A-Class Driving School's Online Driving Tutorial -
Forwards Bay Parking

The examiner will take you to a suitable car park and stop you at the entrance. They'll ask you to perform this manoeuvre in one of two ways; bonnet first or reversing. The bay park exercise is made easier if you know your reference points for your particular vehicle, which can vary from car to car.

If asked to go bonnet first they'll phrase it like this "I'd like you to drive forward into a convenient parking bay finishing within the lines, either to the left or the right". Once in they'll ask "Now I'd like you to reverse out either to the left or to the right."

You can't drive through a first bay and park in the one behind and you can't cross the lines at the side as you go in.

Planning for bay parking is crucial. Think which side you want to park on and then position yourself on the other side of the aisle of the car park. For example, if the bay you want is on your right, you'll want to stay to the left, as far away from the bay as possible to make the turn in easier and reduce the chance of cutting the markings on the floor.

Think of this exercise as like turning into a narrow street. You'd want to check your mirrors before turning the wheel for cars coming up behind you, look at the bay and make the turn sharp, applying full lock, to avoid cutting the top corners of the bay.

A useful reference point here would be when the first line of the bay you want is inline with your door handle (to the left) or inline with your shins (to the right), that's your point of turn.

When the car is inline with the markings on the floor, you'll be around 1/2 way into the bay, this is when it's time to take the turn off and stop.

Apply the handbrake and put the car into neutral.

You'll then be asked to leave the car park by the examiner.

When ready, POM. Get the car into reverse, find some bite, make sure you observe thoroughly, release the handbrake and slowly come back.

If there are empty bays on either side of you, you can turn immediately in the opposite direction of which you have been asked to leave. If there is a car on either or both sides of you, come back straight until your door mirrors have cleared the ends of the vehicles, then turn. This is prevent the bonnet hitting those parked vehicles.

The turn wants to be quick and shape to rapidly change direction. Once the bonnet is pretty much facing the direction you wish to go in, quickly take the turn off so that your wheels are facing the correct direction.

Stop. Handbrake, prepare, observe your mirrors and around you before releasing the hand brake and leaving.

forwards bay park to the left

Reference point when parking to the left is somewhere close to the first line of the bay touching the passenger side door handle.  

forwards bay park to the right

Reference point when parking to the right is when the first lie of the bay is inline with your shins/knees (depending on where you sit)

Official DVSA explanation of the forwards bay park exercise