Roundabout: When Should I Start Indicating To Show I Am Taking An Exit?


Roundabouts aren’t just tricky for learner drivers, many seasoned drivers with years under their belt can find these sections of road the hardest to manage. Thankfully, there are a number of rules to keep you and your fellow drivers safe.

A roundabout keeps traffic flowing only if everyone on the roundabout keeps to these rules. Among these are rules on how to signal on a roundabout.

These signalling rules are covered in Section 186 of the Highway Code, but read on for our easy to understand guide which answers the question: when should I start indicating on a roundabout to show I am taking an exit?


When turning left on a roundabout, you should already be positioned in the left-hand lane as you approach. You should signal left before you enter the roundabout and keep signalling left as you go around. Only cancel the signal once you have completely exited.

Going straight over

When going straight over a roundabout, you should position your car in the left-hand lane (unless road markings tell you otherwise – sometimes they may inform you that the left-hand lane is for turning left only).

You do not need to signal before entering the roundabout (unless signalling to get into the correct lane) and should only start signalling as you pass the last exit before yours. This is to inform drivers waiting to join the roundabout that you will be continuing past them; helping to avoid a crash.

As soon as you have passed all other exits, signal left to let everyone know that you’ll be exiting at the next turn-off. Only cancel the signal once you have left the roundabout.

When Should I Start Indicating To Show I Am Taking An Exit
When Should I Start Indicating To Show I Am Taking An Exit

Turning right

When turning right on a roundabout, ensure that you are in the right-hand lane on approach, and signal right before you enter the roundabout.

Continue to signal as you enter the roundabout, but make sure to cancel the signal as you change lane to approach your exit. Signal left after you pass the last exit before yours. Cancel the signal upon departing the roundabout.

Taking an intermediate exit

Some roundabouts are very large and have many exits. If not taking the first left, going straight over or turning right, you should follow these rules.

Firstly, position your vehicle in the correct lane on approach to the roundabout.

If you are taking an exit beyond straight over, you will likely need to be in the right-hand lane and should signal right too; but, as always, use the road markings to be absolutely correct. Road markings will also let you know if you should alter your position while going around the roundabout.

As soon as your exit is next in sight, ensure you are in the left-hand lane and signal immediately. Once again, only cancel the signal after you have left fully.

We hope this guide to signalling on roundabouts helps. If you’re ever in doubt, make sure to read Section 186 of your Highway Code. While you’re there, take a look at Sections 185 to 190 for all other rules on negotiating roundabouts.

The Difference Between Automatic And Manual Driving Licences

Automatic And Manual Driving

Owners of a full driving license can drive any type of car or small van, with a manual or automatic transmission on the road. Owners of an automatic licence can only drive automatic vehicles, and it would be an offence for them to get behind the wheel of a vehicle with a manual gearbox.


Advantages of an automatic

The advantages of taking an automatic driving course, and gaining an automatic license, are that these types of cars are easier to learn to drive. This is more the case for people who are learning to drive later on in life, or have struggled with learning with a manual car or have repeatedly failed their manual test in the past.


Benefits of an automatic for all types of drivers

Younger drivers are encouraged to learn with a manual car, for greater flexibility when it comes to choosing their first car. That is unless they need to pass the test quickly, or really struggle to cope with the demand of learning to drive a manual car. In which case it is considered easier and faster to pass with an automatic, a rule that can apply to anyone. While individual circumstances will vary, learning in an automatic should also save you money as it can reduce the number of lessons required to pass the test.

Automatic cars are also the better learning option for those with disabilities, leg or joint problems and other issues that might see them struggle to drive a manual vehicle. For many people, they simply feel more comfortable driving in an automatic, which is a key part of the driving experience, so there is that to be considered as well.

Learning in an automatic helps take the focus off constantly controlling the pedals and adjusting the gear stick, and allows the learner driver to focus on what is going on ahead of them on the road, and give them greater situational awareness. With both hands on the wheel and feet firmly in position on the brake and accelerator, it is easier to manage the car and learn the practical rules of the road that will help a driver pass the test.

