Approaching & Exiting Multi-Lane Roundabouts (3 or 4 lane)

This driving lesson video deals with understanding the basic rules of multi-lane roundabouts and how to deal with them on the practical car or riding test, including what lanes to approach in, how to exit 2nd, right turns and the 12 o'clock rule.

In my previous dealing with roundabouts posts, I gave some general advice for learner drivers having problems with mini and normal roundabouts. I'm going to use this post to cover a few things regarding multi-lane (3 or 4 lane) roundabouts, I have also included a video with footage shot using Apex corner, Stirling Corner and Mill Hill circus roundabouts which you might encounter on the Mill Hill driving test centre or Hendon test routes.

3 or 4 Lane Roundabouts
The most important thing to bear in mind with multi-lane roundabouts is that you approach in the correct lane, and use the same lane throughout the roundabout until you are ready to exit, and give the appropriate signal to come off the roundabout.

Turning left at multi-lane roundabout
To turn left you will always approach in the left hand lane, and indicate left. If there are 2 lanes available to turn left, use the leftmost lane.

Following the road ahead at multi-lane roundabout
This is where things can be a little tricky. As you approach, you need to be looking out for signs either on the side or road markings to give you an indication of which lane to use. Usually you should be approaching in the left lane, and as you get closer you are scanning the road ahead not only for signs, but also for traffic to know if you would have to stop or not. You DO NOT need a signal on the approach if following the road ahead, but you do need to signal left as you go past the exit before the one you want, to let other users of the roundabout know what you are doing.

Turning right at multi-lane roundabout
If turning right you will need to use the right hand lane, and will be indicating right on approach to the roundabout. If the multi-lane roundabout has 4 lanes, there might be 2 lanes for turning right, in which case you should use the leftmost of the 2 (an example is shown in the accompanying multi-lane roundabout video, using Apex Corner). You should use the same lane on the roundabout until you are ready to exit, when you indicate left, and move across to the left lane (the video demonstrates this).

It takes practice to confidently deal with multi-lane roundabouts, so make sure you get plenty of practice at various times to build up enough experience to be able to deal with any situation you might encounter during the driving test.

If you are taking a test in Mill Hill or Hendon, please watch the video below many times to get familiar with the big roundabouts you might encounter.



Mill Hill Driving Test Help
If you are taking your driving test at Mill Hill test centre, you might be interested in the video below, especially if you are not local to the area, as it covers the hardest route in use by the DSA examiners where you have to deal with the dreaded Apex Corner multi-lane roundabout during independent driving as well as the 50mph A1, turning right at sterling corner as well as some other tricky locations. The video has full commentary to point out the failing areas.


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35 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:13 pm

    Thanks a lot for this, the dfferent approaches, exits and number of lanes is great for learners to learn from, I have always had problems with the 3/4 lane roundabouts but this has cleared a few things up. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:28 am

    Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous9:47 pm

    I have my test tomorrow in Hendon and was really nervous about Apex, thanks so much, brilliant video really helpful!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Roundabouts are a great feature, but depend on drivers being able to successfully navigate them. Unfortunately,you have committed a DANGER DRIVING FAULT on turning right ,
    1st you have changed lanes from 2 to 3 on the exit,
    2nd you should not end up on the third lane on the exit....do some some reading how to negotiate roundabouts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could you provide some links ? So I I was in 3rd lane how do I get exit ?

      Delete
  5. Newport driving school, thanks for your comments, but you are not familiar with Apex corner not its road markings, so you neither know the road layout nor have any local knowledge of how this particular roundabout works.

    I followed the markings, and also there is a central divider on the last roundabout which forces all traffic to end up on the right lane. It would be nice if you had the full picture before making comments critising other driving instructors!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous2:56 pm

    TDI UK driving school,

    I have recently passed my driving test, but I am still not confident on multi-lane roundabouts (Target r'bout is my local!). Thanks for putting this video up, it was quite helpful!

