How to reverse our car around a corner

This is a manoeuvre that you may have to do once you’ve passed your driving test. You would normally perform this task if for example if you realise that your driving on the wrong road, and you need to drive back the same way as you’ve just come from, as an alternative to turning your car in the road.

Key points to remember:

  • Take your time – keep control of the clutch and accelerator.
  • Be aware of other road users during your manoeuvre, by checking frequently;
  • Don’t stare in the door mirror while reversing;
  • Try to keep your car approximately ideally the width of a drain (30cm) while reversing – don’t worry if its not, as you just need to be reasonably close.


  • As you approach the corner, glance into the corner for any obstructions or pedestrians;
  • Give a signal if necessary;
  • If clear, stop around one and a half car lengths past the junction, parallel to the road and approxiamately a drains width from the kerb;
  • Apply your handbrake and select reverse gear;
  • With most cars, you will have to move the passenger door mirror down so you can see the bottom of the back of your car and the kerb;
  • Before moving, have a good all round check for other road users;
  • Start backing up very slowly until the back of your car has reached the last straight kerbstone – you cn see this in the passenger’s door mirror;
  • Before beginning your turn have a good all round check for other road users;
  • If clear continue to back up, turning your steering wheel to the left approxiamately half to one turn (depending on how sharp the corner is and your car);
  • As you continue to  reverse, make frequent checks all around (including your blindspot and through the rear window;
  • Try to keep the space between the back of the car and the kerb around a drains width by using the passenger door mirror. This may mean that you might have to make adjustments to the steering as your going around the kerb;
  • When the back of your car has reached the first straight kerb around the corner, straighten the wheels and continue backing up until your car is approxiamatly 2 or 3 car lengths past the corner. Stop and apply the handbrake and select neutral.

Important point to remember when reversing: If you see the space between the back of the car and the kerb getting smaller, immediately correct it and steer away from the kerb (right), conversely if the space is getting wider than a drains width, then steer towards the kerb (left).