The main negative with an automatic car comes after passing the test. They are generally slightly less fuel efficient than a manual car, which can add up over time. Also, if something goes wrong, maintenance costs can also be higher than with a manual car. However, the majority of Americans and many other countries’ drivers learn and thrive driving automatics. The obsession with a manual car is something of a European thing, with no particular reason for it.

Driving a semi-automatic car

Finally, there are a growing number of semi-automatic cars on the market. These see the driver select a gear using paddles behind the steering wheel, but there is no clutch pedal. For DVLA purposes, these vehicles are considered automatics when it comes to the driving test and for licensing purposes.

Whatever your driving lesson needs, get in touch for the right advice on how you should learn to drive.

How To Prepare For Your Practical Driving Test

How To Prepare For Your Practical Driving Test

You can be a confident driver, you may feel like king of the road, but none of that matters if you let yourself fall victim to your driving test’s biggest obstacle: nerves.

You can teach yourself everything there is to know about driving, you can know a car inside out, but there isn’t much to stop you from getting nervous when the big day rolls around.

Thankfully, with this helpful guide, you might be able to tackle those nerves head on and focus on mastering your practical driving test.

1. Don’t rush

If you don’t feel ready to take your test, then don’t do it. There can be this misguided preconception that you need to complete your test within a certain timeframe, or that you’re wasting your money after a certain number of lessons, but this is not true. The only person who decides who is ready for you to take your test, is you. It’s better to wait until you are completely confident in your ability to pass than it is to rush into it and risk failing.

2. Familiarise yourself

In the weeks leading up to your test, perhaps divert your lessons towards the neighbouring roads of the test centre. Get a feel for the route that you could potentially be taking on your test.

Speaking of which, the test centre itself can be quite a foreboding place, so get acquainted with it. Ask your driving instructor if it’s possible to perhaps drive up there, so as to avoid your first visit being the day of the test itself. You could even practise bay parking outside, if you have the time and the space.

3. Talk to others

It is perfectly natural to feel nervous and you know what? You’re not alone. Ask anyone with a licence – your parents, maybe, or even your driving instructor – as it is highly unlikely that they were calm when it came to taking their test. Knowing that other people feel the same way that you do can make the whole ordeal seem a lot more approachable.

4. Say hi to the examiner

Trading in a calm and forgiving instructor for a terrifying examiner judging your every inch of movement isn’t exactly going to help ease those nerves. You may think their personal goal in life is to watch you suffer, with their red pen hovering mere millimetres above your test sheet, ready to fail you at a moment’s notice.

On the contrary, they want you to succeed, they want you to be able to drive out of the centre a fully qualified and safe driver. Talk to them before you set off, you might surprise yourself to find they are a human being like yourself.

It’s more relaxing to drive with someone you can acquaint yourself with, than with someone you are simply scared to breathe in front of.

Why Bay Parking Is Taking Over

Why Bay Parking Is Taking Over

Wherever you visit in Essex, you will experience the dread of trying to find a parking space. Lakeside Shopping Centre welcomes half a million visitors each week, with parking spaces for 13,000 vehicles. Even with the large number of car parks available, it can still seem impossible to reverse into a space. Combined with busy environments, the competition to safely find a space can be off-putting to learner drivers.

Why do I need to learn how to park in a bay?

Good bay parking skills are vital. Often, being able to reverse into a parking space is the only way to park at certain locations. Many people try to park as close as possible to their destination and can be ruthless once they’ve found a coveted spot.

It may be tempting to simply drive straight into a parking space, however this can cause complications when leaving. When reversing out of a parking space, your view of oncoming traffic and other obstructions is greatly affected. If you’re driving at night, or have passengers in the back seat, you may not be able to exit the space safely.

Learning to reverse into a parking space may seem daunting, however it’s a skill that will both save time and increase your safety once you’ve passed.

How is a bay park assessed?

