Turn In The Road

Turn In The Road or 3 point Turn

The turn in the road or 3 point turn as it used to be known is no longer required as a manoeuvre on your driving test.

However if you go the wrong way whilst following directions or doing the independent driving section of your driving test, you will be asked to turn the vehicle around when its safe to.

The turn in the road is still the best way of doing this, unless you have a large roundabout close by.

So, why might you need to do this in your general driving?

Well you might go down a road that is a dead end - There may be a crash on the road ahead and they are turning the cars around - It may just be you realise that you've gone the wrong way and need to turn around as soon as possible.

Turn In The Road - Safe, Legal, Necessary?

The first thing you need to do is make sure that it is safe, legal and necessary.

SAFE - Are you near a bend or the brow of a hill? Oncoming traffic won't expect you to be on there side of the road.

LEGAL - Are there any "No U Turn signs?" any signs saying "One way only" if there are then you can't do it

NECESSARY - Are you close to a roundabout? Is there a large car park near by (Pub, Supermarket, DIY stores)

Turn In The Road - What The Examiner wants

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:

  • Accuracy
    The test examiner will be assessing your ability to ideally turn the car around  without touching the curb / kerb or mounting the pavement.
  • Control
    The examiner will be judging your ability to keep the car slow by use of clutch control and simultaneously steering quickly.
  • Observation
    Effective and all round observation must be taken whilst performing the turn in the road manoeuvre

Pull Up on The Left

Look and assess where it is safe and legal to pull up then use the MSPSGL routine to bring the car to a gentle stop at the side of the road


Full Right Lock

Before you start the turn in the road, look into your main 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 if 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.

Approximately 1 metre from the kerb, turn the wheel to the left approximately 1 turn. 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.

Reversing Slowly

To ensure the car will not roll forward into the kerb, find the clutch bite point. Before moving the car, take a good look up and down the road at least twice each way for any approaching vehicles.

If all is 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 (again establish yourself a reference point here) steer 1 turn to the right, depress the clutch and gently brake to a stop.

If any traffic comes wait and assess

The test examiner may use a relatively busy road for you to perform the turn in the road.

Vehicles may come close, try to get passed or become impatient. It is important that you are fully practiced with this manoeuvre so that under pressure, you are fully aware of what you should be doing.

Remember that they all had to do the driving test once, so keep calm and do the manoeuvre just like you did with your driving instructor.

Steer to the right

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 up and down the road at least twice each way to ensure 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

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