How do I pull up on the right?

As of the 4th December 2017, the pull up on the right manoeuvre will be tested on the learner driving tests in the UK. You will have a 1 in 3 chance of doing the manoeuvre. The other manoeuvres you may possibly be asked to do are:

Although it’s suggested to learn and practice the turn in the road and reverse to the left/right, these two manoeuvres won’t be tested on the driving test from 4th December 2017.

How will you know when to pull up on the right?

Examiner Terminology

The examiner will say, “I would like you to pull up on the right at a safe, legal place, reverse back 2 car lengths then drive away safely, doing it with due regard and safety for other road users.”

At some point during the test (not during the independent drive), the examiner will ask you while on the move to pull up on the right.

How to pull up on the right

The first thing you should do is look for somewhere safe and legal to do the manoeuvre. The examiner won’t tell you where to do it, so you will need your thinking cap on.

A routine that is often used is “LADA”. This stands for Look, Assess, Decide then Act.

Firstly, identify a safe place to pull up on the right. Doing it in a bus stop area, zigzag line, bends etc. would not be safe or legal.

Look for a large available space so you can pull up on the right without having to swerve to get in (you don’t have to stop behind another vehicle).

Try not to stop on the right so you’re blocking a driveway too.

Once you have identified a safe place ahead and in good time, you then need to decide if it is safe.

Oncoming vehicles

The most obvious thing to look out for is oncoming vehicles. The examiner isn’t trying to fail you, so don’t worry they won’t ask you to do it on a really busy road as that would be unfair to you and not safe.

MSPSL routine for pulling up on the right

After applying LADA, use MSPSL to perform the manoeuvre:

Interior and door mirrors. What’s behind you? Are they following close? Do they look like they may want to overtake? Are they playing on their phone/paying attention? Etc.

If the behaviour behind concerns you, then you may need to re-consider where you pull up on the right. Maybe you just need a signal and be extra gradual and smooth pulling up on the right.

Is it necessary? If there is absolutely nobody around you then there is no need for a signal. If in doubt though, put a signal on in good time so it can benefit other road users.

Make sure you adjust your vehicle position gradually, especially if you have following vehicles. See diagram for example.

Again depending on what’s behind and in front of you will determine how gradual you slow down. Progressive braking is always preferred. In most cases always use the brake pedal before depressing the clutch (coasting) unless you are already going very slow.

Look up the road and scan all around you to make sure where you are stopping is safe and nothing around you has changed.
All it takes is a car reversing off their driveway or a car coming out of a T-Junction nearby to potentially affect where you actually stop.

Reversing back 2 car lengths and then moving away

Before you start reversing back, it’s important to make sure it’s safe to do so. Make sure you scan all around you. Up and down the road before starting the POM routine.

When you reverse back, try to stay close to the kerb. If you hit or go up the kerb you will receive a driving fault.

All round observations are really important. Even if the road is really quiet you need to demonstrate to the examiner that you know where to look and when.

If the road is very quiet, then imagine it’s 3pm and you’ve just parked outside a school with hundreds of parents and kids everywhere. Keep your head moving in all directions, especially out of the back of your window.

What should you do if a vehicle pulls up in front or behind you?

Obviously, your view will be restricted. You will still be required to reverse back 2 car lengths if possible before moving off. With other vehicles potentially blocking your view, you may need to adjust your body position by leaning forwards or to one side of your driver’s seat to improve your view and look around any potential blind spots. The driving examiner will verbally assist you when it’s safe to move the car backwards (only if necessary) in regards to oncoming traffic when your view is restricted.

If an oncoming vehicle pulls in behind you, you may not be able to reverse back the full 2 car lengths. The examiner will be understanding in this matter and expect you to reverse back as much you can and stop so there is a safe gap between the cars.

Remember, what you do with the car is your way of communicating with the examiner what you are thinking. If a vehicle is approaching, It’s often recommend to stop before the vehicle passes you. If you don’t stop, the examiner may think you haven’t seen the oncoming vehicle, or that in your opinion, you consider the gap is safe to carry on moving. If the road is very wide then it may be possible to carry on moving slowly whilst cars pass you. If you are in any doubt think, “Stop”.

Remember vehicles travelling up and down the main road have priority over you.

Moving off and taking up a normal driving position

Make sure you look up and down the road before you decide to move away.
Remember, you should never force other vehicles to slow down or change direction.
When you join the left side of the road, it’s important you fit into the flowing traffic.
You may need to use your lower gears such as 1st, 2nd and 3rd for longer so vehicles don’t catch you up and get too close nor do you put them into an overtaking predicament.

Upon joining the road, re-check your mirrors to get an update on traffic behind you and how they have responded to you joining the left side of the road again.

Key Points

  • The examiner won’t ask you to pull up directly behind a car on the right.
  • You will usually be asked to do the manoeuvre in medium flow traffic. It won’t be excessively busy that it’s not safe.
  • The examiner will give you the instructions to do the manoeuvre on the move, whilst you are driving, in good time!
  • If you don’t understand the examiner, you can ask them to repeat the instruction. Continue to drive safely whilst unsure what the examiner has asked you to do.

Focal points to assist you during the manoeuvre

  • Your instructor may use a focal point (usually a small sticker) for pulling up on the right. It’s usually a sticker on the dash of the car near the windscreen. This one will be on the right side of the car. This may help you judging where the kerb is when you pull up on the right. Hitting the kerb or stopping too far away from the kerb will be recorded as driver fault.
  • When you are reversing back you may benefit from looking at a focal point (usually a small sticker) near the back of your rear windscreen. Keep the sticker in line with the kerb and this will help you keep a straight line.
  • You can also glance in your right door mirror to judge how far away you are from the kerb. This is often more useful when going backwards.
  • If you are an instructor or looking to become a driving instructor you may benefit from purchasing a danger zone blind spot mirror so you can also accurately gauge the distance from the kerb. See image for example.
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