Dealing with major roundabouts part two

In my major roundabouts part one post, I dealt with approaching major roundabouts to turn left and following the road ahead. In this final part I will deal with approaching roundabouts to turn right.

First of all if you have not read my posts on dealing with mini roundabouts and part one of dealing with major roundabouts, I suggest you read them before continuing with this post as most of the foundation knowledge was given in these 2 previous articles.

All the previous points I've mentioned about road signs, being able to adjust your speed on approach to the roundabout still apply. In addition a couple of things to remember for turning right at a major roundabout. First, you always indicate right on approach to a roundabout to turn right. Second, you always approach a roundabout in the right hand lane when turning right.

As in previous cases, once you've identified the roundabout, use MSM to get into the right hand lane, signal right, and start adjusting your speed so that you can make use of any gaps in the traffic if available (this might either be slowing down or even speeding up). If the roundabout is busy, then stop just before the give way line. Secure the car with the handbrake, get it ready to move off, and keep your left hand on the handbrake ready to go as soon as you spot the gap.
Once on the roundabout stay in the right hand lane, and only start to move into the left hand lane as you go past the exit before the one you need (this requires lots of practise to get the timing right), avoiding misleading signals by signalling to early. This can be a bit difficult at first when on a roundabout with more than one lane, so start off with single lane roundabouts and work you way up onto multi-lane roundabouts.

Remember once on the roundabout you do not need to give way to any other traffic, so avoid slowing down un-necessarily.

So to summarise, with roundabouts, the most difficult part is usually getting the approach right, so practise, practise, practise. Look at traffic from the right, their speed, signals and road position will give you an idea of which way they are going. You can go to a major roundabout on foot, and watch the traffic, try to judge which way they are going and imagine you are in the car waiting to enter the roundabout. Choose a moment, and see if you got it right. With time you will start to be able to know which cars are coming your way, and those that are not.

As with all aspects of driving, it takes time to become confident at dealing with roundabouts, so be patient and keep practising.

More Reading
Multi-Lane Roundabouts (3 or 4) with video from Hendon and Mill hill driving test routes.
Driving test tips for dsa practical car assessment (category B) candidates.
Want to be a Red driving school instructor?


  1. To give you the exception to rule - in Aberdeen there's a roundabout with two lanes to right. Normal practice is to use the left of these and local testers expect learners to know this (or read the road signs as you said). My instructor tells me it's a regular test route.

  2. Thanks Sarah for sharing your experience.

  3. Please can you settle a dispute: Approaching a roundabout and instructor/examiner says "Follow the road taking the 3rd exit". From my side, you would MSM and signal right, changing this to left after you pass the 2nd exit whilst checking mirrors as appropriate. Other side: No signal until ready to leave the roundabout then left following general rules. Questions is: Would either method have a learner fail a test? Please help!




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