When sitting your driving test, your examiner will look at the following aspects of your manoeuvre:

– Accuracy
– Control
– Observation
It’s vital that you master all three elements to ensure a pass. Make sure that you are parked between the lines, with enough room for cars on either side. This may seem impossible, but it’s not necessary to reverse in first time. You are allowed to make adjustments on the angle of your car, pausing where necessary.

Keep the car at a steady pace, using the clutch rather than the accelerator and the brake to move. Don’t make any sharp movements with the steering wheel, as you’ll risk crashing into other cars. Bay parking zones are often located near busy destinations, so keeping a close eye on your surroundings is key. Use your mirrors carefully, looking out for other cars and pedestrians.

Once you’ve successfully mastered bay parking, you’ll be able to visit and successfully park in a huge number of places. If you need help perfecting the manoeuvre, get in touch with Alfie’s Driving School to book a lesson from only £20.

How To Ensure Your Car Doesn’t Stall During Your Driving Test

How To Ensure Your Car Doesnt Stall During Your Driving Test

Learning how to prevent the car from stalling is something that’s crucial if you’re to master the art of smooth driving. One of the main reasons that learners stall while learning to drive is a lack of clutch control.

Here are some helpful tips to get you on the right road to mastering that tricky clutch!

How to master clutch control

Good clutch control enables you to manoeuvre your car at very slow speeds. This makes things like parking and reversing much easier.

It’s something you’ll practice during your driving lessons, but you can also work on the technique at home, provided you’re accompanied by an appropriate co-driver.

Begin by finding somewhere safe, quiet and flat where you can practice.

Put on your seat belt, switch on the engine, and release the handbrake.

Push the clutch pedal right down to the floor and put the car into first gear.

Now gently press the accelerator so that you can hear the engine’s revs increasing slightly.

Check your mirrors, and if you can see that it’s safe to move, lift the clutch very slowly.

As the clutch plates touch, the car will slowly move forwards.

This is known as the ‘biting point’ of the clutch, and it varies from vehicle to vehicle.

If you’re taking your driving test in an unfamiliar car, make sure you have adequate time before the test to get to know where the biting point of the clutch is.

Once you’re confident and adept at finding the biting point, you can move on to learning how to slip the clutch.

This is an important skill you’ll need for manoeuvres such as reversing and when executing three-point-turns.

Begin by finding the biting point, and then move the car forward very, very slowly.

Control the speed of your car by depressing (slipping) the clutch pedal very slightly. This will have the effect of slowing the vehicle down. Conversely, raising the pedal again will cause the car to speed up.

In conclusion

Clutch control is a vital part of being able to drive safely and efficiently and avoiding the dreaded driving test stall! For more guidance on learning to master the clutch, book a course of lessons with Alfie’s Driving School.

How To Reverse Around A Corner Properly

How To Reverse Around A Corner Properly

Of all the manoeuvres that you have to master for your test, reversing around a corner is one of the more unsung difficulties. People baulk at the three-point turn and parallel park – and for good reason if you don’t have the calm, applied knowledge that Alfie’s Driving School can teach you – but the around-corner reverse can be just as tricky.

In places such as Romford, Ilford and Dagenham, the roads are often busy, with parked cars that may obstruct your reversal, cyclists who can appear out of nowhere and plenty of pedestrians.

If that doesn’t seem stressful enough, all of these people and obstacles are also often in a rush! Don’t worry though, with these handy tips, you’ll reverse around a corner with no problems, every time.

Step one – P.O.M.

You’ll probably hear a lot about these three letters when you learn to drive with Alfie’s, and for very good reason. Failure to Prepare, Observe and Move correctly can result in anything from a scratch up to something far more serious, and it is crucial that you are always aware of your surroundings and ready to act. We’re going to assume that you’re parked nearby the kerb, by the corner in question for this.

So, prepare the car. In this instance, you’ll be reversing, so put the car into reverse and get your biting point. This requires slow, careful movement, so don’t worry about gas – using the break and clutch will be fine.

Next, observe. Check all of your mirrors, out of your back window and, perhaps most importantly, your blind spot. Once you have checked, double checked and are completely satisfied, gently release your break to allow the car to move backwards.

