In this video, Mat will be driving for 30 minutes in a town centre, in his Ford Fiesta – which has a petrol engine and a manual gearbox. There will be a mixture of roads, junctions, roundabouts and hazards – and he will try to drive confidently and safely. He will also be completing all four manoeuvres that are currently used in the UK Driving Test, so watch out for those. This is quite a long video – so if you want to jump to a particular point, use the YouTube chapters in the video timeline, or the links in the video description below. Before we get started, make sure you subscribe to our channel and click the bell so you are alerted when we upload a new video. Also, we love to read your comments – so please scroll down and let us know what you think. Let’s go! For this video we used 6 cameras, to capture as much as possible. Here you can see that I’m using a little clutch control to drive slowly in this small car park.
I always ‘set the gas’ before biting the clutch, to ensure I have enough engine power to move off easily. We have also filmed the front and rear view outside, and what I can see from the driver's seat – including the right and centre mirrors. Since the traffic lights are green, the car in front should enter the junction – but I’m happy to wait until they are ready. We have added the speed limit to the on-screen graphics – and you can see it is a 20 limit here.
I’m happy to keep my speed low in areas like this, just in case someone else is in a rush and makes a mistake. This is a one-way street, but the signs are clear and show me where I must go. I see the black hearse trying to reverse, so I wait for a moment in case the driver hasn’t seen me. The speed limit has changed to 30 here, but don’t think of it as some kind of target. It’s OK to go slower if necessary. At this roundabout, we will turn left, 1st exit. I always pre-select 1st gear just before the car stops, so I am ready to pull away promptly. I intend to turn right at the next roundabout, so get into lane fairly early. I spot the people walking in the road, so I stay in 2nd gear and drive carefully. This area has a lot of double-parked cars – so I look as far ahead as possible and plan where to pass oncoming traffic. I always like to say thanks if someone helps me out.
Here I spot the car behind us and indicate right so they know we haven’t parked and intend to drive on. I use 2nd gear a lot in areas like this, as it is very flexible and can go from almost walking pace to about 30. Using 3rd might save a little fuel, but would mean a lot more gear changing. After turning left, I am hoping to do a parallel park on the left. It’s important to keep looking all around the car, just in case a pedestrian or vehicle approaches. There is no need to indicate when pulling away if there is no-one nearby.
No-one has priority in this situation, so I am happy to wait if the other driver wants to go first. At the next roundabout, I want to turn left. As always I follow the Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre routine to ensure it’s safe. More double-parked cars – so I stay in 2nd again, and then change up once the road is clear. The road is about to go downhill, but it’s not too steep so I stay in 3rd gear and use the engine braking to keep the car’s speed in control.
The next corner is fairly tight and is followed by another downhill – so I am going to select 2nd gear for more engine braking. Watch out for a little ‘rev-match’ to keep the gear change smooth. I’m going to turn left at the traffic lights, but I don’t indicate yet as I don’t want to mislead anyone that I’m going into the petrol station. This road goes uphill towards the roundabout, so I try to anticipate the traffic flow and keep moving forward slowly with a little clutch control. Watch out for the 20 limit sign on the left – many drivers miss this, and then accidentally speed on this wide road. Not good on a Driving Test! I never squeeze through tight gaps like this, as it would be easy to do thousands of pounds of damage.
I’m happy to wait a few seconds until it’s safe. This is a one-way street – I’m not sure the cyclist cares though… Can you see the blue signs? Which way do I have to turn at the end of this road? Always take the time to look both ways. Even though this is a one-way street there might be something in the road, like a pedestrian or another cyclist going the wrong way. Even though I could use 3rd gear at this speed, I prefer to stay in 2nd as it helps me control my speed. Because this is another one-way road, I should use the right lane to turn right. This roundabout is fairly busy, but I’d rather be patient than take a risk by rushing. According to the car, I’m doing 29mph in a 30 limit – but watch how the car behind still overtakes us anyway. I’m going to turn left and then park in the multi-storey car park. This entrance is very tight, so I’m careful not to scrape a kerb with my wheels! I spot a space on the right between two cars, and I’m going to reverse in, as it will be much easier to leave the bay afterwards.
Notice that I’m only using the clutch to move the car – no accelerator is needed when going this slowly. I’m going straight ahead at the next roundabout – notice the road markings? The next roundabout has poor visibility to the right, so I slow right down in case I need to Give Way. The small white sign shows which lane to use – I don’t think the car in front has seen it… I’m going to turn right at the roundabout, but which way is the black car going? Their lane discipline was quite misleading and almost blocked me from passing. This is why we should steer precisely and stay in our lane.
Wide and clear roads like these are very easy to speed on. I see the pedestrian crossing, and keep an eye out for anyone nearby… I stay behind the turning lorry, in case he needs more room to make his turn. I’m going to do a forwards bay park in this car park. This is much easier if there are clear bays on either side of our bay. The last driving test manoeuvre is the ‘right reverse’ – let’s do it here. I must be patient and wait until it’s safe to reverse. Reversing towards oncoming traffic or a pedestrian might cause danger, and I don’t want to scare anyone! Reversing very slowly makes it much easier to steer carefully and keep looking around. I’m in no rush, and happy to wait for the man to finish crossing the road. I didn’t know about this road closure – I guess I’ll turn right then! Back along this wide road with a 20mph limit again. It does feel very slow at this speed, but I must stay under the limit! I check my mirrors before moving off – just in case a cyclist is squeezing past.
One last right turn, before we stop. We hope you found this video interesting. If you would like to learn more about any of the driving or manoeuvering skills seen in this video, then please visit our channel as there are over 100 more tutorial videos to help you improve your driving. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss our next video. Thanks very much to all of our channel members – your support really helps us to make new videos.
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