Neil Brown Driving lessons in West Lothian
Neil Brown Driving lessons in West Lothian

Left reverse

The 3 important elements to remember on each manoeuvre, are CONTROL, OBSERVATIONS and ACCURACY.


CONTROL - all of the manoeuvres require good car control, this is achieved by keeping your car moving at a slow walking pace, using the clutch to control the speed.


OBSERVATIONS - a vital part of any manoeuvre is being aware of what is happening all around your car, this can only be achieved by making effective observations. When reversing, you must concentrate on where your car is going, most of your observations will be out the rear window, however you must not forget to make regular checks through the front windscreen and to both sides of your car, remember that the front of your car will move out when you steer to the left or right, make effective observations BEFORE you steer.


ACCURACY - Each manoeuvre requires a certain degree of accuracy, use reference points gained from your practice sessions, to help you accurately position your car correctly throughout each manoeuvre.

Stop in a normal parking position before the corner, (car A) look at the road ahead and the new road that you will reverse into. Consider the camber of both roads, any slope uphill or downhill in the new road, any other road users or pedestrians in the area, the width of the new road.


PREPARE, OBSERVE, MOVE before moving off, remember other road users may not expect your car to move off and then stop so soon, take this into consideration when moving off.

As you start to pass the new road, (car B) look into it to make sure the new road is clear of any obstructions, such as parked cars or rubbish skips etc, also assess if the new road is flat, uphill or downhill.

MIRRORS, SIGNAL, MANOEUVRE before stopping on the left, (car C) your car should be parallel to the kerb and should be about a drains width away from the kerb, a normal parking position would be too close to the kerb. PREPARE your car to move off in reverse gear, OBSERVATIONS start in the driver blind spot, driver door mirror, road ahead, main mirror, passenger door mirror and blind spot, look over your left shoulder through the rear windscreen as you release the handbrake. 

As you reverse, the kerb will disappear from the rear windscreen and re-appear in the passenger side rear window.


Slowly reverse in a straight line until your rear wheels are in line with the first curved kerb stone (orange arrow).  Check over your into your driver blind spot for other road users, as the front of your car will move out into the path of oncoming traffic.


Steer to the left, the amount of steering will depend on the corner, as a rough guide if the corner is almost a right angle (1-2 curved kerb stones) steer full lock to the left, sharp bend (3-4 curved kerb stones) steer one full turn to the left or shallow bend (5-9 curved kerb stones) steer half a turn to the left.

As you reverse keep checking all round for other road users, the kerb will re-appear in your rear windscreen, just as your car appears parallel to the kerb, straighten up the steering and keep reversing back about 3-4 car lengths into the new road.

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Areas covered

  • Livingston
  • Broxburn
  • Pumpherston
  • Dechmont
  • Bathgate
  • Uphall
  • Boghall