Step two – Watch the blocks

Moving very slowly and controlling with your clutch only (be ready to use the break if necessary though), gently move the car backwards until you see your front door handle go level with the second painted black on entrance to the road. When this happens, put a three-quarter turn, left hand down, on the wheel, making sure to keep observing all of your mirrors and out of the windows. Keep an eye on the kerb – if you think you might hit it, then take some of the turn off.

Step three – Stay parallel

Once you are around the corner, it’s a matter of staying parallel with the kerb and keeping a close eye for hazards in your new location. Adjust your steering accordingly and try to get your door handles in line with the kerb. Once this has been achieved, take off the three-quarter turn and come to a halt wherever you are instructed to, being sure to put on the handbrake and go into neutral.

Congratulations, you have reversed around a corner!

Two Learner Driving Routes In Ilford, Essex

Two learner driving routes in Ilford

If you’re learning to drive, your confidence and skill will improve by going out on the road with a fellow driver in between your lessons.

A good driving lesson route needs to take in both large and mini roundabouts, traffic lights and busy roads. You should also keep an eye out for quiet suburban roads, where you can practise your manoeuvres.

The following two driving routes in Ilford, Essex, have both been routes used for driving tests in the past. They are challenging, but if you get to know them, they are great preparation for the test.

Route One

Start at Goodmayes Driving Test Centre. Drive to the end of Kildowan Road and then turn left on to Goodmayes Road, where you’ll eventually come to a set of traffic lights. Ensure you indicate left before turning on to High Road. Further down this road, you’ll come to a roundabout; take the second exit on to Cameron Road.

There will then follow a number of turns: right on to Ley Street, the fourth left on to Hamilton Road, the second right on to Ashurst Drive and the second turning on the left on to Hatley Avenue. Always remember to observe the MSPSL driving routine when turning into new roads and ensure you stay in your ‘half’ of the road.

Turn left onto North Cross Road, left on to Campbell Avenue, right on to Ashurst Drive and then left on to Eastern Avenue, where you’ll come to a number of traffic lights in succession. At the third set, turn right on to Aldborough Road South.

Then take the third turning on the left on to Meads Lane. Now you’ll come to a couple of roundabouts in quick succession. Keep your composure, remember to slow down into second gear and try and anticipate. At the second roundabout, turn left on to Meads Lane, then left on to Elgin Road.

At the end of Elgin Road, you’ll come back on to Cameron Road, after which you’ll arrive at your final roundabout. Successfully traverse this and you’ll end up on Seven Kings Road. Turn left on to Felbrigge Road; drive to the end of this road, then turn left on Granton Road before ending up back where you started on Kildowan Road.

Route Two

For the second route, you’ll also be starting at Goodmayes. Follow the same steps as the first route, but when you get to the end of Granton Road, turn right on to Green Lane. Then take a second left on to Woodstock Gardens before turning right on to Breamore Road.

Take the third left on to Gyllyngdune Gardens and then the second right on to Egerton Gardens. Both of these roads are ideal for practising the ‘reversing around the corner’ manoeuvre, as well as parallel parking if you can find two parked cars ideally spaced.

At the end of Egerton Garden, turn left onto Water Lane, where your residential tour of Ilford will continue. At the end of Water Lane, turn right on to South Park Drive, then left back on to Green Lane.

You’ll then reach a fairly busy roundabout; you’ll want to signal right, move into the outside lane and turn right on to Winston Way – ensure you indicate just before leaving the roundabout.

On Winston Way, you’ll come to another two roundabouts, before turning on to Chapel Road. Bear in mind that this is a one-way street.

Keep left as you drive down Chapel Road and turn left onto Romford Road, before turning left on to the A406 slip road, where traffic should be quite heavy.

Take the first exit at the roundabout onto London Road and at the next roundabout, turn left onto Longbridge Road. You’ll then want to turn left on to Goodmayes Lane, just after the C & R London Mobile Mechanic.

At the end of Goodmayes Lane, turn right onto Green Lane. Turn left onto Goodmayes Road and then on to Kildowan Road before returning to the Test Centre, where you can practise reversing into a bay.

