REVERSE BAY PARK

When learning to carry out a bay park, this can be either to the left or to the right. The skills required are the same as for any other manoeuvre: good coordination between clutch, gas, steering and brake, proper and good observation, and reasonable accuracy.

Left bay park

If you are bay parking to the left, one of the most important things is your start position because you will need to obtain a good turning circle. If you start too close to the vacant bay it is almost certain that you will have insufficient room. You should start no closer to the vehicle next to which you intend to park than the width of your car and at least a car’s length past the bay. This will help you achieve the correct turning arc. Before you move off, 360 degree observation is required, then a very slow movement of the car back towards your point of turn. Your point of turn will be when your left rear wheel is level or just past the first white line of the bay. At that point you should refresh all observations including a right blind spot check and, as you will be in a car park, pay extra attention to pedestrians. You will need to move the car extremely slowly and put on a full left lock so that the back of your car swings in between both white lines marking the bay. As the back of the car comes into the bay, continue to look around including the front of your car. As the car comes parallel between the bay markers, counter steer to take off the amount of steering you previously applied until your wheels are again straight. If necessary, you may take a shunt forwards and backwards if the car is not quite straight, remembering to refresh your observations before starting any correction.

Right bay park

A right bay park requires the same skills except your starting position is different. The starting position will be to the right of the bay, still approximately a car’s length past the bay but a whole car’s width from the rear of the vehicle next to which you plan to park in order to achieve the correct turning arc. The observations will still be 360 degrees but as you reverse you will be looking over your left shoulder through the rear screen, occasionally looking over your right shoulder to anticipate point of turn. Your point of turn will be approximately when your back right wheel is level with the bay marking line. At that stage your observations will be different as your blind spot will be to your back left. Reverse the car slowly and turn the steering wheel briskly to the right until the back of your car starts going into the bay between the white lines. As soon as the car is parallel to the white lines, counter steer to the left until the wheels are straight again, which time you should be in the bay. It may be necessary to take a shunt forwards and backwards to achieve this, but please remember: fresh observation, with particular lookout for pedestrians.