    I have a question: you pointed a certain white car at one point, criticising them for switching lanes to the right while on the roundabout, then switching back to the left.

    If that white car was going to stay on the 2nd lane (counting from left) on the roundabout, if they were taking the same exit you took, should they have simply stayed in their 2nd lane? They would end up in the right-hand lane on their exit road. Is this correct?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The purpose of multi-lane roundabouts is to cope with a larger amount of traffic, than smaller ones, which is why you could have more than one lane going in the same direction.

    You should therefore not change lanes while on the roundabout (I know others do, but it is not really safe). If you were in the 2nd lane when approaching, then stay there till the end, and yes you will end up in the right lane, but if you are an experienced driver who wants to make progress, then this is okay. Someone on their test is most likely not going to be able to do this. But if you can, then this will be okay with the DSA examiner.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A Fantastic demonstration of a very very tough job. Today I was driving my car and many people honked at me during the roundabout. I was not able to find out the reason. Wondering what mistake I did, I looked at many websites including my theory practical test CD. None of them demonstrated the roundabout skill the way you have done. I think I will be 100 times better on the road now and of course this will help me during my test.
    Regards,
    Bhawna

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous10:27 pm

    very confusing. very very confusing

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous6:58 pm

    very helpful thankyou very much

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love the accent in the video, but I hate round abouts. I am from the USA and we don't have round abouts.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous11:26 pm

    very useful video, it would be better if you shot the videos on a wider angle so you can see more of the road & where you are turning to.

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous11:51 pm

    Driver Education Course. Take Driver Ed Online course at 30 hours easy DMV approved. Join Driver Education Course for taking Driver License Online or DMV learners permit.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Emily4:14 pm

    I passed my test this morning and I just want to say that the roundabout video and the explanation was pretty much the reason I passed! Roundabouts really confused me before and I was really nervous about having them on the test but thanks to your advice I completely understand it now.
    Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Emily, thanks for the feedback, I'm glad the driving school video helped you pass the test.

    Take care while driving, and keep the new full licence clean for the next 2 years, it is very easy to build up 6 penalty points if you are not careful or paying attention on the roads (speed and traffic light cameras).

    ReplyDelete
  16. thanks for the grea post

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous6:58 pm

    hi

    I am thinking to start learning how to drive, but i am confused about my boyfriend. In my country he held full driving license for 8 years, but than we moved to GB and he have almost a year full GB driving license. Can he supervise me or he need to held 3 year full GB driving license?

    Kind regards

    ReplyDelete
  18. James Stephen9:41 am

    I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog, I’m sure I’d visit here more often.Great job, keep posting interesting articles here. All The Best


    Thanks
    Online Defensive Driving Course NY

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have a question for this-
    [You should therefore not change lanes while on the roundabout (I know others do, but it is not really safe). If you were in the 2nd lane when approaching, then stay there till the end, and yes you will end up in the right lane, but if you are an experienced driver who wants to make progress, then this is okay. Someone on their test is most likely not going to be able to do this. But if you can, then this will be okay with the DSA examiner.]

    1. As in above situation, if I were in the middle lane when approaching (3 lanes approaching, 3 lanes on the round about), take middle lane on the round about then which exit ideally should take right or left?
    If left is ideal, I need to change lane to the left on the round about and then follow the lane and exit. If right is ideal, stay in the middle lane till the exit, indicate left and exit in the right lane.
    Which one is fail safe method? The examiner failed me on this. I think, taking the right exit is correct because left lane should be reserved for those approaching the round about and turning left. I did the same thing as I thought but the examiner pulled my steering wheel to the left while I was in the middle lane on the round about and failed me. He said I was cutting into other car's lane.

    2. Although you recommend not to change lane while on the round about, you did change lane a few times( I think at least 2 times ) while driving on the round about.
    But I think it is totally acceptable to change lane with proper indication



    grateful if you reply

    ReplyDelete
  20. My comment about changing lanes was specific to following the road ahead at a multi-lane roundabout.