Driving Lesson Routes In Dagenham, Essex

Driving lesson routes in Dagenham

There are several routes in Dagenham which are extremely useful for anyone learning to drive. These routes are great for practising in between your paid driving lessons.

The Basic Routes

If you are just starting out on your journey and need somewhere to build your confidence and hone your skills before tackling anything heavy, there’s an intersection at Stamford Road and Langley Crescent that’s relatively quiet. This can be a great place to start and gives you lots of options for learning and practicing the basics.

If you drive to the east, you will come to Gale Street. Turn left here and you can easily practice lapping around the block. This is a great way to get really familiar with the standard three-path and four-path intersections.

This is a great way to get really familiar with the standard three-path and four-path intersections.

Dagenham also offers a wealth of different street junctions, which are perfect for practicing your driving on.

Use them to familiarise yourself with the process of turning, and the equally important process of giving way. While you may have a firm grasp of the theory involved in these

While you may have a firm grasp of the theory involved in these manoeuvres it’s vital that you put the theory into practice. The more familiar you become with the basics, the more they will come to you without thinking – second nature.

The more familiar you become with the basics, the more they will come to you without thinking – second nature.

That being said it’s very important to familiarise yourself with all the the rules of the road, before you get behind the wheel. This is especially vital for rules pertaining to

This is especially vital for rules pertaining to right of way, and how it varies depending on your situation.

More Challenging Routes

When you’re ready to progress and are completely at ease with the intersections, and once you have lapped the block several times, there are a number of places you can continue your practice. Take Gale Street, travelling north, until you hit a roundabout with five exits (there’s another roundabout where Ballards Road meets Rainham Road, that’s the wrong one!).

At the roundabout, keep to the right. Make sure you keep a watchful eye on traffic and make proper use of your indicators.

Do a few laps to completely familiarise yourself with the roundabout and the mechanics of traveling around it. When you are completely comfortable with the flow of traffic around the roundabout, take a right exit onto Hedgemans Road.

Follow it until you hit Heathway, and turn left. This will acclimatise you to stop–start traffic.

The route will take you down Oxlow Lane and Wood Lane, which leads to Aylmer Road. After a short distance you will find yourself approaching Valence Circus.

This is a great place to navigate in order to grow accustomed to the circular nature of circus junctions.

Take some time getting really comfortable with Valence Circus, then backtrack to Wood Lane and head south, back towards where you started. You don’t need to return to Langley and Stamford, you might go back to the point you first took the wheel. The destination isn’t important.

What is important is that you have whoever is accompanying you call out the directions as you head back to your base. This will get you accustomed to test scenarios, and help you to feel at ease with callouts – after a while, they will simply be the norm.

On your return journey be very mindful of all the traffic conditions around you, including the weather, pedestrians, children, and animals – horses in particular can be a little erratic, while children are small, fast and frequently come flying out of nowhere.

Practice lots of right-hand turns on your journey back, as this will help you get used to turning against the traffic.

Two Driving Lesson Routes In Barking Essex

driving test route barking

The aim of driving lessons is to prepare you for the driving test and the aim of the driving test is to test your skill as a driver. The two Barking, Essex routes below are both

The two Barking, Essex routes below are both part of, or have been part of the official Barking Driving Centre test.

They include some of Barking’s busiest roads and most challenging roundabouts.

Get to know them well outside of your lessons and your driving instructor will soon be putting you forward for the official test.


Route One

Take the first right onto Wilmington Gardens and take the third left onto Salisbury Avenue. Drive past Netherfield and Sherwood Gardens and take the third left onto Cecil Avenue.

Take a third left onto Priory Road and at the end of the road take a right onto Salisbury Avenue.

When you reach the Barking United Reformed Church, take a left onto Upney Road.

Take the first right onto Beccles Drive and you will soon be approaching the Beccles Drive roundabout. Take the first exit onto Cavendish Gardens.

At the Westrow Control Systems take a left onto Westrow Drive.

