How to Alley Dock in a Car (Parking)

Updated on June 25, 2015
An Alley Dock, reversing in from the left.
An Alley Dock, reversing in from the left. | Source

Getting Your Driver's License: Alley Docking a Car

This is an article to help out people who want to get their driver's licence. In this article, I'll show you how to do a ‘dock' with step-by-step instructions and a diagram. There's also a video demonstration.

First, you start off in the bay allocated for you on the yard. For the first explanation, let's assume that you are on the left of the bay, and you want to reverse in (look at the diagram and the video for reference).

Left Alley Docking Video Tutorial

Alley Docking Video Tutorial #2

Step-by-Step Instructions for Alley Docking Left

  1. Mirror, blind spot left, and indicate left.
  2. Do your full observation: mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.
  3. Start reversing until you see the first pole on your left level with your shoulders, then do a right blind spot check.
  4. When the front of the car gets behind the pole, start turning the steering wheel full lock to the left.
  5. Look over your shoulder to see that you're going where you need to go, and that's in the bay behind you.
  6. Start looking in your right side or wing mirror to see the pole right at the back, and the three poles line up.
  7. Then you should straighten up the wheels quickly.
  8. Do your blind spot left and right and watch closely in both side mirrors to make sure you don't hit any of the poles.
  9. When your shoulder is level with the second pole from the back, stop, and put your handbrake on and put the car into neutral.

Right Alley Docking Video Lesson

Step-by-Step Instructions for Alley Docking Right

For reversing into the bay from the right, just do the opposite:

  1. Mirror, blind spot right, and indicate right.
  2. Do your full observation: mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.
  3. Start reversing until you see the first pole on your right level with your shoulders, then do a left blind spot check.
  4. When the front of the car gets behind the pole, start turning the steering wheel full lock to the right.
  5. Look over your shoulder to see that you're going where you need to go, and that's in the bay behind you.
  6. Start looking in your left side or wing mirror to see the pole right at the back, and the three poles line up.
  7. Then you should straighten up the wheels quickly.
  8. Do your blind spot left and right and watch closely in both side mirrors to make sure you don't hit any of the poles.
  9. When your shoulder is level with the second pole from the back, stop, and put your handbrake on; neutral.

Bay Dimensions

The dimensions of the space you need to get into are about 6m (236 in) long and 2,5m (98,5 in) wide. The curve before the bay is also about 6m (236 in), which you have to navigate before reversing into the actual bay.

You also mustn't be too close to the first pole when you start. It doesn't matter if you end up a little crooked in the bay, as long as you don't knock any of the poles or the curb. Remember to go slowly and turn fast so that you have more time to react and adjust if necessary. You have two attempts for the alley dock during the driving test.

"Those who cannot remember the past will spend a lot of time looking for their cars in mall parking lots."

— Jay Trachman

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Questions & Answers

    © 2008 Anti-Valentine

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      • profile image

        mythologylife700 

        3 months ago

        Found another web site info.. first pole reach shoulder 360 turn. Second pole reach shoulder 360 turn .. third pole reach shoulder so double lock (2x 360) look both side mirrors make sure car is straight. Stop when middle of door reach second last pole..

        See if this work? I must still rest..

      • profile image

        Axlehuh 

        5 months ago

        Start looking in your right side or wing mirror to see the pole right at the back, and the three poles line up.

        I honestly have no idea what this means.

        The pole right at the back? The middle pole, the far left, the far right pole, which pole?

        I tried to line the poles up, those which run straight down the alley, and when they are in a perfect line, shown in the reflection of the side mirror, if I were to move the car back, the tire at the back, would hit the concrete base and that's like absolutely like wrong like.

        What do mean?

        Please show a picture of the reflection in the side mirror, diagrammatically indicating, A. pole at back, B. poles lined up, or I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

        It's nightmarish. I need a picture of exactly what I must see in the side mirror, or this does not make sense. Huh.

      • profile image

        Mythologylife700 

        5 months ago

        side mirror reached the first pole (lock steering wheel once)

        middle of door reached the second pole (lock steering wheel)

        if left parking (3 poles should be visible in right side mirror set wheels straight (lock steering wheel twice to opposite direction to straighten wheels).

        if right parking (3 poles should be visible in left side mirror set wheels straight (lock steering wheel twice to opposite direction to straighten wheels).

      • profile image

        wendy 

        18 months ago

        Hi..i need assistance with alley docking, just not getting it right on straightening the car....

      • profile image

        Gerhard 

        2 years ago

        I failed cause the driving schools car first gear is sticky so thought it was in first took handbrake off and lift foot of clutch to move forward I rolled.The ground is not level so do i need to give little bit of gas cause with my the driving school I only use clutch

      • profile image

        roxy 

        3 years ago

        hi

        im struggling with alley parking

        when to make the 1st turn and when to straighten the vehicle im quiet confused!

