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The best part of driving is no doubt moving the car forward, but then there is a need to learn how to reverse a car in reverse gear at some point during your journey.

For instance, you cannot escape reversing when moving out of a parking lot or doing parallel parking.

Since you cannot avoid reversing the car, you must learn how to do it. In truth, you don’t qualify to be a driver if you cannot move the car in reverse gear.

So, how do you reverse a car? Below is a step-by-step guide to reversing your car:

The Precautions On How to Reverse a Car

1. Sit Comfortably

how to reverse a car in a straight line

Your sitting position should allow you to turn around and check your right shoulder while still being able to press the brake and stop the car quickly if necessary.

Hence, adjust your seat and sit comfortably, especially if you are to reverse for quite a long distance. Remember to readjust the seat to its former position when you are to move forward.

In short, you need different seat adjustments for forward and backward movements.

2. Adjust the Mirrors

You may want to use your mirrors while reversing. It is not always necessary to adjust the mirrors. Once you have reversed, readjust the mirrors to their former positions.

3. Fasten Your Seat Belt

It would be best if you fastened your seat belt whether driving forward or reversing. A seatbelt can save your life in case of an accident, so it is worth mentioning.

4. Position Your Foot on Your Car’s Brake Pedal

To start moving in either direction, utilize the gas or brake pedal with your right foot. In a car equipped with manual transmission, the clutch is operated by the left foot, whereas the left foot remains idle in an automatic vehicle. When reversing, press the brake pedal using your right foot to halt the car’s movement.

5. Put Your Right Hand on the Steering Wheel

Operating a car with both hands is typically the best thing to do. However, while reversing, it is easier to utilize only one hand, preferably your right hand around the “hour mark” of the steering wheel. Backing up with one hand is considerably less complicated than using both.

Now, the Actual Reversing:

1. Turn The Gear On Reverse Mode

how to reverse a car automatic

2. Look Around

You should turn around to watch your back before the car moves backward. Ensure the area around the car is clear of other vehicles, sizable objects, or pedestrians.

Depending on the situation, you can repeat the lookout process periodically as you reverse. Do not forget to look ahead of the car, just in case something is coming. But your focus should be on the back. Watch it more often over the passenger seat.

Make good use of the side mirrors you adjusted.

3. Steer the Car

how to properly reverse a car for driving test

A slow, measured speed would give you the time to scan the area around the car and make necessary adjustments to steering. Slow reversing also lets you correct your wrong turns more quickly than if you reverse fast with sharp turns.

4. Stop the Car

Once you get to the proper position, stop the car using the brake. You can put the gear on Park mode if you plan to get out of the car, or on Drive mode if you are to drive forward immediately after reversing.

How to Reverse a Car in a Straight Line

Reversing in a straight line is among the top 5 most challenging driving maneuvers to perform. Here is how to reverse a car in a straight line:

How to Reverse a Car to the Left

To reverse the car to the left, follow the reversing procedure while steering in the right direction.

How to Reverse a Car to the Right

To reverse the car to the right, follow the reversing procedure while steering in the left direction.

How to Reverse a Car into a Parking Space

how to reverse a car in a straight line

To reverse a car into a parking space:

Is it easy to reverse a car?

Yes, it’s easy to reverse a car. At first, driving a vehicle in reverse may seem challenging, especially if you haven’t practiced it before. However, once you follow some steps and practice it a couple of times, reversing a car becomes second nature.

Why does my car jerk when I shift into reverse?

Bad or worn engine mounts can cause a car to jerk whenever you shift the gear from the park to the reverse position. The reason is the engine isn’t well supported and can move around excessively when shifting gears.

Do you use the accelerator when reversing?

Yes, to go faster, gently press the accelerator. The other foot should be on the clutch.


Even some experienced drivers don’t get how to reverse a car right, especially when it involves squeezing the car into a congested space

So take heart if you are a beginner, for you are in good company. Learn all you can about it. Fortunately, it’s something you do only occasionally in the course of a journey.

Learning how to reverse your car in a straight line or when parking is one of the lessons you get to learn if you join the Pierre Paul Driving School based in Brooklyn, New York.