What is ‘turn in the road’ and why do I need to learn it?
If you ever find yourself taking the wrong turning into a road then you’ll probably
want to turn around and drive back in the opposite direction (if it is legal to
do this on the road you are on). To do this you will need to perform a turn in the
road manoeuvre which involves you turning your car around to face the opposite direction
using forward and reverse gears. This is 1 of a possible 4 manoeuvres that you will
be asked to carry out in your practical driving test.
When can I perform the ‘turn in the road’
You’ll need to first check whether it is legal for you to perform the turn in the
road manoeuvre on the road you are on, you won’t need to worry about this if you
are on your practical test because the examiner will ensure it is safe to carry
out the manoeuvre for you. If you have already passed your test then you should
look out for information that might restrict U-turns on the road, these include
The road you are on has a double white line in the middle meaning you cannot cross
it other than for certain reasons, none of which include performing a U-turn.
A no U-turn sign on the road means you cannot perform a U-turn, sometimes there
are cameras which will fine offenders so it should definitely not be attempted.
What will the examiner be looking for in this manoeuvre ?
There are a few things that your driving test
examiner will mark you on if you are asked to perform this manoeuvre during your
practical exam. The 3 items in particular and what is required for each to be satisfied
are shown below:
Accuracy – Is the manoeuvre carried out accurately? If you did it again would it
be pretty similar to the first time?
Control – Are you controlling the car properly
or is the vehicle out of your control when performing this manoeuvre?
Observation – Did you take effective observations before, after and during the manoeuvre?
Did you react when you saw anything that might cause you a problem (such as another
car or pedestrians)?
If the examiner is happy that all of these boxes are ticked then you can rest assured
that the manoeuvre has been carried out successfully. Figure 1 below shows the section
of the marking sheet which will be used if you carry out this manoeuvre in your
Figure 1. Part of the marking sheet where your 'turn in the road' will be marked.
So how can you do this manoeuvre to a test standard level?. Fineline Driving Academy’s
method of performing this manoeuvre has proven a great success over all of the years
we have been providing driving lessons and now we will teach you how to carry out
this manoeuvre so you can ace it on your test!
How to successfully ‘turn in the road’
The method of how to perform this manoeuvre to a driving test standard is best explained
when broken up into 6 stages. If this is the manoeuvre that your examiner has decided
you will be doing, you will be parked up on the left in a suitable road and the
examiner will say something similar to:
‘Turn the car around to face the opposite direction using forward and reverse gears
without touching the kerb’
As mentioned earlier, the examiner will make sure that it is legal to perform the
manoeuvre on the road and that the road is wide enough. So now you can begin your
1) To begin, open your window slightly so that you can hear any traffic that may
want to cross your path. You should bear in mind that if a car shows up and wants
to pass you then you need to stop. Have a look at what the car is doing, if they
are waiting then you should continue but they might also want to pass through any
gap so you should remain stationary if they do so. Never wave another vehicle on!
2) Get your biting point ready, you wont need any gas for this manoeuvre because
the movement created with the biting point will be more than enough. Do a 6 point
check and release your handbrake, you will move the vehicle by teasing the clutch
around the biting (move it up and down above and below the biting point by around
no more than 1cm). More information on these driving skills can be found in the
‘moving off & stopping’ tutorial.
3) As soon as you have checked it is clear and you have released your handbrake
and moved your vehicle, steer full lock to the right and move in a controlled and
4) Before you get to the other side of the road you’ll need to straighten your wheel,
you’ll know you are near the kerb and need to straighten your wheel when you see
the kerb in the position shown in figure 2 below;
Figure 2. Reference point for first part of turn in the road.
Once you have got a similar reference point to that seen in figure 2 above, turn
your wheel 1 and a half turns back to the left to make the wheels straight again,
remember to always steer only when the car is moving otherwise you are dry steering.
Once the wheels are straight, apply the handbrake.
