Road B

Before you start the turn in the road, look into your left mirror, centre mirror, right mirror and look into your right blind spot. An indication will not be necessary as you will only want to start the turn in the road manoeuvre if the road is clear of approaching vehicles. If the road is not clear, wait until it is, but ensure you make full checks again before starting the manoeuvre.

Move the car off very slowly using clutch control. Think of a slow walking pace for speed. As soon as the car moves forward, steer as fast as possible to full right lock. In the middle of the road check for traffic approaching from the left and right. Approximately 1 metre from the kerb, turn the wheel to the left about 1 turn but not more than 2 turns. It is not essential that you do this, it simply helps to straighten the wheel for when you begin to reverse and makes the manoeuvre a little easier.

Observations are important throughout the manoeuvre. Keeping the car slow, as you approach the kerb, keep checking up and down the road for approaching traffic.

Once you have turned the wheel to the left, fully depress the clutch and gently brake to a stop. Apply the handbrake and select reverse gear.

Turn In The Road C

To ensure the car will not roll forward into the kerb, find the clutch bite point. Before moving the car, take a good look around the car starting in the right blind spot and finishing in the rear window making sure the road is clear before you move off. If all clear, look out the rear windscreen and using clutch control, slowly move the car backwards and steer as fast as possible to left steering lock. Again keep the car slow whilst moving. Your main observation should be out the rear window but also constantly check up and down the road for oncoming vehicles.

Approximately half way in the road, your attention should now be over your right shoulder at the approaching kerb. This is now the closest to the car and so is the most dangerous due to mounting the kerb. Approximately 1 metre from the kerb steer to the right about 1 to 2 turns of the wheel, depress the clutch and gently brake to a stop.

Turn In The Road D

Apply the handbrake, select 1st gear and to prevent the car from rolling back, find the clutch biting point. Before moving the car off, take a good look around the car, making sure the road is clear and it is safe to proceed.

If all clear, release the handbrake and move the car off slowly and steer as fast as possible to the right.

Rolling the car

Although it is not compulsory or a rule to apply the handbrake and bite point at each stop in the turn in the road, it is a good habit to get into. Many roads have cambers such to aid with water drainage.

Road camber is the varying differences in height of the road

Cambers can sometimes be difficult to see for a learner and can easily result in rolling into the kerb. At each stop apply the handbrake and find the clutch bite point to ensure this will not happen.
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