    The fail safe method is to know which lane to approach a roundabout in. Left for turning left or following road ahead (subject to road markings) and right lane for turning right.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for reply.
    But you did not answer my question.
    3 lanes approaching, 3 lanes on the roundabout, 2 lanes in the exit route straight ahead.
    If I were in the middle lane approaching the roundabout, how to drive to the exit with 2 lanes straight ahead ?
    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
  22. It looks like you do not have a definite answer or There is no exact rule to tackle such situation in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous8:55 pm

    Anonymous said
    I was very nervous about Apex corner roundabout as I was scheduled to have my test in Mill Hill test centre, this vido was great help and I really recommended for anyone who struggle with roundabout. Today, I passed my practical test. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:15 pm

    Hi,

    There are 2 tricky scenarios that I still don't know how to tackle (just to be clear, I'm talking about roundabouts in the UK with 2 or 3 lanes).

    A: The "go ahead" exit is not the 2nd one, but the 3rd. Should/could the left most lane still be used in this case?

    B: I have to take the 1st (or 2nd) exit, but that exit is to the right (past 12 o'clock) with respect to the road I'm on before entering the roundabout. Should I take the right lane in this case or stay on the left)?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous7:37 am

    Hi,

    I have full UK license from last 4 years . My wife has a provisional license ... just wondering if it is legal for her to drive with me along with my kid in the car.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yes, you can carry passengers including children with a provisional licence holder as a driver while taking lessons as long as you are insured to drive the vehicle.

    I have given people professional driving lessons and they have asked if they can bring a child along. It is fine s long as they don't distract the driver, you are going to have them in the car anyway if you pass, so it is okay legally.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous6:13 pm

    Can a driver that has had a full uk licence for over 3years then gets band then gets there licence back do they after weight another 3 years to sit at side ov a provisional learner driver

    ReplyDelete
  28. Regarding not changing lane on a roundabout...

    Supposing I've just exited coming from Apex Corner to Mill Hill Circus roundabout. I now want to go to the Broadway. At the entrance to the roundabout the lanes split into 3 at the last minute, with the road markings saying 3rd lane to turn right (and 2nd lane is straight on only).

    The thing is, if you stay in that lane, the road markings while on the roundabout take you back to the Apex Corner! Should I be changing lane while on the roundabout (or going all the way around if not clear), or is it fine to take the 2nd lane on entrance to turn right?

    I have my test soon and this is the main thing I'm still slightly confused by!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Use the right hand lane on entry, and change lanes once you enter the roundabout (use MSM), if going to the Broadway, you will most likely end up in the middle lane at the 2nd lights.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi,
    Thanks for all the valuable info in this blog. I have a question please. My wife has been learning how to drive with a driving school. She was in a learning session with the instructor and the school car and had an accident. I think from what she told me, it was her fault as she did not break in time when facing another car. I'm wondering if this accident will affect her insurance policy in the future when she gets the full driving licence. Another question, should she declare that accident when buying an insurance policy with a full UK licence? Please advise. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Khorie, Unfortunately I'm unable to give an exact answer to your question, as insurance companies have their own way of assessing risk for potential customers. However since your wife was on a lesson with a professional instructor, the accident will go on his insurance but your wife will need to declare this when applying for a policy and explain the events as they happened.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi. I have provisional license and i already bought a car but my question is do i need to buy insurance and road tax even i am not going to use my car because no want supervise me on driving. I just want to buy a car because i have my practical test by next month. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The problem with unmarked roundabouts where there are three entry lanes is that many drivers go straight on in the left lane, especially where there are traffic queues. If three cars enter the roundabout at the same time, this means that the left and middle are both trying to go straight on and the right lane is trying to turn right but there are only two lanes around the roundabout. So, somebody has to give way and merge as they are navigating the roundabout.

    ReplyDelete

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