Practical Driving Test Manoeuvres
Source: State Farm / CC BY

In the practical driving test to get your red Ps you will be asked to do a number of manoeuvres. These will include a kerbside stop (and hill start) and at least one of the following:

  • A three-point turn
  • Reverse parallel parking
  • Front or rear to kerb park (90°, 60° or 45°)

Rules for manoeuvres

There are a number of rules testing officers must follow when asking you to complete a required manoeuvre. These rules aim to ensure the test is fair and not overly complicated.

  • The manoeuvres must be requested where there is a legal place to park
  • There must be a reasonable length of road to allow driving in
  • The manoeuvres must not be performed within sight of the testing centre
  • The manoeuvres must be conducted in separate zones and cannot be linked together at the same location. For example, a Three Point Turn may not be initiated from the Kerbside Stop.
  • Locations with high traffic volumes, pedestrian activity, excessively steep road camber or deep gutters should be avoided
  • Testing officers are NOT permitted to open the door to check the distance from the kerb
  • The front wheels of the vehicle are not required to be straight when the final position is accessed
  • Sometimes it is necessary to conduct the manoeuvre alongside driveways

There are a number of additional rules related to each manoeuvre. These rules will be discussed in coming posts on Driving Test NSW.

Assessment

During the manoeuvres you will be assessed on your ability to position your vehicle legally, safely and accurately. You must:

  • Park as near as practical to the kerb (less than 50cm from the kerb)
  • Not touch the kerb with your wheels
  • Be between 1-2 metres away from other vehicles
  • Reverse only as far as you need
  • Park as close as practical to the required angle and within any marked lines
  • Use a maximum of 4 direction changes for all parking manoeuvres
  • Check left and right for traffic before each movement during the three-point turn
  • Use a maximum of 5 direction changes in a three-point turn. If it is possible turn around in 3 direction changes, this will be the expectation
  • Signal for at least 5 seconds before leaving the kerb or a parked position

Although you will not immediately fail if the above criteria are not met, they will contribute to your errors throughout the test that may eventually result in you not passing the test.

Fail items

There are a number of actions that will result in an immediate fail. Although the test will continue to allow you the full test experience, you will not pass if any of the following occur:

  • One of more wheels mount the kerb
  • The vehicle rolls back more than 50cm (500mm) from a stationary position (e.g. during a hill start)
  • The vehicle’s final parked position obstructs traffic
  • You reverse more than 7 metres from the rear of the vehicle you are parking behind

Observation checks during manoeuvres

During manoeuvres you must check for other vehicles, pedestrians and possible hazards. You must head check your blind spot before you:

  • Move to the kerb to commence the manoeuvre
  • Leave the kerb to rejoin the traffic
  • Steer, if the front of your vehicle will swing into the lane during reversing

While reversing you must check the mirrors and through the rear and side windows in the direction of travel. Although you may use reversing cameras and sensors, you must still check mirrors and around your vehicle. Any park assist devices must be switched off for the reversing manoeuvres.


For further information on the practical driving test, you can read the Roads and Maritime Services produced ‘A Guide to the Driving Test’ and the Driving Test NSW summary of that document.

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