At the junction turn left onto Longbridge Road until you get to the traffic light where you will take another right onto South Park Drive. Drive past the Abbey Barking School’s sports ground and continue over the mini roundabout to the end of the road.

Turn left onto Green Lane and take the second exit at the mini roundabout onto Winston way. At the next roundabout, go straight on to Ilford Lane. After the Barking Central Mosque, Ilford Lane becomes Fanshawe Avenue. Just after the mosque take a left onto Tanner Street.


Route Two

Start on Monteagle Road near to the driving centre. Drive to the end of the road and take a right onto Fanshawe Avenue. Just after the mosque and where Fanshawe road turns into Ilford Lane take a left onto Victora Road and the first right onto Uphall road.

Continue past Teen Challenge and take the second right onto Roman Road. Go to the end of the road and turn left onto Ilford Lane and take the first right onto Loxford Lane. Drive past Loxford Park and the allotments to the end of the road where you take a left onto South Park Drive. Just as you reach the park’s edge take a left onto South Park Terrace. At the end of the road turn right onto South Park Road. At the end of this road turn left onto Green Lane.

Just as you reach the park’s edge take a left onto South Park Terrace. At the end of the road turn right onto South Park Road. At the end of this road turn left onto Green Lane.

Take the second exit at the mini-roundabout onto Winston Way. Turn right at the roundabout onto Chapel Road and drive to the end of the road where you turn left onto Ilford Hill. Turn left on to the A13, drive past the fire station and just after the cash and carry turn left onto Gascoigne Road. At the roundabout take a left onto St. Paul’s Road and continue driving down where it eventually turns into Abbey Road. At the roundabout take the third exit onto Barking Relief Road. At the roundabout take the second exit onto Longbridge Road and then the second left onto Park Avenue.

At the roundabout take a left onto St. Paul’s Road and continue driving down where it eventually turns into Abbey Road. At the roundabout take the third exit onto Barking Relief Road. At the roundabout take the second exit onto Longbridge Road and then the second left onto Park Avenue.

At the roundabout take the third exit onto Barking Relief Road. At the roundabout take the second exit onto Longbridge Road and then the second left onto Park Avenue.

There you have it, two driving lesson routes for you to explore in between your paid driving lessons!

How To Get Parallel Parking Right First Time, Every Time

Get Parallel Parking Right First Time

With the number of cars on British roads increasing all the time, mastering parallel parking is crucial. In areas around Greater London, where parking space is at a premium, it’s critical. If you have the good fortune to find a space in somewhere like Romford, Ilford or Dagenham, you need to be able to park quickly and accurately.

If you take parallel parking slowly, step by step, it will get easier every time. Read on to find out how to master the manoeuvre:

  1. Start In The Right Place This is critical – get it wrong and you might as well start from scratch.Drive past the space and draw up alongside the car at the front of it, leaving about a metre’s gap beside you and stop slightly in front of that car. Line up the front edge of that car’s bonnet with a point about halfway along your passenger-side front window.
  2. Move To The Turning Point Reverse slowly back towards the space in a straight line, watching the back of the other car through your back or side window. As a rough guide, wait until the rear end of the car you are beside is halfway along your passenger-side rear window.When the ends of the two cars are aligned, you can safely turn your steering wheel.
  3. Reversing Take one full turn on your steering wheel and slowly reverse. Adjust the angle until the middle of your rear window is aimed at the point where the edge of the car you are reversing towards would meet the kerb. Then straighten the wheel and reverse slowly back, using the passenger door mirror to watch your car as it gets closer to the kerb.
  4. Swing The Front In Just before your rear wheel touches the kerb, apply full lock in the other direction and continue to reverse slowly. This will bring the front of your car into the space.Watch the front of your car carefully, and if you can’t get it all in in one go, switch to full lock the other way, move forward as far as you can, then go back to full lock the original way and reverse again.
  5. Adjust Finally, move forward to line your car up, leaving an equal amount of space front and back. Use the passenger door mirror to check that you are parallel to the kerb and not too far out.With practice and patience, parallel parking should soon become second nature.

    With practice and patience, parallel parking should soon become second nature.