5) You should now select the reverse gear. Get your biting point ready, perform
a six point check and begin to reverse using the same ‘teasing the clutch’ technique.
You should be looking over your left shoulder for the first 5 seconds of reversing,
and then switch to your right shoulder for the remainder of the reversing. Begin
to straighten your wheels when you get a similar reference point in your window
to that shown in figure 3 below :
Figure 3: Reference point for second part of turn in the road.
Once you have straightened the wheels, stop and apply the handbrake.
6) Select 1st gear, get your biting point, look around with your 6 point check and
move off nice and slowly. There is no need to park up, just continue driving ahead
and your examiner will direct you from there. The manoeuvre is complete, you will
not be told straight away if it was successful, if it wasn’t then you’ll find out
at the end of the test.
We understand that these steps might be a tad bit confusing so the following video
of the complete manoeuvre should help you fully digest the different parts involved.
Useful points to remember when performing the ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvre
Here are some useful points that you should know about regarding this manoeuvre,
there are many ways to do this particular manoeuvre but the way we have shown you
is the method we teach our learners at Fineline Driving Academy and the feedback
from our learners about this method is always positive. Read these pointers before
you go out and practise this manoeuvre:
• You won’t need any gas for the manoeuvre and won’t be penalised for not using
any. Good control can be achieved with just the clutch, just tease it up and down
around the biting point and the car should move in a steady and controlled fashion.
• If you can’t turn the car around in 3 movements, then 5 is acceptable as long
as it is safe. The manoeuvre used to called a 3 point turn but it was changed to
turn in the road because it is no longer required in 3 moves, although this is easily
achieved using our method.
• Don’t forget to open your window slightly before the manoeuvre, this is a priceless
way to spot traffic. If you miss a car/pedestrian coming towards you then you will
almost certainly fail your test due to the error.
• You can’t see how close the front of your car is to the kerb so use the reference
points from figures 2 and 3 to avoid touching the kerb, any contact with the kerb
will almost certainly result in a fail. Don’t forget to straighten your wheels as
well otherwise the next part of the manoeuvre will be more difficult.
• Look behind you whilst reversing, this is regularly the reason for failing a manoeuvre
and quite a daft way to fail because it isn’t difficult to look in the direction
the car is moving in!
FINELINES guide to dealing with the ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvre
This end of tutorial guide will recap the most important parts of the tutorial provided
by Fineline Driving Academy. Have a good look at the different sections and videos
within the tutorial, if you can perform the manoeuvre in a similar manner to what
we have explained then you can rest assured it will be successful in your actual
driving test. We recommend that if you are giving the manoeuvre a go without a qualified
driving instructor, use a nice wide road which is quiet (ideally a dead end road).
• The examiner will make sure the road which they want you to perform the manoeuvre
on is wide enough and suitable.
• The examiner will say something similar to ‘turn the car around to face the opposite
direction using forward and reverse gears’ if they would like you to perform the
‘turn in the road manoeuvre’.
• Open your window slightly so you can hear traffic, get your biting point ready,
do a 6 point check, and begin to move the car by teasing the clutch above/below
the biting point.
• As soon as the car moves, do a full lock to the right until you get your reference
point (figure 2) and straighten the wheels while move slightly forward after the
reference point is reached. Apply the handbrake, select reverse gear.
• Get your biting point, do a 6 point check and begin to reverse very slowly by
teasing the clutch in the same manner. As soon at the car starts to reverse you
should steer full lock to the left, look over your left shoulder for the first 5
seconds of reversing and then your right shoulder for the remainder of the reversing
until you reach the second reference point (figure 3). When you reach this reference
point, reverse back slightly more and straighten the wheel, stop the car and apply
the handbrake. Now select 1st gear.
• Get your biting point and do a 6 point check, if it is clear move off by teasing
the clutch in the same manner. Continue driving and await further instructions from
• Make sure you are aware of passing traffic/cyclists or pedestrians. Stop for any
of these road users, and continue when it is safe to do so, never wave on other
traffic or pedestrians!