      • Anti-Valentine profile imageAUTHOR

        Anti-Valentine 

        3 years ago from My lair

        It doesn't really matter if you have power steering or not. I've used the very same procedure that was taught to me in both a car with power steering, and one without.

        Remember, use your mirrors and keep an eye on the poles. That's all that matters. Go slow, but turn the wheel fast. If you go slow, you have time to correct if you need to.

      • profile image

        roslyn 

        3 years ago

        Do you use the same procedure for alley docking with power steering my insructor told me to turn a bit earlier and I hit the pole and failed my driving test.

      • profile image

        lee 

        4 years ago

        Thanks for the help..I wana know when its time to straighten the wheel how do I go abt doing that???

      • Anti-Valentine profile imageAUTHOR

        Anti-Valentine 

        4 years ago from My lair

        Yes, you definitely must!

      • profile image

        rozi 

        4 years ago

        please tell me if u use accelerator when reversing when we get tested

      • profile image

        Ntuthu 

        4 years ago

        Busy going through your tips, very helpful i must say, hopefully i will make it on wensday. *fingersCrossed*

      • profile image

        Cool-V lol 

        4 years ago

        Hi ! Thank u for this helpful article! do u have any ideas on how to place the poles for this kind of parking ? because I'm doing it myself now after failing 2 times my test tired of paying to the teachers decided to practise myself.

      • profile image

        Nats 123456 

        5 years ago

        Hi All,

        It seems its just nerves. I did the last step on the ground work with alley docking. I was finished with the left hand one. On the right hand one I turned to quickly,then trying to stop I rolled forward. I wanted a second try that's why I wanted to stop. I failed because of the roll. It is my own fault. I went with the driving instructors car. I will this time go with the car I'm driving with everyday I get a chance. The key is to turn at the exact time. Practise makes perfect. I'm going to keep going back even if it takes 10 times to get my license. Just keep on trying. Not everybody passes the first time, thank goodness you can go back! Lol

        Learning so much from this page. Now I can make my own ground work with all the messurements.

        Thank you :)

      • profile image

        Hope 

        5 years ago

        Thank you very much for this...lts excellent....Blessu

      • profile image

        Deng 

        5 years ago

        I wish I had checked this website before doing my test in the middle of last month. I failed on alley docking just because it looked a bit different from what my instructor used. Thanks a lot for these instructions in fact they are far easy to understand and execute compared to what I had been taught. Next time I book no need for a lesson.

      • profile image

        JoyToTheWorld07 

        6 years ago

        I am seriously battling with this manouvre, did it last Saturday for the first time, it really doesn't help when your instructor talks down on you, so your hub gives me a better understanding of what must be done. I have another lesson now, I'll let you know how it goes the second time around:)

      • profile image

        cola 

        6 years ago

        thank you for ur help, it is very refreshing, however i get confused in identifying the last pole at the back in alley docking. how any poles does alley docking have altogether, i failed twice on this obstacle. please please help me on alley docking

      • profile image

        sum1 

        6 years ago

        I just cnt manage 2 straightn da car wen I'm doin da left docking plz help out

      • htodd profile image

        htodd 

        6 years ago from United States

        Interesting hub

      • profile image

        veekay 

        7 years ago

        Does it apply to all starrings, power ...ect

      • Anti-Valentine profile imageAUTHOR

        Anti-Valentine 

        7 years ago from My lair

        That all sounds so familiar. My dad taught me a lot of bad habits.

        Then I took driving lessons from a school and corrected them. After that I had to teach my dad a lot of things!

      • profile image

        Jules 

        7 years ago

        Thanks!! I had about 15 driving lessons and failed my test the first time. Now I'm practising all this with my father which is hopeless since he doesn't know the procedure. This has been very helpful.

      • profile image

        Kerry 

        7 years ago

        Thank You for your guides on the yard test manoeuvres. I battle to remember the steps for each manoeuvre and I'm sure these guides will help me a great deal!

        I'd just like to point out an extra step which my driving instructor uses. This step would replace step 6 above.

        At our testing grounds, the third poles from the back are painted a different colour to the other poles.

        What you do is once you've locked the steering to the left (step 4), keep reversing slowly, whilst keeping an eye on both wing mirrors.

        As soon as you see each of those coloured poles in its respective wing mirror, straighten up and continue with step 8.

      • profile image

        Oba 

        7 years ago

        I find these tips very-very helpful! However, I find it difficult to park into the allocated boxes when doing the parallel parking and after leaving the parallel parking bay, please help, the car is always skew or on the lines! I do the parallel parking perfectly though. **confused**

      • Anti-Valentine profile imageAUTHOR

        Anti-Valentine 

        9 years ago from My lair

        Excellent! Make sure to tell people about me!

      • profile image

        Thando 

        9 years ago

        Very helpful passed my driving thankx to you !

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