Procedure for parking next to curb
When the examiner requests that they would like you to park up, immediately take a look into your rear view mirror. Not so you can park, but so you know exactly what is going on around you. If there are no vehicles behind you, slow down a little to make the process easier.
Looking well ahead up the road, locate a safe, convenient and legal parking position. Once you have located a suitable position, you will need to initiate the MSM (mirror, signal, manoeuvre) routine. Look into your rear view mirror, then your left mirror and signal to the left.
Cover the brake and the clutch (place your foot over the pedals but do not press). This will slow the car down and your feet will be in position ready to stop.
Gradually ease over to the left using the reference points on this page to gain a suitable distance from the curb.
Gently apply the brake and around 4 or 5 metres from where you intend on stopping, press the clutch so as you don't stall the car.
Once stopped, apply the handbrake, select neutral, cancel the indicator and remove feet from pedals.
Once you have stopped, review your reference points and if you feel that you are too far into the road, explain this to the examiner and tell them you wish to correct this.
The fact that you have acknowledged this may prompt the examiner to tell you not to worry. If your car is incorrectly parked, simply not acknowledging this to the examiner and offering to correct may fail the driving test.
Hitting the curb
If you happen to hit the curb during a driving test, it depends on the severity and what you were doing at the time that will determine the outcome. Hitting the curb certainly won’t always result in a failure. Read the guide on how to deal with hitting a curb in the driving test for further information.
Safe convenient and legal position
When the examiner requests that you park up, they will expect this to be in a safe location. The examiner will not trick you by asking that you park in an area that is illegal and will fail a driving test. You will also only be asked to park on the left side and not the right. You must however ensure that you park a reasonable distance from the curb (no more than 12 inches). You can park as close to the curb as you wish, providing you do not hit it. Ensure you do not park on a sharp bend, too close to a junction that is on your side of the road or opposite a junction.
Parking too close to junctions
Try and park at least 10 metres or more away from a junction if there is one on your side of the road. Parking too close to a junction reduces effective observation for vehicles exiting the junction and can make access difficult for emergency vehicles, especially fire engines.
Parking too close or opposite a junction that is on the right hand side of the road is hazardous for vehicles exiting that junction. If a vehicle is exiting this junction and wishing to turn left, their main observation will be to their right. A vehicle that is driving around you will be on the right hand side of the road heading directly into the path of the vehicle exiting the junction.
Dropped curb parking
Parking across a dropped curb which gives access to property should be avoided. Dropped curbs for use of pedestrians to aid crossing roads should also be avoided.
When the examiner requests that you park up, it doesn't mean that is has to be that instant. They are simply looking that you do so safely. Take your time (within reason) to look well ahead for a good place to park. As previously mentioned, the examiner will not trick you into parking in a prohibited area, although if you take a long time in deciding where to park, you may enter an area that is prohibited to park. Ensure you do not park on the pavement as this is an instant test failure, keep a keen eye out for signs that prohibit parking and of course double yellow lines.
When you wish to park next to the curb use this reference point to slowly edge over closer to the curb until the reference point lines up.
Note: The spelling of the word 'curb is used instead of 'kerb' simply as it is a far more frequently searched term.