The S.C.a.L.P routine

Parking using the SCALP routine

What is the SCALP routine?

The Safe Convenient And Legal Position (SCALP) routine is used whenever you intend to stop at the side of the road. You will be asked to do this several times on your Practical Driving Test, and the instructor will be monitoring closely that you use the the SCALP routine when you do. Remember, it is important to show consideration to other road users for both their safety and yours.

Failing to use the SCALP routine when necessary on your driving test could lead to you failing on the day, as each transgression picked up by the examiner may result in a driver error, and possibly a serious or dangerous depending on the circumstances! So read the following carefully .


How the SCALP routine works and why you use it!

Safe –  Places that are not safe!

Junctions – Avoid stopping too close to a junction, this should be a minimum of 10 meters. By not doing this not only are you blocking the junction but you can potentially become a dangerous hazard!
On a corner/Bend – Think, can other road users see you in good time?
If you are parked/stopped on a bend, this may restrict their view of you, and cause them to have to take evasive action to avoid you!
At the top of a hill – Similarly to a Corner or bend , parking at the top of a hill may mean other road users don’t see you until much later than they need to be safe! 

ConvenientIs it going to cause an inconvenience to others?

Exiting the vehicle – Is where you have parked going to case problems for you and your passengers to exit the vehicle and try to avoid parking close to puddles, wet grass, mud, bollards, lamp posts etc. Remember, in a busy area, you’ll need to exit the vehicle quicker so as not to be a hazard to other road users. 

Avoid blocking driveways!.

Opposite parked cars – Also avoid stopping opposite a car parked on the other side of the road, this may cause a narrowing of the road causing congestion or may block large vehicles such as Dustbin lorries or Emergency vehicles.
Opposite Junctions – Parking Stopping opposite a Junction may cause problems for people entering or exiting, but will also cause passing vehicles to be on the wrong side of the road to pass you nest to that junction. 


LegalHave you stopped legally?

Make sure that you are stopping in a legal place,


  • Stopping within 10 meters of a junction (including Cross road / Roundabouts) again this includes on the opposite side of the road.
  • Stopping next to a bus stop or in a cycle lane.
  • Pedestrian crossings / Zebra crossing


  • Take note of road markings, e.g. yellow lines, zig zag lines, loading areas, Schools etc.

Position / Park / Place

Stop close to the kerb, and parallel to it, but not so close that you touch or mount it. You should also make sure that your wheel is straight and that your car is not sticking out into the road. On a hill however, turn them slightly so that you car would roll into the kerb if your handbrake fails.

Parking using the SCALP routine