How to do a Three Point Turn, With Diagrams

Updated on March 21, 2016

Three point landing…

This will most likely be the last driving manoeuvre article, since I've already covered the hill start, the parallel park and the alley dock. Now I'll discuss how to do a three point turn. Diagrams and instructional videos are present in this hub to better illustrate what I'm writing about.

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). For anyone who lives in a country where you drive on the right hand side of the road, the instructions will follow later (it's not just America).

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The start of a three point turn, from left to right.The second and third part. From right to left in reverse, and then left to right to finish.
The start of a three point turn, from left to right.
The start of a three point turn, from left to right. | Source
The second and third part. From right to left in reverse, and then left to right to finish.
The second and third part. From right to left in reverse, and then left to right to finish. | Source

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 moving forward for a bit, slowly.

4. Start turning the wheel full lock to the right.

5. Before you reach the kerb, turn the steering wheel back one and half or two turns to straighten up, stop and put the handbrake on.

6. Mirror, blind spot left and indicate left.

7. Do your full observation; mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.

8. Start reversing and put the wheel on full lock to the left.

9. Before you reach the kerb, turn the wheel back to straighten up again, then stop and put the handbrake on.

10. Mirror, blind spot right and indicate right.

11. Do your full observation; mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.

12. Start moving forward for a bit, slowly.

13. Once the front of the car crosses the line in the middle, you can start turning.

14. Make sure the whole car is over the line, so you end up on the other side completely.

15. Stop the car behind the white line ahead.

A three point turn move being executed.
A three point turn move being executed. | Source

For other countries where you drive on the right and pass on the left, the instructions are as follows:

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 moving forward for a bit, slowly.

4. Start turning the wheel full lock to the left.

5. Before you reach the kerb, turn the steering wheel back one and half or two turns to straighten up, stop and put the handbrake on.

6. Mirror, blind spot right and indicate right.

7. Do your full observation; mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.

8. Start reversing and put the wheel on full lock to the right.

9. Before you reach the kerb, turn the wheel back to straighten up again, then stop and put the handbrake on.

10. Mirror, blind spot left and indicate left.

11. Do your full observation; mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.

12. Start moving forward for a bit, slowly.

13. Once the front of the car crosses the line in the middle, you can start turning.

14. Make sure the whole car is over the line, so you end up on the other side completely.

15. Stop the car behind the white line ahead.

The dimensions of the bay you start off in are about 5m (197 in) long and 2,5m (98, 5 in) wide. The entire area is 12m (472,4 in) and 9m(354 in) wide. You mustn't knock the kerbs at any time. You must end up on the other side of the dividing line when you finish the 3 point turn otherwise you'll fail. It may seem easy, but you don't have any poles as markers for this manoeuvre and so it's all about judgment and watching the kerbs closely. Remember to go slowly, and turn fast so that you have more time to react and adjust if necessary. Note that you only have 1 attempt to get the three point turn right and you must do it in 3 moves.

"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it."

— Dudley Moore

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Questions & Answers

    © 2008 Anti-Valentine

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Zanele 

        3 years ago

        Thank you for this concise information. This is precisely what they taught me at driving school. Good to know I didn't throw my money away. The only unfair part about this entire process is being told that you might fail if you don't bribe the examiner. I don't know what to do about this, it's wrong on so many levels. Has anyone else dealt with such? Are there any testing stations that are corruption-free?

        Thanks again!

      • profile image

        Nathaly 

        6 years ago

        Ireally appreciate what u written ,iwill try my best to focus on them so ican pass my road test this time i failed four times that a shame.

      • profile image

        sandy 

        6 years ago

        i'm making a 3rd attempt bro,i tell you its draining me out,i hope for the best this time.

      • profile image

        Shima 

        6 years ago

        whoa!! this was some really useful info.. thanx a ton :)

      • Anti-Valentine profile imageAUTHOR

        Anti-Valentine 

        8 years ago from My lair

        @Christine

        While driving, you should push the clutch (in SA, the pedal on the left), all the way down to the floor (pedal to the metal!). Then change gear (up or down), being careful not to push down on the accelerator (far right in SA) too much (if at all), and then once the gear is in properly, release the clutch slowly so it has time to take. If you release too quickly, the gears will grate or you could stall.

      • Anti-Valentine profile imageAUTHOR

        Anti-Valentine 

        8 years ago from My lair

        Thanks for commenting Classycut.

        No, I don't train or provide lessons for learners, seeing as I'm not professionally trained or with a company. I wrote the driving hub series while I was actually going through my lessons, so the info was fresh in my mind at the time.

      • Classycut profile image

        Classycut 

        8 years ago

        Do you train? This is a good pice of information for all learners.

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